Minor League Minutes: 4/19/18

Reminder to check out our Royals prospects rankings while they are still relevant!

Over at Royals Review, Ryan Heffernon asks why Cam Gallagher isn’t playing more in Salvador Perez’s absence.

You could also make the very strong case that Gallagher is outright better, or at least has more short term upside, than Butera. ZiPS has liked Gallagher more from the beginning, even with a projected .586 OPS that seems unlikely. However, we know this isn’t about their actual ability. Neither of them are going to be productive at the major league level this season. It does reflect on the Royals history of weird roster decisions.

Then Sean Thornton writes that the Royals are actually hitting the ball well, they just aren’t getting enough luck.

We’ve seen a number of shifts on the Royals this year and I personally have seen a number of pulled balls scorched off the bat right to a defender in the early part of the season (with Soler’s blast to third base on Opening Day instantly flashing in my mind). But the Royals have actually been hitting the ball to the opposite field at a nice 26.8% clip so far this year, good enough for 6th in the league. They also aren’t pulling the ball as much, just 39.5%, which is 13th in the AL.

Over at Kings of Kauffman, Tyler Dierking thinks that consistent playing time has helped Jorge Soler.

When you look at the difference between consistent play and erratic play, he is two different players. He does not seem to be a hitter that will bat .300 in a season, but if he showcases his potential freakish power (an average exit velocity of 91.67 mph compared to the MLB average of 88.77 mph) while hitting .260 to .270 then the Royals can’t really complain.

A must read, Eric Longenhagen and Kiley McDaniel put together their updated 2018 MLB Draft Rankings.

After a slow start, Eierman is now tearing the cover off the ball and has some of the better exit velos in the class. He projects to third base in a vacuum due to mediocre lateral range, which probably means half-a-dozen orgs would probably be fine with him playing shortstop.

Rockies reliever Adam Ottavino has had a monster start to his 2018 season, so Jeff Sullivan went ahead and wrote about it.

At a certain point, batters are going to catch on. Expectations start to change when pitchers give batters a reason to change their expectations. But at least for now, Ottavino is catching the world by surprise, and as long as he’s locating as well as he is, he’s going to be the successful reliever he was before last season’s disappointment. The nightmare of 2017 is now a distant memory. Present Ottavino is thriving by flipping slider usage on its head. If and when batters adjust to that, Ottavino will be ready to adjust right back. As such, Adam Ottavino is firmly in control of his outings.

John Sickels of Minor League Ball reviews one of the top arms in the 2018 MLB Draft in Kumar Rocker.

The second pitch is a plus slider, a “wipeout” pitch in the mid-80s according to MLB.com. Rocker also has a change-up, which needs more consistency but is promising enough that scouts project him as a starting pitcher. His command is better than that of most young power pitchers and his mound presence is a plus.

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