Minor League Minutes: 4/5/2018

HAPPY MINOR LEAGUE OPENING DAY!!!

Just a friendly reminder to check out our top 100 prospect rankings. Lots of important information in there to help get you ready for the minor league season.

Yesterday, I started our team preview series, zoning in on the Royals Low-A affiliate, the Lexington Legends.

Rivaling with Wilmington for the best catching group in the organization, the Legends will feature two promising backstops in MJ Melendez and Sebastian Rivero. The Royals didn’t shy away from pushing 2017 second round pick MJ Melendez into full season ball, ignoring the 30.3% K% he posted in the AZL, rather looking at the impressive 121 wRC+. Melendez figures to spend most of the season in Low-A, but his development throughout the course of the season is definitely something to keep an eye on, being one of the higher-ceiling prospects in the whole organization. If he continues to slug like he did in his pro debut, a possible appearance on a top 100 list isn’t out of the question.

Alex followed this up with a preview of his, looking at the Royals High-A affiliate, the Wilmington Blue Rocks.

The aforementioned top prospect in the Royals system, according to MLB Pipeline, would be Khalil Lee. Khalil Lee has the best chance of any Royals prospect to crack the MLB Top 100 this season if he has a good performance at High-A. Last year with the Lexington Legends (Low-A), Lee slashed .237/.344/.430 with 17 HR and 20 SB on the campaign. His speed/power combo is probably the best in the organization, and his defense in right field ain’t so shabby either. Lee features what I expect to one day grade as a 65 arm in RF, as the former pitcher loves to let it fly from the outfield.

The Royals completed their recent transaction of removing Miguel Almonte off the 40-man roster, trading him to the Angels for a PTBNL or cash considerations.

As I have said before, in baseball terms, this move makes absolutely no sense. The Royals are not in a position to be letting young pitching talent go with no return. If the Royals needed the 40-man roster spot, there were other choices that seemed a better bet to clear waivers. Bubba Starling is also a candidate to go on the 60-day disabled list to open up a spot. And there should be little need to clear a 40-man roster spot in the first place for a journeyman 28-year old outfielder like Abraham Almonte.

Subsequently, Almonte was ranked as the #20 prospect in the Angels organization, according to MLB Pipeline.

Sean Thornton of Royals Review ask the question of what Jake Junis is doing is for real.

Junis’ ability to mix up his pitches has become a focal point of his arsenal and if he continues to do so he should be able to maintain his recent success. While his slider will get most of the glory and is the pitch with the most movement, it isn’t quite as lethal without a nice array of other pitches to set it up.

Clint Scoles of BP Kansas City looks at some of the local college prospects in this summer’s amateur draft.

The region includes some real talent in the college ranks this season, with a pair of teams carrying multiple draft prospects. I’ve already written a little about the pair of possible 1st round prospects in Alec Bohm and Greyson Jenista from Wichita State, but they’re not the only highly ranked pairing in the area. As with all of these profiles, I will continue to try to limit the looks to those who could possibly be selected by Royals. That means leaving out Jeremy Eierman as someone I feel won’t last past the Top 10-15 picks.

Cody Asche will not be playing for the Omaha Storm Chasers or Kansas City Royals this year. He was traded to the Yankees for cash considerations.

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