We are one step closer to baseball season, as the Royals have announced the 19 players who will be filling out the Spring Training roster with those who are on the 40-man roster.
Getting to see prospects on the field with big leaguers can be one of the more entertaining parts of Spring Training. It makes for some interesting analysis and observations.
Pitchers and catchers will report to Spring Training on February 13th. The next day, the club will host its first workout. The rest of the team will show up on February 18th. The club will kick things off with a game against the defending NL Champion, the Los Angeles Dodgers on February 24th.
Here is some quick info on each player that received an invite.
Foster Griffin- RHP, Royals Farm Report #6 prospect, FB sits in the low-90s, CB and CH both sit around 80 MPH, good sinking action, profiles as more of a back-end starter.
Richard Lovelady- LHP, Royals Farm Report #9 prospect, funky sidearm delivery, mid-90s fastball, great slider, gets a surplus of strikeouts and ground balls, has ceiling of an impact reliever.
Glenn Sparkman- RHP, Royals Farm Report #54 prospect, has always posted stellar numbers (career 2.65 ERA, 9.0 K/9, 2.1 BB/9 in 268.1 IP), appeared in two major league games with the Blue Jays this year as a Rule 5 guy, later returned to the Royals, strikeouts were down in limited AA action this year, FB reaches mid-90s, solid changeup.
Josh Staumont- RHP, Royals Farm Report #14 prospect, stock is down after rough 2017 campaign (6.28 ERA, 6.47 FIP in AAA), upper-90s FB, CB is beautiful at times, still needs lots of work with control.
Nick Dini- Catcher, 5’8″ 180 lbs, Royals Farm Report #58 prospect, hit .302/.364/.403 across A and AA this year, also spent time in the Arizona Fall League.
Parker Morin- Catcher, 2012 14th round pick, career .226/.279/.325 line in the minors
Chase Vallot- Catcher, Royals Farm Report #19 prospect, big time power and OBP skills (career .226/.352/.433 line), but strikeouts are still an issue (career 34.9% K%), questions about if he can stick behind the plate or not.
Jack Lopez- Recently resigned Minor League free agent by the Royals, Royals Farm Report #77 prospect, advanced glove at 2B, SS, and 3B, bat still lags though
Nicky Lopez- SS/2B, Royals Farm Report #8 prospect, great approach at the plate, advanced glove, impressed in Arizona Fall League this year with a .383/.433/.568 line.
Ryan O’Hearn- 1B, Royals Farm Report #15 prospect, hit 22 home runs between AA and AAA, also has played a little outfield.
Frank Schwindel- 1B, Royals Farm Report #60 prospect, Royals Minor League Hitter of the Year after slashing .329/.349/.541 across AA and AAA, already 25-years-old though and posted a minuscule 2.5% BB% in AAA.
Terrance Gore- OF, he’s fast.
Humberto Arteaga- SS, Royals Farm Report #44 prospect, impressed with the glove last Spring Training and is probably one of the better defenders in the organization, but like his teammate Jack Lopez… the bat still lags.
Kevin Lenik- RHP, recently signed by the Royals out of independent Frontier League, was a college outfielder converted to pitcher, impressed in time with Omaha (1.88 ERA, 3.39 FIP, 9.00 K/9, 3.00 BB/9 in 24 innings).
Seth Maness- RHP, former big league pitcher with the St. Louis Cardinals, recently resigned by the Royals as a Minor League free agent, was really inconsistent out of Omaha bullpen last year (6.13 ERA, 4.74 FIP in 47 innings), extreme ground ball pitcher with low K-rates.
Donnie Dewees- OF, Royals Farm Report #7 prospect, acquired from the Chicago Cubs last year in swap for Alec Mills, speed is his game, arm in the OF has questions, hit well in AA this past year (.272/.340/.407), there could be more power than originally thought in his bat.
Mike Broadway- RHP, recently signed Minor League free agent, has appeared in 25 big league games with the Giants, bounced around Rays and Nationals organization this past year, increased velocity from low-90s to upper-90s.
Cody Asche- 3B/OF, another Royals Minor League free agent, hit .105 in 19 games with the White Sox last year, former prospect in the Phillies organization.
Erick Mejia- SS/2B, trade piece acquired from the Dodgers in the Scott Alexander/Joakim Soria deal, not great with the bat, but he did hit for a 117 wRC+ in AA last year, probably a high-end bench player at best.
In addition to announcing their Spring Training invites, the Royals put out a list of players that would be attending FanFest, including prospects Hunter Dozier, Kyle Zimmer, Eric Skoglund, and Scott Barlow.
Royals FanFest takes place on January 26th and 27th at the Kansas City Convention Center.
Photo Credits: Kansas City Star