Minor League Minutes: 3/22/18

Make sure to check out our top 100 Royals prospects list.

The Royals will have their fair share of draft picks in this upcoming MLB Draft, so get caught up with the MLB Draft prospects of 2018 with our draft coverage.

Sean Thornton of Royals Review names five things to keep an eye on with the 2018 Royals.

Last year the Royals were forced to use Onelki GarciaLuke Farrell and even Travis Wood for five starts when all three should have never started a game. A healthy rotation would put less stress on the bullpen while also giving the team a strength that was evident in the early parts of 2017. For the Royals to not be basement dwellers this season, they need their starters to post more time on the mound than in the trainer’s room.

Kings of Kauffman interviews Royals prospect Nicky Lopez.

Q: You played in three different leagues last season, spending time at Wilmington, Northwest Arkansas and in the Arizona Fall League. How do you handle being moved through the minor leagues so aggressively?

A: “When I was drafted, like every other player, the main goal is to get to the Big Leagues and stay there. Being able to play at Wilmington, Northwest Arkansas, and the Arizona Fall League was something that I set out to do. It was just that much more of a blessing that I was able to do it in my first full season with the Kansas City Royals. So the way that I deal with being moved pretty fast is to just not make it seem bigger than it is.”

They also interviewed first base slugger Ryan O’Hearn.

Q: Despite having produced at a solid level in AAA last season, you were demoted for the final month or so of the season. How did you handle it?

A: “I was actually given an option to go down at the end of the season or not. We had players coming off of the major league DL who needed at-bats in Omaha, so there was going to be a roster crunch. JJ [Piccolo] basically gave me the option to either stay in Omaha and play about 3 times a week to finish the season, or head to Arkansas to play every day and help that team in the playoffs.

Britt Zank of KC Kingdom talks about how Frank Schwindel is tearing the cover off the ball recently in Spring Training.

Schwindel has little to prove in the minors at this point. He’s played at all three levels and been successful at each. He’s won the highest award a hitter can win in the minors and been one of the best hitters in Spring training this year. Even if he doesn’t make the opening day roster, it appears his all star spring training has put him squarely into the Royals future plans. I would be shocked if Schwindel isn’t getting regular playing time in the majors sooner rather than later in 2018.

Clint Scoles of KC Baseball Prospectus put out some notes for a few MLB Draft prospects.

Live View – Saturday I checked out Wichita State versus Creighton at the cavern known as TD Ameritrade stadium in Omaha. While I was interested in the two Shockers possible early round picks I came away more impressed with the battery the Blue Jays ran out there in Ryan Tapani and Michael Emodi. Despite nothing out of his hand is more than average, Tapani attacked the zone relentlessly with his 109 pitches, getting mostly soft contact on the day while allowing six hits in 7.1 innings. There isn’t a truly dominant pitch from his hand but he mixes well and throws four pitches for strikes in a fastball, change, curve, and slider.

The Royals aren’t looking so good in the dead money department


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