Updated Royals Prospect Rankings: 25-21

This is the second installment of the updated Royals Farm Report prospect rankings, covering #25 to #21.

25. SS Jeison Guzman

DOB: 10/08/1998

B/T: S/R

Current Level: Rookie

ETA: 2020

One of the gems of the 2015 international class, Jeison Guzman has been praised for how advanced he is at his age. 

Guzman shows average speed, but great overall skills at shortstop. 

I’m probably lower on Guzman than most people. I still have a lot questions about his bat. I think he’ll develop some contact skills along the way, but I just don’t see the power showing up. Just the lack of power and speed concerns me. I see a below-average regular on the left side of the infield.

24. RHP Yunior Marte

DOB: 2/2/1995

B/T: R/R

Current Level: A+

ETA: 2019

Is another relief ace possibly in the making? Yunior Marte has started to show some real capabilities as a reliever, as he has dominated the Carolina League so far, posting a 1.95 ERA in 32.1 innings. It might be finally coming together for Marte. After struggling the past couple of years, he has been able to work in the lower quadrant of the zone more, thus getting more strikeouts and grounders.

Adding velocity in the bullpen has helped too. He works a nice two seamer along with a fantastic changeup. The improvements are encouraging, but he’ll need to work on his control, as he’s walking 5.0 batters per nine.

23. RHP Corey Ray

DOB: 12/15/1992

B/T: R/R

Current Level: AA

ETA: 2018

Though he has pitched considerably well as a starter, I keep wondering when the Royals are going to move Corey Ray into a relief role. Already throwing mid-90s heat as a starter, Ray would have the potential to get his velocity in the upper-90s if moved to a one inning role.

Ray has dominated left handed hitters in his career, mainly with his changeup and curveball. 

You could see a LOOGY with Corey Ray. I would be intrigued a bit if he was moved to the bullpen, but for now, I do not like him as a starter.

22. LHP Foster Griffin

DOB: 7/27/1995

B/T: R/L

Current Level: AA

ETA: 2019

After posting a disastrous stint in High-A during 2016, Griffin was much improved in his second go-around with the Wilmington Blue Rocks. He noticeably raised his K/9 from 7.2 to 9.5 in A+, finally harnesting some of his crafty off speed stuff.

He earned himself a promotion to AA, where he has looked fine so far.

The problem I have with Griffin is there is nothing that stands out. His fastball sits in the high-80s. When he’s on, the changeup can be deadly, but he hasn’t shown the consistency you’d like from it. The slow curve is a below-average offering. This adds up to a back-end starter for me.

I have an impressive stat though. Griffin has only allowed 26 home runs in 351.1 career minor league innings.

21. LHP Richard Lovelady

DOB: 7/7/1995

B/T: L/L

Current Level: A+

ETA: 2019

I recently interviewed the dominating left handed reliever. 

Lovelady has arguably been one of the best relief pitchers in all of minor league baseball this year. After being drafted out of Kennesaw State, he has climbed through the ranks quite nicely, pitching well at every level. This season, he has posted a 1.19 ERA and 1.37 FIP, with most of his success relating to his ability to generate groundballs and get strikeouts at a very high rate. 

Lovelady has posted a GB% of 71.4 and a K% of 33.9. With those high rates, being lefty, a flailing delivery, and mainly fastball and slider, he reminds me of Zach Britton. I really wanted to put Lovelady higher. I feel like the sky is the limit for him. 

The Royals might have themselves another stud reliever. Expect to see him in AA soon.

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