Predicting the Royals Minor League Rosters

With pitchers and catchers reporting to Arizona in less than a month, there are still plenty of questions to ask about the Royals for 2018 and beyond. There a still a lot of questions to be made about the makeup of the major league roster, which comes with a fair amount of questions yet to be answered for the farm system.

So with a lot of these roster questions unanswered, I decided to have some and put out an early prediction of what the minor league rosters will look like in the Royals organization. Note that a lot of this is just one big guess, but this post can still build up an idea of the talent these minor league teams will have to offer in 2018.

AAA – Omaha Storm Chasers

Position Player Age 2017 Levels
C Cam Gallagher 25 AAA, MLB
1B Ryan O’Hearn 24 AA, AAA
2B Erick Mejia 23 A+, AA
SS Nicky Lopez 22 A+, AA
3B Hunter Dozier 26 A+, AA, AAA
LF Cody Asche 27 AAA, MLB
CF Donnie Dewees 24 AA
RF Bubba Starling 25 AAA
DH Frank Schwindel 25 AA, AAA
C Allan de San Miguel 30 AA
OF Terrance Gore 25 AAA, MLB
2B/3B/OF Corey Toups 24 AA, AAA
SP Eric Skoglund 25 AAA, MLB
SP Sam Gaviglio 27 AAA, MLB
SP Trevor Oaks 24 AZL, Rookie, AAA
SP Scott Barlow 25 AA, AAA
SP Foster Griffin 22 A+, AA
RP Glenn Sparkman 25 AA, AAA
RP Jonathan Dziedzic 26 AAA
RP Kyle Zimmer 26 AAA
RP Pedro Fernandez 23 AA, AAA
RP Eric Stout 24 AAA
RP Richard Lovelady 22 A+, AA
RP Kevin Lenik 26 Rookie, A, AAA
RP Sam Selman 27 AA, AAA
  • The first thing I noticed when putting together a rough draft for this roster was that the pitching staff was clearly a strength for the Omaha Storm Chasers. It looks to be entertaining, with prospects filling out the rotation, such as Eric Skoglund, Trevor Oaks, Scott Barlow, and Foster Griffin. Then the bullpen looks fairly deep, with a lot of intriguing arms like Richard Lovelady, Kevin Lenik, Sam Selman, Kyle Zimmer, Eric Stout, Kevin McCarthy, and Glenn Sparkman.
  • With his terrific performance in the Arizona Fall League, I pinned Nicky Lopez for the shortstop position in Omaha. He would be playing in a place he is very familiar with, playing his college ball at Creighton University. I’m eager to see how his bat reacts to the hitter-friendly conditions of the Pacific Coast League.
  • Receiving very inconsistent playing time due to injury in 2017, expect Hunter Dozier to start the year in AAA. I wouldn’t imagine having a long stay though. If he hits moderately well there for a month or two, he seems destined to receive his fair-share of plate appearances with the major league roster.

AA – Northwest Arkansas Naturals

Position Player Age 2017 Levels
C Nick Dini 24 A, AA
1B Samir Duenez 21 AA
2B DJ Burt 22 A+
SS Humberto Arteaga 24 AA
3B Jack Lopez 25 AA, AAA
LF Logan Moon 25 AA, AAA
CF Brandon Downes 25 A+
RF Anderson Miller 23 A+, AA
DH Chase Vallot 21 A+
C Parker Morin 26 AZL, AA, AAA
OF Cody Jones 24 A+, AA
OF Elier Hernandez 23 A+, AA
OF Alfredo Escalera 22 AA
SP Josh Staumont 24 AA, AAA
SP Emilio Ogando 24 AA, AAA
SP Scott Blewett 21 A+
SP Zach Lovvorn 23 AA
SP Jared Ruxer 25 A+, AA
RP Corey Ray 25 AA
RP Jake Newberry 23 AA, AAA
RP Matt Tenuta 22 A+, AA
RP Jake Kalish 26 A+, AA, AAA
RP Grant Gavin 22 A, A+
RP Tim Hill 27 A+, AA
RP Yunior Marte 23 A+, AA
  • Some of the higher ranked prospects in the Royals organization will look to make a jump to the upper-levels of the minors in 2018. I’ve got Chase Vallot making the jump to AA, splitting time between DH and catcher with Nick Dini. Then I have Scott Blewett getting the promotion after a good 2017 season in Wilmington.
  • Expect Josh Staumont to start next year in AA, with the opportunity to be quickly promoted. He did perform slightly better after his demotion from AAA last year (6.28 ERA, 11.0 K/9, 7.5 BB/9 vs. 4.44 ERA, 8.3 K/9, 6.3 BB/9).
  • I found that the outfield in NWA should be very crowded next year. Between Logan Moon, Brandon Downes, Anderson Miller, Cody Jones, Alfredo Escalera, and Elier Hernandez, playing time will be at a premium for some of these players.
  • Grant Gavin looks to fill the void that Richard Lovelady left in the Naturals bullpen. He has more than earned it though, dominating in his first two seasons of professional baseball (49 G, 114.2 IP, 2.35 ERA, 9.7 K/9, 2.4 BB/9, 0.99 WHIP).

