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:
2. Seuly Matias, OF
Ht/Wt: 6’3″ 200 lbs
Levels Played, 2018: Low-A (Lexington)
Acquired: 2015 International Free Agent Signing
2018 Stats: 87 G, .228/.305/.572, 71 H, 12 2B, 1 3B, 31 HR, 59 RBI, 6 SB
While the system currently sits below-average, you don’t have to travel back very far to find a group of elite prospects the Royals have developed. Eric Hosmer was the number eight prospect in all of baseball in 2011. His future teammate Mike Moustakas, rated number nine the same year. And then Wil Myers, who followed them both at number 10. Watching them burst into elite prospects all at the same time made up for the lack of fan with the major league team. All were exciting in their own way, putting together a combination of tools and results that would make you drool.
Yet… I’m not sure any of them are like current Royals prospect Seuly Matias. From my experiencing watching, Matias has been basically as fun to watch as any of those three guys were. While not even close to the aforementioned three in polish and overall prospect status, I’m not sure we’ve seen a more polarizing prospect in the recent history of the Royals. He may have a chance to end up a better player than any of the three guys mentioned above, he might flame out and never reach it past AA.
Let’s cut straight to it and talk about why Matias is ranked this high. It mainly has to do one thing and that’s the power in his bat. Ever since the Royals signed him, the amount of raw power he possesses has been no secret. He’s shown plenty flashes of this in-game from his stints in the AZL and Burlington the prior two seasons, but another level has been unlocked in Lexington this year. The power he’s displaying in Low-A at the age of 19 is unprecedented, as he’ll have a shot at the South Atlantic League home run record.
Outside the power, he also owns one of the best arms in the organization and looks like an easy 70-grade to me. No chance he’ll move away from the corners in the outfield, but he’s capable out there and his bat has the potential to easily profile there.
But just as the standout tools are easy to see, so are the warts. Matias currently leads the South Atlantic League in K% and SwStr%, adding in a totally unrefined approach at the plate. The swing is terribly long and the pitch recognition needs tons of work. He’ll need to make the necessary adjustments against more advanced pitchers or he’ll be in risk of flaming out at the higher levels.
There’s an easy argument to be made for Matias as the Royals top overall prospect. Right now, it’s the plate discipline issues that keep his floor so low and the power that keeps his ceiling so high. If all goes well here, you’re looking at a potential 40+ home run hitter with all-star capabilities. But if the issues with the swing and approach aren’t corrected, a career in the major leagues will be hard to carve out.
Photo Credits: Clinton Riddle