The Royals officially set the rosters for their minor league affiliations. We’re drawing closer to minor league season. Get excited.
First baseman Nick Pratto, the Royals’ first-round pick from 2018, will begin his season at Lexington, the A-ball affiliate in the South Atlantic League. Also from that draft is catcher M.J. Melendez and outfielder Michael Gigliotti in the lineup for the Legends. Outfielder Seuly Matias, considered one of the best pure-power hitters in the system will join them in the lineup. Garrett Davila, Daniel Tillo, and Nolan Watson are among the pitchers to keep an eye on.
Over at Royals Review, I looked at some velocity concerns with Danny Duffy.
A Danny Duffy that sits at 94-95 MPH can be an imposing pitcher for major league hitters. A Danny Duffy that sits at 90-91 MPH… not so much. The exit velocity numbers line right up with that statement, as out of the 97 games Duffy has appeared in since the start of 2015, his average exit velocity on Thursday ranked… you guessed it… 97th.
Clint Scoles of KC Baseball Prospectus breaks down the minor league rosters throughout organization.
Best Bullpen – Omaha Storm Chasers
This one is an easy call when you consider it might even be better than the current major league pen. One of the Royals top prospects, Richard Lovelady (9), will help front this pen that will also feature fireballing Josh Staumont (17), who finally makes the move that should help accelerate any chance he may have in making it to Kansas City. Coming back to Omaha will be Kevin Lenik (28), Kevin McCarthy, Eric Stout (21) and Seth Maness. Rounding out the bullpen is Mike Broadway, who is coming off an impressive spring with the major league club, and Wily Peralta after clearing waivers.
Stuart Allard of FanSided’s Kings of Kauffman goes back in time with a Royals draft flashback, focusing on the years 1983-1987.
Was it nepotism or instinct? Either way, the Royals’ choosing Brian McRae (son of Hal) in the first round gave fans very little to complain about. His average and speed carried some otherwise so-so Royals teams in the early 1990s. McRae was a workhorse who put up respectable stats in a 10-year Major League career.
McRae didn’t make it to The Show until 1990, but this draft is best remembered for having six of the first eight picks see Major League action with less than one year of (if any) pro experience. Eight years after Dan Marino and John Elway took a pass, future NFL Hall of Famer Deion Sanders was chosen by KC in the sixth round. Prime Time opted to go to Florida State, and the rest is hot-dogging history. The only other Royals pick of note was Mike Macfarlane in the fourth round.
The Royals need to give consistent playing time to Jorge Soler.
At this point, why wouldn’t the Royals be playing Jorge Soler every day? He’s not going to get better sitting on the bench and the Royals have TWO MORE YEARS of club control on him. Get him some at bats no matter how bad it gets.
Clinton Riddle of Minor League Ball gives a great breakdown of the 2018 Lexington Legends roster.
Carlos Hernandez comes to Lexington with a fastball that peaks at 96-97 and a K/9 ratio just a shade under 9 in 2017 with Burlington at age twenty. He comes to a pitcher’s park in Lexington, and with some physical projection remaining (6’4”, 175), he could push his velocity into the high-90’s, and soon.