A+ – Wilmington Blue Rocks

Position Player Age 2017 Levels
C Meibrys Viloria 20 A
1B Chris DeVito 23 A, A+
2B Gabriel Cancel 21 A
SS Angelo Castellano 23 A
3B Emmanuel Rivera 21 A
LF Rudy Martin 22 A
CF Michael Gigliotti 21 Rookie, A
RF Khalil Lee 19 A
DH Kort Peterson 23 A, A+
C Darrell Miller 24 Rookie
2B/SS/3B John Brontsema 23 A, A+
OF Vance Vizcaino 23 Rookie, A
SP Gerson Garabito 22 AZL, A
SP Anthony Bender 22 A, A+
SP Cristian Castillo 23 A+
SP Daniel Tillo 21 AZL, Rookie
SP Jace Vines 23 A, A+, AAA
RP Colin Rodgers 24 A+
RP Arnaldo Hernandez 21 A, AAA
RP Tyler Zuber 22 Rookie, A
RP Gabe Cramer 23 A+
RP Franco Terrero 22 A+
RP Jose Veras 23 A, A+
RP Walker Sheller 22 A, A+, AA
RP Jacob Bodner 25 A+
  • The Wilmington Blue Rocks will be one of the more intriguing teams to watch down on the farm, with prospects such as Meibrys Viloria, Chris DeVito, Gabriel Cancel, Emmanuel Rivera, Michael Gigliotti, Rudy Martin, and Khalil Lee filling out the lineup.
  • One of my more aggressive predictions was placing Daniel Tillo in Wilmington. He’s an advanced arm that had a very stellar debut in Burlington last year, posting a 3.48 ERA, 3.57 FIP, 7.3 K/9, 1.7 BB/9, and 68.8% GB%.
  • I also went ahead and put 2017 sixth rounder Tyler Zuber in the Wilmington bullpen. He dominated in his first taste of professional baseball, posting a 2.16 ERA, 1.82 FIP, and 13.7 K/9.
  • I have Darrell Miller handling the backup catching duties for Wilmington. The UFA destroyed Pioneer League pitching, putting up a .376/.459/.554 line for Idaho Falls.

A – Lexington Legends

Position Player Age 2017 Levels
C MJ Melendez 19 Rookie
1B Nick Pratto 19 Rookie
2B Julio Gonzalez 22 Rookie
SS Oliver Nunez 22 Rookie
3B Tyler Straub 24 Rookie
LF Travis Jones 22 AZL, Rookie
CF Brewer Hicklen 21 AZL, Rookie
RF Seuly Matias 19 Rookie
DH Dennicher Carrasco 22 Rookie
C Chris Hudgins 21 Rookie
1B/3B Manny Olloque 21 A
2B/SS Matt Morales 21 Rookie
OF Amalani Fukofuka 22 Rookie, A
SP Nolan Watson 21 AZL, Rookie, A
SP Garrett Davila 21 A
SP Evan Steele 21 AZL
SP Holden Capps 22 AZL, Rookie
SP Sal Biasi 22 AZL, Rookie
RP JC Cloney 23 Rookie
RP Janser Lara 21 Rookie
RP Connor Mayes 21 AZL, Rookie
RP Yerelmy Garica 22 Rookie
RP Jordan Floyd 22 AZL, Rookie
RP Andrew Beckwith 22 AZL, Rookie
RP Matthew Wynne 24 A
  • This will be by far the most entertaining team in the Royals organization, possibly rostering three of the top five prospects for the Royals (Nick Pratto, MJ Melendez, Seuly Matias). It should be thoroughly entertaining to see how these guys handle their first full-seasons in professional ball.
  • There are also some interesting arms in the Legends rotation. 2017 second rounder Evan Steele will highlight the names, as the Royals will look to build up his workload after pitching only eight innings in the AZL last year.
  • Under-the-radar prospects Oliver Nunez and Dennicher Carrasco will likely move up to full-season. They both put up good seasons in Burlington last year, with Nunez hitting .321/.389/.421 and Carrasco hitting .288/.322/.500.

Photo Credits: Minda Haas Kuhlmann

2 thoughts on “Predicting the Royals Minor League Rosters

  1. A suggestion, this would be better for comments if broken up. There is a lot of things to talk about with each roster, but too much all together


  2. Pingback: Minor League Minutes: 2/12/18 | Royals Farm Report

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