This is the fifth installment of our updated Royals prospect rankings. This post will cover #10 to #6.
10. 1B Samir Duenez
Current Level: AA
Throughout his career, Duenez has received mixed reviews as a prospect. The Royals thought high enough of him to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft, which was a questionable move. Nonetheless, all Duenez has done in his young career is hit.
- At age 17 in the Rookie League, where the average age is 19.4, Duenez posted a 103 wRC+.
- At age 20 in Low-A, where the average age is 21.2, Duenez posted a 108 wRC+.
- At age 20 in High-A, where the average age is 22.4, Duenez posted a 132 wRC+.
- At age 21 in AA, where the average age is 23.8, Duenez has posted a 110 wRC+.
I’m a believer that he will be able to add more power. He’s already having the best power season of his career, which could pertain to a change in approach (has cut down GB%, posting highest LD%, HR/FB% of career, increased K%).
He’s also a first baseman that has nice base running instincts, swiping 26 bags last year and 9 so far this year. Though, I wouldn’t put much stock into that. Overall, he’s pretty average at first. He has a good enough arm to play in the outfield too.
9. OF Seuly Matias
Current Level: Rookie
One of the highest ceiling players in all of the Royals system is Seuly Matias. Signed out of the Dominican Republic for $2.25 million, Matias was one of the more highly regarded players in the 2015 international signing period.
A lot of Matias’ high ceiling comes from his power potential, led by his insanely quick hands. He showed this off early, posting the second best ISO in the Arizona League last year. It should only be put on display more, once he grows into his frame.
Now in Burlington, Matias has shown things that have really impressed me. Last year, like most young players, strikeouts were a big problem for Matias. But, this year in Burlington, Matias has cut his K-rate in half. What’s even more impressive is that he hasn’t lost any power in the process.
I’m the field, Matias probably projects to end up in right. He’s got average range, average speed, but he possesses one of the better arms in the organization.
8. RHP Jake Junis
Current Level: AAA
Royals fans got to a glimpse of Jake Junis this year in 35 innings. He pitched very inconsistently in those innings, but down in Omaha, he has looked better than ever. He holds amazing peripherals against PCL hitters, with a K/9 of 11.7 and BB/9 of 1.8.
Junis rocks a fastball in the low-mid 90s that he commands in every part of the zone well. He adds in a power curve and average changeup. If he can improve consistency on his changeup, Junis might be a slam-dunk 4/5 in the bigs. If not, he could profile as a decent reliever.
7. RHP Scott Blewett
Current Level: A+
Blewett sort of looks funky on the mound. Big 6’6” righty that uses a three-quarters arm slot. He uses a low-90s fastball that could have room to grow. He compliments that with a plus-plus curveball and shaky changeup.
In a limited showing, Blewett showed some strikeout stuff in his pro debut, posting a 9.3 K/9’in Burlington. He lost a lot of that in 2016, plunging to a K/9 of 6.6. Some of that resurfaced early this year, as his K/9 wa sitting at 7.1 through June 11. Since then, Blewett has been on a tear, posting a K/9 of 10.2.
I like Blewett’s makeup a lot and I think he is one of the higher potential starters in all of the organization.
6. RHP Josh Staumont
Current Level: AA
After jumping into the radar as a legit prospect this year, Josh Staumont has had quite the disappointing season so far. After showing some improvement in AA last year (more respectable 6.6 BB/9), Staumont’s control has completely rolled backwards this year. This led to a disastrous 6.28 ERA and 6.50 FIP in AAA
The story is still the same on Staumont’s stuff. Triple-digit fastball, a devastating curveball that he sometimes struggles to command, and a changeup.
I’ve always seen Staumont as a reliever. The results so far this year confirm that thought even more.
Photo Credits: MLB.com