MLB.com released their Top 30 Prospect List for the Kansas City Royals organization on Monday afternoon. Kansas City still does not have a Top 100 Prospect in baseball, even as the Royals received a new No.1 in the system, 2017 first round draft pick Nick Pratto.
Before I dive into MLB’s most recent rankings, let’s quickly compare their Top 30 with the Top 30 list here at Royals Farm Report:
- Nick Pratto
- Khalil Lee
- MLB- Hunter Dozier RFR- Miguel Almonte
- MLB- Seuly Matias RFR- Chase Vallot
- MLB- Eric Skoglund RFR- Hunter Dozier
- MLB- Foster Griffin RFR- Seuly Matias
- MLB- Scott Blewett RFR- Josh Staumont
- MLB- Miguel Almonte RFR- Richard Lovelady
- MLB- Jake Junis RFR- Foster Griffin
- MLB- Josh Staumont RFR- Scott Blewett
- MLB- MJ Melendez RFR- Samir Duenez
- MLB- Nicky Lopez RFR- Ryan O’Hearn
- MLB- AJ Puckett RFR- Jake Junis
- MLB- Chase Vallot RFR- Donnie Dewees
- MLB- Samir Duenez RFR- Eric Skoglund
- MLB- Ryan O’Hearn RFR- Nicky Lopez
- MLB- Kyle Zimmer RFR- Meibrys Viloria
- MLB- Emmanuel Rivera RFR- AJ Puckett
- MLB- Meibrys Viloria RFR- Michael Gigliotti
- MLB- Donnie Dewees RFR- Kyle Zimmer
- MLB- Marten Gasparini RFR- Chris DeVito
- MLB- Daniel Tillo RFR- Sebastian Rivero
- MLB- Michael Gigliotti RFR- Corey Toups
- MLB- Evan Steele RFR- Yunior Marte
- MLB- Gabriel Cancel RFR- Corey Ray
- MLB- Richard Lovelady RFR- Ramon Torres
- MLB- Anderson Miller RFR- Jeison Guzman
- MLB- Nolan Watson RFR- Rudy Martin
- MLB- Garrett Davila RFR- Gerson Garabtio
- MLB- Jeison Guzman RFR- Bubba Starling
One thing I think you’ll notice right off the bat is how many common names their are on that list in the top 20. MLB.com was more willing to show love to some of the guys in the AZL than we were, but I definitely expect Melendez, Steele, Miller, Tillo and Cancel to climb our ranks rather quickly.
One of the biggest differences in rankings between MLB.com and our rankings here at Royals Farm Report involve the love shown toward Richard Lovelady.
Richard Lovelady has been downright nasty in the minor leagues this season. The lefty is sporting a 1.15 ERA in the minors in 2017, with 58 K in only 47 IP. He’s only walked 8.
Maybe the most impressive thing about Lovelady this season isn’t that he’s sat in the mid-upper 90’s, but that he is still working on developing a slider. Throwing 97 from the left side is fantastic, but pitchers usually require at least one other dominant pitch to see the success that Lovelady is having. Lovelady’s crazy arm whip in the back side of his delivery creates a problem for hitters that really disrupts their ability to see the ball.
I truly believe that if Lovelady can find a way to get his slider going, quickly, he’s a guy you’re going to see in Kansas City in September. My prediction: Lovelady gets promoted to Omaha in the next week, and then joins the Royals bullpen when rosters expand in September. His stuff could play a major impact down the stretch for the Boys in Blue.
Another thing that I find to be interesting in regards to the two prospect lists is the players at the very top of the list. MLB.com appears to agree with us that Pratto and Lee belong at the top of the list for the Kansas City system, which brings up this question:
Will Nick Pratto and Khalil Lee crack the MLB Top 100 Prospects list in 2018?
The Kansas City Royals currently do not have any prospects in the top 100 according to MLB. Part of this is due to the fact that Raul Mondesi Jr. is no longer eligible for prospect status. You can be certain that if Raul Mondesi had spent all year in the minors in 2017, he would be in the top half of the list, if not in the top 25.
Nick Pratto and Khalil Lee may hold hope for the Royals in 2018, however.
Pratto is a guy who was raved for his bat coming out of high school. He’s been compared to Brendan McKay and Joey Votto, giving Royals fans a reason to be extremely excited for their 2017 first round pick.
Khalil Lee is a guy though who I think could make the biggest jump in the rankings going into next year. Currently slashing a line of .239/.347/.433/.780 with 13 HR and 17 SB. All of this in spite of the fact that he’s hit a measly .188 in the month of June with only 1 HR. He’s more than outperformed his age at Low-A this year as a 19-year old, and has given the Royals braintrust a reason to be really excited for the young outfielders future. Lee’s outrageous BB% and speed/power combo are tools that not many 19-year olds flash at Low-A, and I think he probably has a spot in the MLB Top 100 next year if he can bust out of his current July slump. Read more about Lee here.
One other name that caught my eye on MLB’s list of the Royals top 30 prospects was Marten Gasparini.
Gasparini has struggled a little bit in his time in the Royals organization, but has recently found success at the plate. Some of that may have to do with a move that Gasparini made, moving from SS to CF defensively. The 20-year switch hitter from Italy has hit .302 in the month of July, rallying from a miserable April to get his average up to .257 on the season. Gasparini is a guy that I am really high on, as I think he could be a really solid, toolsy outfielder for the Royals in the future. Expect him to be on our list sometime soon. Read more about Gasparini here.
New guys are constantly putting themselves on the prospect radar. So much can change from month to month depending on trades, signings, the draft, what have you. The Royals don’t have a ton of guys with national recognition, but the fact that MLB.com and ourselves have most of the same names in our top 20 prospect rankings means there’s at least some consistency and expectations within the Royals organization. 2018 may tell an entirely different story, but I hope you’ve enjoyed our analysis on the Royals prospects so far in 2017.
Tweet us at @RoyalsFarm on Twitter with your thoughts on all things Royals and prospects!