Here at Royals Farm Report, we spend an absurd amount of time looking forward to the future and researching prospects that we think can help out the big league club. So, since there currently isn’t any Minor League baseball going on until the Arizona Fall League starts up later today, I’m going to take my best guess at what the Royals lineup will look like in 2023 using only current Royals (or Royals free agents) and current Royals prospects. The reason I chose 2023 is because current players like Raul Mondesi, Whit Merrifield, Scott Alexander, and Jorge Bonifacio will be free agents at the end of the 2022 season.
- CF – Michael Gigliotti
- SS – Raul Mondesi
- 1B – Nick Pratto
- LF – Seuly Matias
- DH – Eric Hosmer
- 3B – Hunter Dozier
- RF – Khalil Lee
- 2B – Gabriel Cancel
- C – MJ Melendez
Bench: Sebastian Rivero, Donnie Dewees Jr., Nicky Lopez, Samir Duenez
SP – Danny Duffy, Jake Junis, Foster Griffin, Evan Steele, Sal Biasi
RP – Richard Lovelady, Grant Gavin, Miguel Almonte, Josh Staumont, Erik Skoglund, Scott Blewett, Charlie Neuweiler
Let’s make a few observations:
- I don’t know how Chase Vallot fits into KC’s future. There are plenty of people that are really high on Vallot. They have good reason to be. I am not one of those people. His bat plays well as a catcher but the Royals have a couple of guys that I like better than Vallot behind the plate. I honestly think Vallot may have more value to KC as trade bait than as a future catcher. Could he DH? Sure, but his bat gets watered down severely as soon as he stops catching.
- It’s almost impossible to peg the bullpen. I promised to only use guys that are currently Royals or Royals prospects so that’s what I did. If the Royals never added another arm, this is who I think would fill out the bullpen/rotation.
- There are some guys that I think will get contract extensions from KC. Duffy, Hosmer, and Mondesi are all guys who I think KC will look to extend when their contracts are up. Yes, I think Hosmer stays in KC.
- Yes, I do think Josh Staumont and Miguel Almonte become permanent bullpen arms eventually. The Royals aren’t ready to give up on them as starters yet, and they shouldn’t be, but I don’t see it for either of them as starters. They both have incredible arms capable of reaching the upper-90s. They both have great off speed offerings, Almonte the changeup and Staumont the curveball. But neither of them locate the ball well enough to start at the Major League level. If something changes, then maybe, but just based on what I’ve seen from them so far, look for them to be a part of a DOMINANT bullpen in KC with Grant Gavin and Richard Lovelady.
- Erik Skoglund also doesn’t project as a starter for this team in my opinion. Skoglund had an incredible debut outing in KC this season. He’s a lanky lefty that could certainly develop into a 4-5 starter, but he’s got some serious work to do before I peg him as a starter for the distant future.
- I am really excited for the future of this Royals lineup. If I were to be right about that starting 9 (there is a 0% chance I get them all right), then the Royals future looks mighty bright. I think Michael Gigliotti is going to be a stud in CF for this team, and that outfield as a whole looks spectacular.
- I’m excited about Evan Steele. His stuff is absolutely filthy and I think he’s got the brains and control to make it as a big league starter.
- The Royals 2017 draft class as a whole seems like a pretty good pitcher’s class. Charlie Neuweiler, Sal Biasi, Evan Steele, and Daniel Tillo are all guys who I think are capable of reaching the big leagues.
What do you think, Royals fans?