Royals Farm Report Mid-Season Top 100: 15-11

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:

100-91
90-81
80-71
70-61
60-51
50-41
40-31
30-26
25-21
20-16

15. Emmanuel Rivera, 3B

DOB: 6/29/1996
B/T: 
R/R
Ht/Wt: 6’2″ 195 lbs
Levels Played, 2018: A+
Acquired: 2015 MLB Draft
ETA: 2020
2018 Stats (A+): 58 G, 250 PA, .260/.304/.407/.711, 5 HR, 13 2B, 6% BB%, 14% K%, 96 wRC+

After posting a fantastic season in 2017 in the South Atlantic League, Rivera was promoted to High-A Wilmington where he’s regressed a bit. Some of this can be attributed to an outrageously unsustainable .359 BABIP last season in the SALLY. The Carolina League can be tough on hitters as it is, and Rivera has struggled with injuries this season to add to the problems. His BB% has held steady, his K% is down, his GB% is down, SwStr% is down…all of the peripherals are there. He’s just been a bit unlucky.

Which is actually good news. Emmanuel Rivera has a really advanced swing for a 21-year old. It’s smooth, it’s simple, it’s short, it’s powerful, it profiles really well moving forward. For a guy who makes a bunch of contact and doesn’t strike out much, his power projects well. In my opinion, getting out of the Carolina League will be great for Rivera’s development. Moving him into the Texas League (AA) where the ball tends to travel a bit better should reveal a little more about the potential that Rivera has to hit for power.

Defensively, I like what I’ve seen from Rivera at third. He’s a decent athlete and moves his feet well. He’s got a good enough arm and he projects as above average at the hot corner. Unfortunately for Rivera, between Nicky Lopez, Adalberto Mondesi, and Gabriel Cancel, someone is going to have to DH or play 1B at some point. Rivera would probably make the most sense, which would hurt his prospect value, but that’s a bridge that won’t have to be crossed for a while.

14. Daniel Lynch, LHP

DOB: 11/17/1996
B/T: 
L/L
Ht/Wt: 6’6″ 190 lbs
Levels Played, 2018: Rookie, A-
Acquired: 2018 MLB Draft
ETA: 2021
2018 Stats (A-): 2 G, 9 IP, 3.00 ERA, 1.92 FIP, 10 K/9, 2 BB/9, 39.1% GB%

One of the more underrated picks for the Royals in this year’s draft, Lynch gets lost in the fold when discussing names like Brady Singer, Jackson Kowar, and Kyle Isbel. The lesser known of the bunch, Lynch may very well prove to be the best of them all. There are some people that think Lynch may very well be the best player that Kansas City selected in this year’s draft.

Lynch is a long, lanky lefty. His fastball usually sits in the low-90’s, but he’s been known to run it up around 95 every once in a while. The changeup would be described as a plus pitch, and his breaking ball is developing while showing promising signs of being a really good third pitch. Lynch figures to end 2018 with Lexington, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he ended 2019 with AA Northwest Arkansas.

13. Rudy Martin, OF

DOB: 1/31/1996
B/T: 
L/L
Ht/Wt: 5’7” 155 lbs
Levels Played, 2018: A+
Acquired: 2014 MLB Draft
ETA: 2021
2018 Stats (A+): 40 G, 174 PA, .219/.355/.314/.669, 2 HR, 14 SB, 14.4% BB%, 25.9% K%, 99 wRC+

If there were ever going to be another Jarrod Dyson to play for the Kansas City Royals, Rudy Martin would be the guy. Martin is an incredible talent, and possesses lots of things that the Royals look for in a player. He’s a fantastic kid (one of my favorite players I’ve ever interacted with). He’s unbelievably fast. He plays great defense. Three things the Royals preach in their players.

He’s also a little bit different than your stereotypical Royal. His BB% ranks 9th in the Carolina League (min. 170 PA) and he strikes out too much for someone as fast as he is. Neither of those things are very “Royal-ish”. Rudy Martin’s eye at the plate and command of the strike zone are incredibly advanced for a 22-year old. If Martin continues to walk 12-15% of the time throughout his career, it won’t matter if he only hits .230. He only needs to be on base around 33-34% of the time in order to make an impact, because he’s got 50 SB speed to go with his eye.

