Comparing MLB Pipeline’s top 30 prospects with our own

MLB Pipeline released their top 30 Royals prospects yesterday, along with the rest of the AL Central (excluding the White Sox who will be featured in MLB’s top 10). Most of the top 30 was pretty well expected, with the exception of one pitcher at #14. Let’s compare MLB Pipeline’s list with our own here at Royals Farm Report.

MLB Pipeline:

  1. Khalil Lee
  2. Nick Pratto
  3. Seuly Matias
  4. MJ Melendez
  5. Michael Gigliotti
  6. Nicky Lopez
  7. Hunter Dozier
  8. Eric Skoglund
  9. Scott Blewett
  10. Foster Griffin
  11. Emmanuel Rivera
  12. Miguel Almonte
  13. Josh Staumont
  14. Carlos Hernandez
  15. Trevor Oaks
  16. Donnie Dewees Jr.
  17. Burch Smith
  18. Ryan O’Hearn
  19. Meibrys Viloria
  20. Richard Lovelady
  21. Daniel Tillo
  22. Jeison Guzman
  23. Gabriel Cancel
  24. Heath Fillmyer
  25. Andres Machado
  26. Evan Steele
  27. Chase Vallot
  28. Yefri del Rosario
  29. Janser Lara
  30. Gerson Garabito

Royals Farm Report

  1. Nick Pratto
  2. Khalil Lee
  3. Seuly Matias
  4. Hunter Dozier
  5. MJ Melendez
  6. Foster Griffin
  7. Donnie Dewees Jr.
  8. Nicky Lopez
  9. Richard Lovelady
  10. Trevor Oaks
  11. Brad Keller
  12. Gabriel Cancel
  13. Evan Steele
  14. Scott Blewett
  15. Josh Staumont
  16. Heath Fillmyer
  17. Ryan O’Hearn
  18. Eric Skoglund
  19. Michael Gigliotti
  20. Samir Duenez
  21. Chase Vallot
  22. Yefri del Rosario
  23. Miguel Almonte
  24. Emmanuel Rivera
  25. Elier Hernandez
  26. Daniel Tillo
  27. Burch Smith
  28. Gerson Garabito
  29. Meibrys Viloria
  30. Kyle Zimmer


1.) Samir Duenez belongs on this list somewhere. You may get tired of seeing this, but I’m going to post it again because it’s impressive.

  • At age 17 in the Rookie League, where the average age is 19.4, Duenez posted a 103 wRC+.
  • At age 20 in Low-A, where the average age is 21.2, Duenez posted a 108 wRC+.
  • At age 20 in High-A, where the average age is 22.4, Duenez posted a 132 wRC+.
  • At age 21 in AA, where the average age is 23.8, Duenez posted a 95 wRC+.

Samir Duenez is just one year removed from posting a 132 wRC+ in a league in which he was 2 years younger than the league average. He had a torrid beginning of the season at AA, and looked like he ought to be on his way to AAA by the end of June. The problem was that Ryan O’Hearn and Frank Schwindel were both enjoying tremendous success at AAA and there was a logjam at first base.

Duenez did not end the season at well at AA. He hit .233 in the second half of the season and his OBP dropped from .330 in the first half to .277 in the second half. Maybe Duenez got complacent, maybe the league adjusted to him, maybe he just hit too many ground balls and his BABIP came back to earth. What ever the case may be, Duenez raked to begin the year and looked great in 2016 as well. He’s still 21 years old and has already done a season plus at AA. He doesn’t hit a ton of home runs (yet), but there’s still time to make adjustments. With a hot start to 2018, I’d like to see Duenez begin to take at bats from O’Hearn and Schwindel at AAA Omaha.

2.) Carlos Hernandez at number 14 surprised the heck out of me. I like Hernandez. I think he has a ton of upside. He’s 6′ 5″, throws in the mid-90’s, and struck out 62 batters in 62.1 IP last season with rookie league Burlington. In 12 appearances (11 starts) he produced an ERA of 5.49 (4.89 FIP) and a K/BB ratio of 2.30. He has a chance to break out this season at Lexington and we probably have him ranked far too low at Royals Farm Report (currently have him at 100). That being said, I’m not sure how you rank him ahead of Daniel Tillo, Burch Smith, or Richard Lovelady. Maybe there’s something there that we haven’t seen. I hope we’re in for a great surprise in 2018 with Hernandez.

3.) The top 3-5 Royals prospects are pretty interchangeable. Seuly Matias and Khalil Lee have some crazy high ceilings. Nick Pratto and MJ Melendez have some pretty high floors. Hunter Dozier hit 23 home runs in 2016 and is knocking on the door of regular big league action. I’m not sure Melendez and Dozier are options for number one, but as far as your top five go, I’d really have a hard time telling you you were wrong for putting those five in your preferred order.

4.) I am admittedly higher on Foster Griffin than most. I am admittedly not as high on Eric Skoglund than most. With that being said, the Royals have a decent little trio of arms in MLB Pipeline’s top 10. We have Skoglund at 18 due to a lack of pure stuff and a bit of struggles in the big leagues, but a rotation consisting of Danny Duffy, Jake Junis, Eric Skoglund, Foster Griffin, and Scott Blewett has the chance to become real in the next 2-3 years. That would be an entire rotation that was home grown. It wouldn’t be a very good rotation, but it could be possible nonetheless, and that’s impressive.

5.) MLB Pipeline and ourselves effectively swapped Gabriel Cancel and Emmanuel Rivera on our lists. MLB Pipeline appears to favor the contact skills of Rivera to the power stroke of Cancel. Only six months apart in age, Cancel and Rivera will be a lot of fun to watch on the infield at High-A Wilmington this summer. We love second basemen that can hit, which is why we gave the nod to Cancel, but this pair together gives KC a bright future on the infield.

2 thoughts on “Comparing MLB Pipeline’s top 30 prospects with our own

  1. Pingback: Minor League Minutes: 2/23/18 | Royals Farm Report

  2. Pingback: Predictions for MLB Pipeline’s top 30 Royals prospects | Royals Farm Report

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