Royals Farm Report 2018 Mid-Season Top 100: 80-71

Hello and welcome. It feels like forever since we did our first ever Top 100 list this winter. We’ll be updating our lists throughout the year to include new prospects, but we’ll vote on a new top 100 twice a year. One mid-season, one in the offseason. In case you missed our last top 100 segment, here is a link to every write up we did this winter. 

This season, our top 100 we’ll consist of an aggregate of four of our writers’ individual lists. We average the lists out to give you a consensus top 100. Without further ado, let’s get things rolling with 100-91.

Check out the rest of our list here:

100-91
90-81

80. Anthony Bender, RHP

DOB: 2/3/1995
B/T: 
R/R
Ht/Wt: 6’4″/205 lbs.
Levels Played, 2018: A+
Acquired: 2016 MLB Draft
ETA: 2021
2017 Stats (A+): 13 G, 61 IP, 4.72 ERA, 5.32 FIP, 41.4% GB%, 3.98 K/9, 4.28 BB/9

Anthony Bender is a bit of an interesting case. He handled Low-A very well in 2017 and had me pretty excited for his journey to High-A in 2018. He’s pitched okay in terms of giving up runs, but he nearly stopped striking people out. He had a K/9 of 9.08 in Low-A last season and that has plummeted in Wilmington. If he can start striking people out again, he’s serviceable. But it seems as if his stuff has not translated to the next level well yet. Still, Bender is a composed pitcher with a good feel for his stuff and isn’t far away from making adjustments that could move him back up the rankings.

79. Jon Heasley, RHP

DOB: 2/13/1999
B/T:
R/R
Ht/Wt: 6’3″/216 lbs.
Levels Played, 2018: College
Acquired: 2018 MLB Draft
ETA: 2021
2017 Stats (College): 15 G, 80 IP, 5.96 ERA, 8.89 K/9, 4.28 BB/9

Heasley is an intriguing draft pick out of Oklahoma State that signed for $247,500 in the 13th round this summer. The stuff is there, proven by Heasley’s semi-impressive K/9, it’s just a matter of control for the big right hander. If he learns to hone in on his craft, look out.

78. Cristian Perez, SS

DOB: 10/26/1998
B/T: 
R/R
Ht/Wt: 5’10″/170 lbs.
Levels Played, 2018: A-
Acquired: International free agent
ETA: 2021
2018 Stats (A-): 27 G, 93 AB, .376/.396/.441/.837, 6 2B, 4 SB, 3.1% BB%, 9.2% K%, 140 wRC+

Perez has erupted on the prospect scene in 2018 buy hitting an absurd .376 through the first half of the season. He doesn’t hit for much power (just a .065 ISO), but he doesn’t strike out much either. He’s got smooth hands and feet on the infield, should be able to stick at SS for the time being, and has a chance to climb up prospect boards if he keeps maturing. Keep an eye on this kid the rest of the way.

77. Pedro Fernandez, RHP

DOB: 5/25/1994
B/T: 
R/R
Ht/Wt: 6’0″/17 lbs.
Levels Played, 2018: AA
Acquired: International free agent
ETA: 2019
2018 Stats with AZ (AA): 14 G, 26.2 IP, 4.39 ERA, 3.89 FIP, 43% GB%, 6.41 K/9, 4.73 BB/9

Pedro Fernandez has one of my favorite pitches in the entire organization. His changeup is absolutely lethal when he is throwing it right and Fernandez has showed some promise in the past. He’s currently on the DL and wasn’t great for NWA when he was healthy, but he’s got potential as a big league reliever. He kind of reminds me of Fernando Rodney, in that he could be an effective reliever with a lethal fastball/changeup duo.

76. Michael Emodi, C

DOB:
B/T: 
R/R
Ht/Wt: 6’4″/225 lbs.
Levels Played, 2018: College
Acquired: 2018 MLB Draft
ETA: 2021
2017 Stats with TX (AZL): 49 G, 188 AB, .282/.376/.505, 9 HR, 15 2B, 44 RBI

Emodi is a big target behind home plate and has a really high baseball IQ. He hits the ball with a ton of force, he just doesn’t quite hit it often enough. He struck out 56 times in 49 games and his batting average suffered for it. While he walks plenty, Emodi will need to make more contact to climb through the organization. His defense, power, and brain ought to carry him for the time being.

