2017 Royals Prospect Rankings: 70-61

This is the fourth piece of the second edition of Royals Farm Report’s Prospect Rankings; as we came out with our first top 30 list in July. We’ve expanded our horizons on these rankings, deciding to come out with a top 100 list. This post will cover 70-61 in our rankings. Enjoy!


Our method for determining our top 100 Royals prospects came from an aggregate of three separate top 100 lists. These lists were compiled by three members of our writing staff: Patrick Brennan, Alex Duvall, and Drew Osborne.

70. Manny Olloque, 1B

DOB: May 11, 1996

B/T: R/R

Levels Played, 2017: Low-A

Acquired: 16th Round of the 2014 MLB Draft

ETA: 2022?

2017 Stats: .244/.306/.353/.659, 6 HR, 44 RBI, 6 SB, 65 AB

Manny Olloque had very much an “eh” season in 2017, much like he did back in 2015. In 2014 and 2016, however, Olloque put up OPS’ of .785 and .867, respectively. 2018 is an even year, so expect another good season from Olloque at High-A next year, I guess.

I wouldn’t have too many expectations for Olloque. He’s had a couple of nice seasons in his pro career (albeit one was in the hitter’s paradise Pioneer League), but his power numbers leave far too much to be desired from a corner infielder. His .353 SLG% last season as a 21-year old at Low-A was less than ideal, and his minimal tally of 6 HR wasn’t great either. Olloque shows flashes of power, but doesn’t flash it near often enough.

In an organization full of talented first basemen like Ryan O’Hearn, Samir Duenez, and Nick Pratto, Olloque simply doesn’t do enough to stand out at the position. He may be better off moving to another position in order to continue advancing through the system.

69. Tim Hill, LHP

DOB: February 10, 1990

B/T: L/L

Levels Played, 2017: High-A & AA

Acquired: 32nd Round of the 2014 MLB Draft

ETA: 2019

2017 Stats (AA only): 4.17 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 75 K to 19 BB, 2 HRA, .168 BA against LHH, 69 IP

Tim Hill will probably never be considered a top prospect. He will more than likely fly under-the-radar until he reaches the big leagues, mostly due to his lack of an ability to get RHH out (.339 BAA RHH in 2017). However, Hill does have some value in the bullpen against LHH in his future.

Tim Hill has “lefty specialist” written all over him. Tim uses a funky delivery from the left side to make things hard on lefties. It is extremely difficult to pick up the ball out of his hand from the left side of the plate, and this is how Tim succeeds out of the ‘pen. His .168 BAA LHH in 2017 is how Hill is going to make his money down the road, and if he can continue to build on his success against LHH, he might be able to carve out a path to the big leagues some day.

68. Arnaldo Hernandez, RHP

DOB: February 9, 1996

B/T: R/R

Levels Played, 2017: Low-A, AAA

Acquired: International Free Agent Signing

ETA: 2020

2017 Stats (Low-A only): 3.63 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 58 K to 8 BB, 9 HRA, 57 IP

Arnaldo Hernandez is a guy I didn’t know much about until this season. A free agent signing out of Venezuela, the 21-year old enjoyed a fair amount of success in 2017. He had enough success, in fact, that the Royals moved him to AAA Omaha to help fill out the rotation in September this past season. In two starts for Omaha, Hernandez threw 10.1 innings, struck out six, and posted an ERA of just 1.74. Pretty good for a kid who’d never even pitched in High-A before.

Hernandez is a guy that I’m gonna keep my eye on next season. Traditional thinking suggests that he’ll probably start out as a 22-year old in High-A. With a great spring and after his performance in Omaha, he may be expedited to AA fairly soon in 2018, especially if he’s moved to the bullpen.

67. DJ Burt, 2B

DOB: October 13, 1995

B/T: R/R

Levels Played, 2017: High-A

Acquired: 4th Round of the 2014 MLB Draft

ETA: 2021

2017 Stats: .227/.347/.307/.654, 0 HR, 29 RBI, 32 SB, 101 K, 64 BB, 14.4% BB%, 22.7% K%, 0.79 ISO, 365 AB

A 4th round pick back in 2014, DJ Burt has had exactly one good season out of four professional seasons. That good season was in the well-known hitter’s paradise that is the Pioneer League. The Pioneer League is responsible for a lot of “only’s” in Burt’s career:

  • Only time his ISO was over .100 (.101)
  • Only time he hit better than .257 (.290)
  • Only time his OPS was over .675 (.784)
  • Only time his wRC+ was over 100 (110)

Burt has had a rough time with the bat in his hand for most of his career, but that does not mean he possess no offensive value. Burt knows how to take a walk, and steal bases, and he does both very well. Burt’s walk rate over the last three seasons is a combined 12.02%. That’s pretty dang good for a kid who just played an entire season as a 21-year old at High-A.

