2019 Royals Farm Report Prospect Rankings: 75-71

Happy New Year and welcome back! We have now been writing about the Royals farm system for 18 months and it’s only going to get better from here. We started off our original prospect rankings with 30, expanded to 100, and now we’re coming back to earth a bit. Are there 100 worth names in the Kansas City Royals system? Absolutely. Are there always 100 names worthy of being on the list…well…

So here we go. The Kansas City Royals top 75 prospects as brought to you by six members of your Royals Farm Report staff. Joel, Drake, Drew, Josh, Pat, and I voted on our top 75 Royals prospects and then ran a collective ranking. We will release five prospects a day, starting with 75, working our way down to #5 where our top 5 prospects will all get their own article. So, without further ado, here we go!

75. Marten Gasparini, OF

DOB: 5/24/1997
B/T: S/R
Ht/Wt: 6’0″ 195′
Levels Played, 2018: Low-A
Acquired: International Free Agent
ETA: 2022
2018 Stats: 379 PA, .222/.273/.315/.588, 70 wRC+, 4 HR, 16 2B, 18 SB, 6.1% BB%, 31.4% K%
Projected level to begin 2019: High-A Wilmington

There’s really no way to sugar coat this, but Marten Gasparini has been really bad since the Royals signed him to a record deal out of Italy in 2013. Gasparini is an incredible athlete, he plays a decent outfield, and he’s got the tools necessary to succeed, but…he just hasn’t been able to put anything together yet. He’s slipped all the way out of the Royals top 30 lists and barely made our rankings in 2019. The best thing Gasparini has going for him is that he’s still 21, three months younger than Kyle Isbel. He’s got time, but he’s quickly running out of it. I expect he’ll start the season with High-A Wilmington and then…we’ll see.

74. Holden Capps, LHP

DOB: 3/24/1995
B/T: R/L
Ht/Wt: 6’2″ 180′
Levels Played, 2018: Low-A
Acquired: 2017 MLB Draft
ETA: 2021
2018 Stats: 63.1 IP, 2.98 ERA, 2.93 FIP, 9.81 K/9, 1.42 BB/9, 0.71 HR/9, 55% GB%
Projected level to begin 2019: High-A

Definitely a big league reliever profile here. Capps is a bit old for the level, as he spent his 23-year old season in Low-A, but the stuff is really good. He pretty well dominated out of the bullpen in the South Atlantic League in 2018, and I expect that he’ll finish his 2019 campaign in AA, putting him in position to make his big league debut in 2020 if everything were to go perfectly for him. He may not quite be Richard Lovelady, but the Royals have definitely kept their tradition of keeping a loaded bullpen alive.

73. Chase Vallot, C

DOB: 8/21/1996
B/T: R/R
Ht/Wt: 6’0″ 215′
Levels Played, 2018: Rookie, High-A
Acquired: 2014 MLB Draft
ETA: 2021
2018 Stats (A+): 185 PA, .108/.281/.277/.558, 68 wRC+, 7 HR, 4 2B, 8.3% BB%, 42.3% K%
Projected level to begin 2019: High-A

So, uhh, yeah. Do we need to go through this, or have you pretty well got this one figured out? Is he a big league catcher? Probably not. Does he have the second best raw power in the entire organization? Yep. So! If he ever figures out the whole contact thing, he could be pretty good! Otherwise, he may not make it past 2019.

72. Nolan Watson, RHP

DOB: 1/25/1997
B/T: R/R
Ht/Wt: 6’2″ 195′
Levels Played, 2018: Low-A, High-A
Acquired: 2015 MLB Draft
ETA: 2021
2018 Stats (A+): 58.2 IP, 4.60 ERA, 4.98 FIP, 4.60 K/9, 3.99 BB/9, 0.77 HR/9, 37.3% GB%
Projected level to begin 2019: High-A

Nolan Watson is like the Royals pitcher version of Chase Vallot. He’s got enough talent to be a big leaguer, he’s a former 1st round pick, and he just hasn’t been able to put much together so far. I can’t help but wonder if a move to the bullpen wouldn’t help Watson find some more success, but I’m not going to write him off quite yet either. If he can work his way to AA in 2019, I think there’s still a chance he becomes a big leaguer at some point in his professional career.

71. Michael Emodi, C

DOB: 4/18/1996
B/T: R/R
Ht/Wt: 6’4″ 225′
Levels Played, 2018: Rookie
Acquired: 2018 MLB Draft
ETA: 2022
2018 Stats: 112 PA, .206/.313/.361/.674, 82 wRC+, 3 HR, 6 2B, 7.1% BB%, 35.7% K%
Projected level to begin 2019: Low-A

Emodi is a defense-first, power hitting catcher out of Creighton that ought to give the Royals some nice catching depth moving forward. Pitching prospects need advanced catching prospects to aid in their development, and Emodi figures to provide just that. If anything prevents Emodi from reaching the big leagues, it’ll be his bat. He can hit for a ton of power, but he also swings and misses often and strikes out far too much. Should he see improvement in his contact skills, his power could carry him to a Cam Gallagher-esque role in the big leagues.


Photo Credits: Brian McLeod, MiLB.com


9 thoughts on “2019 Royals Farm Report Prospect Rankings: 75-71

  1. Damn, this system is loaded! How many organizations can go to the 70s and find two first rounders and a top international signee. Gotta hand it to the Royals org for finding these talents and stocking the system with these slow risers. Can’t wait to see where our secret weapons Ashe Russell and Kyle Zimmer appear. Sidelined pitchers, the new market efficiency and a strategic advantage!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: 2019 Royals Farm Report Prospect Rankings: 70-66 | Royals Farm Report

  3. Only one of these 5 that deserves a spot on the list is Capps (and he is probably too low). I think Capps could be a fast riser this year and maybe even make it to AAA (if a lot of moves, injuries, etc. happen).
    Gasparini and Vallot will most likely never see AAA much less KC. Watson is intriguing only in that he started to show some 1st round promise last year after struggling to even find the batters box in previous years.
    Emodi has so many names ahead of him at catcher, I expect him to disappear from the Royals farm system before anyone remembers his name.


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