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:
1. Khalil Lee, OF
Ht/Wt: 5’10” 170 lbs
Levels Played, 2018: High-A (Wilmington), AA (Northwest Arkansas)
Acquired: 2016 MLB Draft, 3rd Round
2018 Stats (A+/AA): 100 G, .263/.382/.390, 91 H, 18 2B, 4 3B, 6 HR, 51 RBI, 16 SB
Let’s just cut it right down the middle. Khalil Lee has more talent than any other prospect in the Royals organization. His combination of tools matches up with other top 100 guys. You could make a legit case he’s a top 50 guy in all of baseball at this point.
One of the more positive developments down on the farm this year has been the improvements in the contact department for Khalil Lee. The K-rate in Lexington was 32.1 percent, basically the only wart in a successful first full-season in pro ball for him. In Wilmington, a league where I thought he could struggle, the K-rate fell down to a much more manageable 24.9 percent. So far in his small sample size with AA Northwest Arkansas, it stands at 23.7 percent, adding in the fact he’s posting the lowest SwStr% he has at any level. His power numbers have taken a hit along with this, but the on-base skills have still improved at a whole, giving him better overall offensive numbers than he had in his time with Lexington. My concern with the power is low for three reasons. First, I think the pitcher-friendly park in Wilmington had a part in this. Second, he’s still only 20 years old. You don’t usually expect guys his age to turn raw power into game power quite yet. Third, there’s still plenty of room to add to his current small frame. We know he possesses some of the best raw pop in all of the organization.
When it comes down to tools and grades, you’ll be hard pressed to find a more complete prospect in the organization. His power/speed combo is second to none, he has one of the best outfield arms in the system (being a former high school pitching prospect), adding in plus-speed and the possibility of sticking in centerfield (another part of his game that has improved). It’s worth bringing up that he only played 90 games in centerfield in his first two seasons in pro ball and he’s manned that position already 74 times this year. Worst case, he ends up in one of the corner spots with potential for a bat that will profile just fine there.
Lee is the closest thing to a five-tool prospect the Royals have. His combination of ceiling and floor as a prospect is elite by the current standards of the system. If there’s a future all-star rising through the organizational ladder, it’s him. Just wait until that power starts to show up again.
Photo Credits: MiLB.com