Burt’s eye, speed, and defense are going to have to be what carries him through the minor leagues. Unless he can miraculously find a way to start hitting for more power, he’s going to have a hard time advancing if any of his other tools decrease. With that being said, Burt does possess some tools that are intriguing, and I’ll have my eye on him throughout 2018.

gif (24).gif

66. Emilio Ogando, LHP

DOB: August 13, 1993

B/T: L/L

Levels Played, 2017: High-A, AA, AAA

Acquired: 12th Round of the 2014 MLB Draft

ETA: 2019

2017 Stats (AA only): 3.45 ERA, 4.44 FIP, 1.25 WHIP, 83 K to 36 BB, 15 HRA, 5.62 K/9, 2.44 BB/9, 133 IP in 23 starts

Emilio Ogando is a guy that I really like in this organization. He doesn’t have much that stands out at you. He pretty well pitches to contact and lets his defense make plays for him, which kind of explains why FIP doesn’t like him very much, but also explains why I really like him. I like it when pitcher’s have a sense of awareness about them. Ogando knows his strengths and plays to them without trying to do too much.

Ogando will spend most of next season as a 24-year old, presumably at AAA Omaha. To be honest with you, I can see Ogando filling in at the big leagues by the end of 2018 if there is some kind of injury on the Royals staff next year. He’s a guy that I think has a future as a big-league swingman or maybe 5th starter if he can stay healthy and keep getting weak contact. The lack of a dominant pitch may hamper Ogando’s development, but he’s a guy I’m kind of excited about heading into next spring.

gif (25).gif

65. Cristian Castillo, LHP

DOB: September 25, 1994

B/T: L/L

Levels Played, 2017: High-A

Acquired: International Free Agent Signing

ETA: 2020

2017 Stats: 4.13 ERA, 4.09 FIP, 1.43 WHIP, 105 K to 48 BB, 11 HRA, 6.67 K/9, 3.05 BB/9, 141.2 IP in 26 starts

Cristian Castillo caught my eye this summer in the middle of a streak that you can see in the tweet below. After doing a bit more research, Castillo appears to be a somewhat promising starter in the Royals organization. He made a huge jump from rookie league Burlington last year to High-A Wilmington this year, and will spend all of the 2018 season as a 23-year old, presumably at AA Northwest Arkansas.

Castillo is a guy that kind of reminds me of Emilio Ogando, mentioned above. A bit of a soft-throwing lefty who pitches to contact and let’s his defense work for him. Castillo will also be the same age next year that Ogando was at AA this year, so they’re just about on the same track through the organization.

One thing to keep in mind with Castillo: he had never thrown more than 72 innings in a professional season before this year. He threw 141.2 in 2017. His numbers deteriorated significantly as the 2017 season went on (2.80 ERA in the first half, 5.45 ERA in the second half). If he can condition himself for full seasons of professional baseball, and keep his ERA closer to 2.80 for a whole season, look out. Castillo has a chance to shoot way up the rankings next fall.

64. Andrew Beckwith, RHP

DOB: March 22, 1995

B/T: R/R

Levels Played, 2017: Rookie AZL, Rookie IDF

Acquired: 32nd Round of the 2017 MLB Draft

ETA: 2020

2017 Stats (IDF only): 2.55 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, 30 K to 8 BB, 0 HRA, 24.2 IP

Andrew Beckwith had a great rookie campaign, especially considering how hard it is to pitch in the Pioneer League. Strictly a reliever, it will be fun to see how Beckwith, a 2017 draft pick, develops in his second pro season next year. Expect Beckwith to wind up in either full season Low-A or High-A, and log around 60 innings out of the bullpen. He could be another Royals bullpen diamond in the rough.

