Minor League Minutes: 5/3/18

Another friendly reminder to check out our Royals prospects rankings index to get caught up on the next wave of talent coming to Kansas City.

Sean Thornton of Royals Review looks at why the Royals should take a cue from Jorge Soler.

So far Soler has 18 walks in his 24 games, putting him 6th in the American league for his total and 11th in actual walk rate. His rate currently sits at 18.2%, which if he was able to maintain it would give him the second highest walk rate among qualified batters in Royals history, just a smidgen above Darrell Porter’s 17.8% back in 1979.

For a brief moment, Mike Moustakas was slated to make his first career start at first base. Sadly, changes prevented that from happening.

There was some speculation that perhaps Moose is playing third to showcase him for a potential trade, showing off some positional versatility. Moose started his professional career at shortstop, but has played third base exclusively ever since his second year of minor league baseball.

Over at Dynasty Guru, I took a peek at the mammoth April Jorge Soler had.

I doubt his 18.1% BB-rate is sustainable, but I’m fairly confident that he can consistently maintain a high rate as the season goes on. Not to mention, he’s batting in a Royals lineup that ranks dead-last in the majors in runs scored. The run producing abilities aren’t likely going to be much, but being one of the few above-average hitters in that lineup should bode well for his on-base abilities.

Kyle Lohse appeared in his first game since 2016, getting the start for the Omaha Storm Chasers yesterday.

“It’s the first time I’ve seen him,” Poldberg said. “I thought he was around the plate and stayed down in the zone well. I think he was just to 72 or 73 pitches (in spring training) so we got over that a little bit.”

Over at BP Kansas City, Clint Scoles profiles one of the top MLB Draft prospects for 2018 in 3B Nolan Gorman.

This player checks plenty of boxes in his evaluation as a third baseman with big-time future and present power. Despite not turning 18 years old until May, the body already looks well developed and should gets stronger as he ages and matures further down the line. The power is near the top of the scale in this draft among his peers, grading as a high as a 70 among scouts. As you can see with this swing on a 96 MPH fastball on the inner half against Mason Denaburg, the swing isn’t big or jerky, he can keep it smooth while bringing his hands in.

Baseball America released an updated version of their top 100. ($)

Scouting Report: Kopech’s calling card is his top-of-the-scale fastball, which sits in the upper 90s and regularly touches 100 mph with armside run and downhill plane. It’s an elite pitch, but he overthrows it at times. The White Sox asked Kopech to add a two-seam fastball to induce more grounders and help teach him not to overthrow. He boasts a slider that projects as a future plus pitch, as well as an average low-90s changeup the White Sox encouraged him to throw more. Kopech still needs to iron out his delivery in order to improve his below-average command and control.


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