The problem for Martin has been his health. Martin has set a career high for games played in a season this year…at 49. Yeah, he’s never played 50 games in a single season. Some of his injuries have just been freak accidents, but often times when players get labeled as “injury prone”, it never leaves them. Martin has a chance to be a legitimate leadoff/9-hole candidate in CF in the big leagues, he’s just got to figure out how to stay healthy first. I fully expect him to start out 2019 in AA.

12. Josh Staumont, RHP

DOB: 12/21/1993
B/T: 
R/R
Ht/Wt: 6’3″ 200 lbs
Levels Played, 2018: AAA
Acquired: 2015 MLB Draft
ETA: 2018
2018 Stats (A): 28 G, 54.1 IP, 2.82 ERA, 4.14 FIP, 12.09 K/9, 6.13 BB/9, 43.3% GB%

By now you’ve heard the story of Josh Staumont. He throws 100 mph. His curveball may be the best in the entire system. He’s strictly a bullpen arm now, though the Royals have been using both him and Richard Lovelady in multiple innings outings. Staumont has the stuff to be a really, really good reliever in the big leagues, but he’s going to have to continue to cut down on the walks.

I wrote this article on Staumont in the beginning of June when Staumont started a few games. He worked with a guy named Dave Coggin in the offseason in an attempt to shorten his arm stroke. What ever Staumont was doing, it was working early in the season. Lately however, his arm stroke seems long as ever (I’m not sure any progress was ever made there) and his BB/9 is back up over 6. Over his last 8 outings (20.1 IP), Staumont’s BB/9 has swelled to 7.52 BB/9. The strikeouts are there, and Staumont still isn’t giving up too many hits, but the command will still need improvement if he’s going to have sustained success in the big leagues.

11. Gabriel Cancel, 2B

DOB: 12/8/1996
B/T: 
R/R
Ht/Wt: 6’1″ 185 lbs
Levels Played, 2018: A+
Acquired: 2015 MLB Draft
ETA: 2020
2018 Stats (Rookie): 80 G, 337 PA, .275/.330/.411/.741, 7 HR, 20 2B, 7.1% BB%, 16.3% K%, 106 wRC+

At the end of the 2017 season, Gabriel Cancel had posted a 125 wRC+ as a 20-year old in the South Atlantic League (A) and found himself ranked as the Royals 10th best prospect (according to us). He was promoted to High-A Wilmington to begin 2018 and got off to a really slow start. Cancel hit .176 in April and just .267 in May. He has been absolutely on fire since the beginning of June.

Since June 5th, Gabriel Cancel is slashing .329/.381/.503/.884 with 11 doubles and 5 HR in 39 games. He is crushing the baseball and anchoring down the middle of what has become a very potent Blue Rocks lineup. Cancel is tied for 4th in the Carolina League in doubles and he’s 4rd in RBI. He’s been destroying Carolina League pitching over the last month and a half, and I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he was given the chance to play with AA Northwest Arkansas to end 2018.

Defensively, scouting reports on Cancel vary. Personally, I have seen zero reasons why Cancel can’t stay at 2B long-term. He’s not the fastest player, but his feet are very quick and incredibly smooth. He has great hands and can turn double plays at 2B with no issue. When talking to one of Cancel’s former teammates, an anonymous player said Cancel…”He’s solid. That infield overall is really good but Cancel’s defense is underrated.”

Staying at 2B long-term would be huge for his prospect value. Considering that the Royals drafted a couple of players in 2018 that will jumped in front of Cancel in the rankings (wink, hint), Cancel’s movement back to #11 this year keeps him pretty steady since our last ranking. If he gets to AA this season and has any kind of success, he’ll move into my personal top 6 this offseason.

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8 thoughts on “Royals Farm Report Mid-Season Top 100: 15-11

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