2019 Royals Opening Day roster predictions: Wilmington (A+)

Team Name: Wilmington Blue Rocks
Location: Wilmington, DE
Stadium Name: Daniel S. Frawley Stadium
League: Carolina League
Level: A+

Starting Lineup:

C: MJ Melendez
1B: Nick Pratto
2B: Gabriel Cancel
SS: Jeison Guzman
3B: Emmanuel Rivera
LF: Brewer Hicklen
CF: Kyle Isbel
RF: Seuly Matias
DH: Chase Vallot


  • Sebastian Rivero, C
  • Marten Gasparini, UTIL
  • Ricky Aracena, 2B
  • Rudy Martin, OF

Starting Rotation:

  • Daniel Lynch
  • Jackson Kowar
  • Brady Singer
  • Carlos Hernandez
  • Yefri Del Rosario


  • Andres Sotillet
  • Tad Ratliff
  • Marcelo Martinez
  • Holden Capps
  • Andrew Beckwith
  • Janser Lara
  • Tyler Zuber

I had an awful time trying to put this roster together. I hate to be the guy that complains about there being too many journeyman in the upper minors blocking some of the younger guys buuuuut…….

What do you do with all of the pitching? No way I’d leave Yefri Del Rosario in Lexington. There’s not really space in AA for Singer or Lynch unless the Royals wanted to just start cutting guys (I might, I just don’t think they will). The starting rotation of Del Rosario, Hernandez, Lynch, Singer, and Kowar has to stay in tact in my opinion.

That group is absolutely nasty. That’s 5 of the Royals top 15 prospects all in the same rotation. Bonkers. I normally prefer to have 13 pitchers on MiLB rosters, but with Marcelo Martinez, Andres Sotillet, and Janser Lara, all former starters, in the bullpen, you could theoretically have guys throw 2-3 innings at a time in relief and not need 8 relievers.

This is the core. Khalil Lee, Nicky Lopez, Meibrys Viloria, Richard Lovelady, and others in the upper minors obviously have futures with Kansas City, but this is the core. Melendez, Pratto, Rivero, Matias, Lynch, Singer, Kowar, Del Rosario, Hernandez..the 2018 South Atlantic League Champions are back to raise hell on their opponents.

The month of July could get absolutely insane for the Royals organization. Emmanuel Rivera and Gabriel Cancel would be looking for promotions during their second tenure in Wilmington. The Royals have shown in the past their willingness to promote top prospects out of Wilmington fairly quickly (like Lee in 2018), meaning the entire freaking roster could be looking at a promotion come July.

There is no way the Royals promote the entire roster, I don’t think, but there is going to be a ton of turnover. If half of those guys can reach AA by the end of 2019, you might see some of them in Kansas City as soon as 2020. Watching this group in Lexington in 2018 was fun, but watching them in Springdale, a short drive from Kansas City, could be even more fun. I’m not even going to try to speculate as to who the first guys promoted will be, but I think it’ll be a bunch of ’em, and I’m here for every second of it.

Just missed the cut:

  • Michael Gigliotti
  • Cal Jones
  • Manny Olloque
  • Cristian Perez
  • Charlie Neuweiler
  • Austin Cox
  • Kris Bubic


Photo Credits: Doc Riddle (@TheGrandOldGame)

8 thoughts on “2019 Royals Opening Day roster predictions: Wilmington (A+)

  1. I think Giggs will have to get the nod over Isbel due to years of control. Since Michael lost a year, the Royals will have to be more aggressive with him since he only has two more years to prove himself before being rule V eligible. Isbel does have 50 more PA’s at A ball than Giggs, but Giggs has hit better and doesn’t have the poor K and BB% that Isbel does. So, if Giggs is recovered from the injury, then he should go to Wilmington first.


  2. I’m curious to see how much offense will be missing with the usual drop in numbers that moving up to Wilmington brings. The pitching staff looks as though it could dominate at that level – exceptional talent accompanied by a more pitching friendly environment.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My predictions looked much the same. Rotation will be one of the best in the minor leagues especially pitching at Frawley. My lineup was slightly different because I had Cancel and Rivera moving up to NWA. Therefore, I had Guzman at 2B, C. Perez at SS, and Manny O. at 3B. If Cancel and Rivera do stay with Blue Rocks, this lineup is absolutely stacked. It will be good anyway. Personally, I thought Perez was one of the big surprises last year in Lexington. He held down SS for a championship team.

    Gigliotti and Isbel will be interesting. I thought Isbel would move up with the rest of Lexington bunch from last year. Gigliotti could easily be the CF here, too. Wonder what will be the decision making process there. Both are CF types so wasted in a corner.

    The depth of starters allows guys like Lara to be standout relievers. Or piggy backers if KC wants to limit pitches early on.

    This team will be the first minor league box score I read in the morning!


    • I usually look at it during the late innings of the Royals game since its eastern time zone, but this season may just follow the game on Milb at bat.


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