Christmas is right around the corner as 2017 comes winding to an end. With just 7 days left before December 25, the crew here at Royals Farm Report is going to go through some of our Christmas wish lists. Wish lists may include players that we want Kansas City to acquire via trade or free agency, or things we’d like to see from Royals prospects in 2017. Feel free to tweet us @RoyalsFarm on Twitter with your own wish list!
I’ve said it before during our prospect ranking articles, but Rudy Martin may be the best Royals prospect that you’ve never heard of. Owning a career slash line of .284/.393/.416/.809 in the minor leagues, Rudy Martin has a chance to climb into the Royals top 20 if he plays a full season in 2018.
It happens in every organization. You get a player that displays everything you want to see from a prospect, but that guy just can’t stay healthy. The Royals have a couple of those guys, the big name that people immediately think about is Kyle Zimmer. Kyle Zimmer throws in the upper-90’s with a hammer for a curveball and was a first round draft pick once-upon-a-time. Royals fans would be ecstatic if he could find a way to put together a healthy season.
You ought to feel that way about Rudy Martin too. Debuting in 2015, Martin lit the AZL on fire by posting an OPS of 1.018 with 14 SB in 40 games. Martin wasn’t nearly as good in 2016, posting an OPS of .668 in 41 games with Idaho Falls, but he only played 46 games in the entire season. Then to begin the 2017 campaign, Martin posted an OPS of .768 in 37 games with the Low-A Lexington Legends, before an injury once again derailed his season.
Rudy Martin reminds me a lot of Andrew Toles who played for the Dodgers. He bats left handed, he’s not very big (listed at 5′ 7″) and he doesn’t hit for much power (career SLG% .416). But what Rudy Martin does really well are two things: get on base, and steal bases.
His defense in the outfield combined with his speed allow him to play multiple outfield positions well. The bat is advanced enough that he should be able to start the 2018 campaign in the outfield at High-A Wilmington with Michael Gigliotti and Khalil Lee. That outfield trio would be a nightmare for opposing hitters and pitchers alike.
For Christmas this year I want to see Rudy Martin stay healthy for a full season, because I believe he could very well be the Royals most underrated prospect.