As many of you by now know, the Atlanta Braves got into some hot water this offseason and were forced to release 12 prospects into free agency. The gem of the group is SS Kevin Maitan, but there were plenty of other good pieces to be had from the Braves mess.
The Kansas City Royals have made a move to sign one of these former prospects, on the first day that they became available to other teams. It was announced today that the Royals have signed RHP Yefri del Rosario for $650K. Rosario is an 18-year old from the Dominican Republic who stands 6′ 2″ and weighs 180 pounds. He spent most of the 2017 season as a 17-year old in the rookie Gulf Coast League. The Royals don’t have a team in the GCL, but it is roughly comparable to the Arizona League as far as being the low man on the minor league totem pole.
In 2017, Rosario threw 5 innings in the DSL, striking out 7 and posting an ERA of 1.80. Rosario was quickly promoted and threw 32.1 innings in the GCL, striking out 29, walking 10, and posting an ERA of 3.90.
Rosario will spend the entire 2018 season as an 18-year old, and I expect him to either pitch in rookie league Burlington, or the Arizona League with the Surprise Royals. Either way, the signing of Rosario is a power move of sorts from an organization that is desperate for talented SP prospects.
Rosario will be a lot of fun to watch next summer. He will probably immediately shake up the Royals prospect lists, and has a chance to climb way up the ladder with a solid 2018 campaign. This seems to be a great signing for Dayton Moore and the Kansas City Royals.