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.
Check out the rest of our list here:
20. Scott Blewett, RHP
Ht/Wt: 6’6″ 210 lbs
Levels Played, 2018: AA (Northwest Arkansas)
Acquired: 2014 MLB Draft, 2nd Round
2018 Stats (AA): 18 G, 5.75 ERA, 98.2 IP, 122 H, 67 R, 63 ER. 38 BB, 66 SO
One of those rare draft prospects from the state of New York, the Royals grabbed Scott Blewett in the second round of the ’14 draft. Blewett headed into pro-ball with a huge frame for a prep guy. The reports on the fastball coming out of high school weren’t great, and I wasn’t impressed with the movement on it in the lower-minors. But huge strides were made with it once he reached Wilmington.
He’s taken a step back in AA, currently holding a 5.75 ERA and 4.99 FIP with a K-BB% that ranks fourth-worst among qualified Texas League pitchers. Command of the secondaries have really lacked this year and his hard-contact against seems like it has had uptick. Everything seems to be heading the wrong way with him.
I’m pretty meh on Blewett’s delivery. He throws close to a 3/4 arm slot with a slow motion, but the horizontal release point seems to have raised since he was in the lower-minors. With a plus-curveball and lack of a consistent third pitch in his changeup, it wouldn’t be far-fetched to think his highest ceiling is in the bullpen.
19. Blake Perkins, OF
Ht/Wt: 6’1″ 165 lbs
Levels Played, 2018: A+ (Potomac, Wilmington)
Acquired: Kelvin Herrera Trade
2018 Stats (A+): 88 G, .252/.363/.320, 86 H, 15 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 30 RBI, 19 SB
At the time of the Kelvin Herrera trade, I got the sense that the Royals felt the main centerpiece of their return was outfielder Blake Perkins. And so far in his short time with the organization, I feel even more strongly about that.
Raised in the Kansas City area, Perkins attended high school in Arizona. A highly rated draft prospect in 2015, the Nationals grabbed him early with their second round pick. Reports on the hit tool vary, but either way it should be known that he’s only been switch-hitting for a few seasons now. He adds in a great approach at the plate, walking in 11.9 percent of his career plate appearances.
It sounds like he’s matured with the glove a bit with more room to grow. Sticking in centerfield will be key for him and his prospect status, but with plus-speed and improved route running, there’s no reason to believe he can’t stick there.
With lack of thump in his bat, Perkins seems like more of a low-ceiling type of prospect. That doesn’t mean I don’t like what he brings though, as I believe he’s near as good a bet as anyone in the system to make the major leagues of some sort of capacity. He seems very Jarrod Dyson-esque (except that he can hit lefties).
18. Kyle Isbel, OF
Ht/Wt: 5’11” 183 lbs
Levels Played, 2018: Rookie (Idaho Falls)
Acquired: 2018 MLB Draft, 3rd Round
2018 Stats (Rookie): 25 G, .381/.454/.610, 40 H, 10 2B, 1 3B, 4 HR, 18 RBI, 12 SB
At the conclusion of the draft, Kyle Isbel ended up being one of my favorite selections the Royals made throughout those three days. And it hasn’t hurt that he’s had one of the more impressive starts to a pro-career out of the pool of this year’s Royals selections. He hit well even for a hitter-friendly league with Idaho Falls, slashing .381/.454/.610 in 25 games, good for the fourth-best wRC+ among qualified Pioneer League hitters. A recent promotion to Lexington was well earned and as I write this, he’s coming off a 1 for 2 debut with a home run and three walks.
The Royals reportedly had strong pre-draft interest in Isbel, so them calling his name wasn’t shocking in the least (something welcomed for a draft that was felt with shocks early on). Seeing brief stints of Isbel, there’s a lot more power in his bat than I imagined, even though he had a big power breakout his junior season at UNLV (.156 ISO in 2017. .286 in 2018). The bat explodes off his bat with a quick swing. He can get around on an inside pitch very impressively and can force a outside pitch to the pull-field with his strength. The swing has been on a more of a line drive plane, but 20+ home runs isn’t out of the question if some loft is added.
The approach at the plate and hit tool are both stellar and the speed and power doesn’t lack. Sticking in centerfield would be huge for Isbel, as that’s the biggest question with him. I’m definitely being bullish here, but don’t be surprised if Isbel moves into the group of elite prospects in the Royals system soon (Lee, Matias, Melendez).
17. Carlos Hernandez, RHP
Ht/Wt: 6’4″ 175 lbs
Levels Played, 2018: Low-A (Lexington)
Acquired: 2016 International Signing
2018 Stats (A): 13 G, 3.34 ERA, 67.1 IP, 62 H, 31 R, 25 ER, 21 BB, 69 SO
A lot has to go right for Carlos Hernandez to make it as a major league starting pitcher, but you could make a solid argument that he has a higher ceiling than any other starting pitcher in the organization.
Hernandez sits mid-90s with his fastball and can even touch 98 with it. Velocity like that should definitely not be ignored for a 21-year-old starter with only two seasons of pro-ball under his belt. The fastball/curveball combo is one of the better ones in the organization, generating tons of whiffs. The third offering in the changeup has yet to develop though. Overall, the command is decent, but inconsistencies show up with the offspeeds at times, usually the main source in his bad outings.
With a lack of a third pitch, a lanky frame, and trouble holding velocity (he’ll go from upper-90s to lower-90s at times), you have trouble picturing him as a starter down the road. Adding some weight to his smaller frame would make things interesting, possibly aiding his already plus-velocity and durability. Being a middle reliever seems like the most likely outcome for Hernandez, but he could end up being a damn good one.
16. Kris Bubic, LHP
Ht/Wt: 6’3″ 220 lbs
Levels Played, 2018: Rookie (Idaho Falls)
Acquired: 2018 MLB Draft, 1st Round
2018 Stats (Rookie): 2 G, 4.05 ERA, 6.2 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 6 SO
Kris Bubic ended up being the only guy I profiled pre-draft selected by the Royals.
Getting down to business, Bubic works with a short three-pitch repertoire. He throws a fastball that sits in the lower-90s, touching 94 at its best. The changeup is what makes him so highly-rated. Watching him pitch, the first thing I noticed was the great command and confidence he had with that offering. The curveball is nothing to get excited about, but it has the potential of turning into an average offering.
The delivery is interesting, as I instantly thought Clayton Kershaw when I saw that pause with his front leg.
He probably has one of the better changeups in the system. And he probably commands it better than anyone the Royals have.
With a lackluster fastball, there is clear lack of ceiling with Bubic. He should progress up the system smoothly though and that changeup gives him #4 type ceiling.
Photo Credits: John Owen—MiLB.com