75. Kevon Jackson, OF

DOB: 1/14/2001
B/T: 
R/R
Ht/Wt: 5’8″/180 lbs.
Levels Played, 2018: HS
Acquired: 2018 MLB Draft
ETA: 2023
2018 Stats: N/A

Kevon Jackson is another 2018 draft pick that fits the Royals profile. Athletic, runs like a bat out of hell, puts the bat on the ball, and plays solid defense. Think Terrance Gore/Jarrod Dyson with a chance of being a decent hitter as well.

74. Zach Lovvorn, RHP

DOB: 5/26/1994
B/T: 
R/R
Ht/Wt: 6’0″/185 lbs.
Levels Played, 2018: AA, AAA
Acquired: 2012 MLB Draft
ETA: 2019
2017 Stats (AA): 13 G, 68.2 IP, 5.24 ERA, 4.78 FIP, 50.4% GB%, 5.9 K/9, 3.28 BB/9

Lovvorn is by no means a power arm at this stage in his career, but he does have a good feel for his pitches and could benefit from an uptick in “stuff.” He’s starting in AA at the moment, but he’s probably a reliever when/if he makes it to the big leagues. He’s got the makeup to be effective out of the bullpen, he just needs to get hitters out at a little better clip before he tries to make the jump to KC.

73. Franco Terrero, RHP

DOB: 5/20/1995
B/T: 
R/R
Ht/Wt: 6’0″/180 lbs.
Levels Played, 2018: AA
Acquired: International free agent
ETA: 2019
2018 Stats (AA): 25 G, 38.1 IP, 5.17 ERA, 5.79 FIP, 47.9% GB%, 7.98 K/9, 4.46 BB/9

The Royals organization is pretty high on Franco Terrero. There’s a lot to like about the 23-year old RHR. His splits against LHH are absurd for a RHP, as he’s holding LHH opponents to just a .212 BAA this season with Northwest Arkansas (AA). Righties fair slightly better against Terrero, but if he can improve his breaking ball, his fastball/changeup combo should play in the major leagues.

72. Bubba Starling, OF

DOB: 8/3/1992
B/T: R/R
Ht/Wt: 6’4″/210 lbs.
Levels Played, 2018: AAA
Acquired: 2011 MLB Draft
ETA: 2018
2018 Stats (AAA): 11 G, 35 AB, .257/.350/.311, 2 2B, 1 SB, 12.2% BB%, 14.6% K%, 83 wRC+

We were so close. So close to seeing Bubba Starling in Kansas City. I really thought we were going to see Bubba Starling patrolling CF at Kauffman Stadium right about now. He was on the brink of one his best offensive seasons in Omaha. We were so close, and then, of course, he gets hurt. I still remember when Royals Farm Report broke the news that Starling had reinsured his oblique. I was devastated. I’m still hurt. Hopefully he comes back from this injury and is just as good as he was this spring. I’ll be waiting out at The K.

71. Travis Jones, UT

DOB: 9/29/1995
B/T: 
R/R
Ht/Wt: 6’4″/210 lbs.
Levels Played, 2018: A-
Acquired: 2017 MLB Draft
ETA: 2021
2018 Stats (ROK): 62 G, 228 AB, .285/.368/.417, 5 HR, 13 2B, 6.5% BB%, 21.5% K%, 126 wRC+

After getting off to a relatively slow start in April, Travis Jones hit the crap out of the baseball in May to the tune of a .869 OPS. He’s come back to earth in June, but Travis Jones has shown flashes of being a serviceable utility man. He needs to hit for a bit more power, but he’s an advanced college bat that plays 3-4 different positions and has a chance to be a productive piece on an MLB team if the bat continues to perform like this.

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14 thoughts on “Royals Farm Report 2018 Mid-Season Top 100: 80-71

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