63. Jacob Bodner, RHP

DOB: January 31, 1993

B/T: R/R

Levels Played, 2017: High-A

Acquired: 27th Round of the 2015 MLB Draft

ETA: 2020

2017 Stats: 3.29 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 70 K to 20 BB, 2 HRA, 54.2 IP

Jacob Bodner is another guy who projects as strictly a reliever. As you can probably see below, Bodner does a great job using his legs to drive the baseball, which is crucial for guys who need to throw the ball hard, often.

Bodner will be 25 before the 2018 campaign begins, and needs to advance through AA and AAA pretty quickly over the next season or two if he wants to have a career of any kind in the big leagues. From the video I’ve seen of Bodner, he has a big-league arm. His 70 K in 54.2 relief innings this past season suggest that he has the ability to be a big strikeout guy, but he’ll be relatively old for AA next year. I’d like to see Bodner pitch well enough to earn a mid-season promotion next year to encourage me about his future as a big leaguer.

gif (26).gif

62. Jake Newberry, RHP

DOB: November 20, 1994

B/T: R/R

Levels Played, 2017: AA & AAA

Acquired: 37th Round of the 2012 MLB Draft

ETA: 2018

2017 Stats (AA only): 2.13 ERA, 3.91 FIP, 1.26 WHIP, 33 K to 19 BB, .167 BAA RHH, 50.2 IP

Jake Newberry had an excellent year out of the bullpen for AA Northwest Arkansas this past season, and earned a late call-up to fill in for a depleted Omaha bullpen. Newberry is a guy that I think has a chance at pitching in KC next season out of the bullpen.

A dominant righty that’s extremely tough on RHH (.167 BAA), Newberry is a guy that has carved out a niche for himself in the bullpen. There’s an expected log-jam in front of him, but look for him to get a call-up no later than when rosters expand at the beginning of September.

gif (27).gif

61. Logan Moon, OF

DOB: February 15, 1992

B/T: R/R

Levels Played, 2017: AA & AAA

Acquired: 6th Round of the 2014 MLB Draft

ETA: 2018

2017 Stats (combined): .268/.309/.402/.711, 8 HR, 39 RBI, 6 SB, 115 K to 23 BB, 373 AB

Logan Moon had an interesting 2017. After struggling a bit in AA to begin the season (.631 OPS in AA this year) Moon was promoted to AAA to fill in for the injured Bubba Starling. At AAA, Moon cut down on his swing and simplified his approach at the plate and began to mash. In 107 AAA at-bats last year, Moon slashed .336/.368/.542/.910 with 4 HR. His performance at AAA will surely earn him a permanent promotion heading into 2018, where I expect the talented outfielder to spend the year (barring an injury at the big league level that would demand his services).

If Moon can continue to hit at the AAA level, there really isn’t a reason that he can’t be a 4th outfielder on a big league roster some day. He plays all three outfield positions very well and has a good arm to boot. Hopefully his simplified approach at the plate carries him to further success, because the local product (Blue Springs South High School grad) is a guy we will all be rooting for in Kansas City.

gif (28).gif

Photo Credits: Clinton Riddle

14 thoughts on “2017 Royals Prospect Rankings: 70-61

  1. Pingback: 2017 Royals Prospects Rankings: 60-51 | Royals Farm Report

  2. Pingback: 2017 Royals Prospect Rankings: 50-41 | Royals Farm Report

  3. Pingback: 2017 Royals Prospect Rankings: 40-31 | Royals Farm Report

  4. Pingback: 2017 Royals Prospect Rankings: 30-26 | Royals Farm Report

  5. Pingback: 2017 Royals Prospect Rankings: 25-21 | Royals Farm Report

  6. Pingback: 2017 Royals Prospect Rankings: 20-16 | Royals Farm Report

  7. Pingback: 2017 Royals Prospect Rankings: 15-11 | Royals Farm Report

  8. Pingback: 2017 Royals Prospect Rankings: 10-6 | Royals Farm Report

  9. Pingback: 2017 Royals Prospect Rankings: #5 | Royals Farm Report

  10. Pingback: 2017 Royals Prospect Rankings: #4 | Royals Farm Report

  11. Pingback: 2017 Royals Prospect Rankings: #3 | Royals Farm Report

  12. Pingback: 2017 Royals Prospect Rankings: #2 | Royals Farm Report

  13. Pingback: Royals Prospect Rankings Index | Royals Farm Report

  14. Pingback: Royals Prospect Rankings: #1 | Royals Farm Report

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s