Holding down second-base for the Royals Low-A affiliate, the Lexington Legends, is a prospect that has intrigued me this season. His name is Gabriel Cancel, recently ranked as the Royals #25 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, and he has busted onto the prospect radar. Possibly the Royals best second-base prospect, Cancel just missed our top 30 at Royals Farm Report.
Drafted in the 7th round of the 2015 draft out of Puerto Rico, Cancel got his first sniff of pro ball with the AZL Royals quickly. He struggled though, posting an wRC+ of 84 and striking out in 29.3% of his at-bats. Cancel returned to the scene in 2016 with Burlington, flashing his skills, hitting .291/.346/.494.
Now in full-season ball with Lexington this year, Cancel has looked better than ever. He’s hitting .283/.323/.483 on the year, but even more impressively has hit .412/.436/.745 (!) in July.
The big thing on Cancel is that he flashes elite power for a second baseman. He has plus-athleticism and amazing bat speed that allows him to harness this. He has a swing that can play for some serious power.
Defensively, Cancel receives mixed reviews. Drafted as a shortstop, Cancel moved to second-base wher he flashes average-speed, an average-arm, and decent range. With more time at second, I could easily envision him becoming an adequate second baseman in the field.
Call me a fan of Cancel. He’s a second-baseman that can hit and provide you with at least average play on the right-side. His plate discipline does need to improve though (12th lowest K/BB ratio in Sally league), but he’s still only 20 years old. But overall, I think he’s a guy to keep an eye on.