Reactions to the Royals minor league rosters

In case you missed it, Royals Farm Report gave you the first look at your minor league rosters for the Royals farm system heading into 2019:

Here is the link for the full season rosters.

And here is the link for the extended spring training roster.

Here are a couple of insta-reactions to these rosters before we get a chance to see how the players on them will be utilized:

1.) Don’t sleep on that team in Northwest Arkansas. The attention will of course be on the team opening up in Wilmington (Pratto, Melendez, Matias, etc.), but that Naturals team ought to make some noise as well. I am stoked to see that Gabriel Cancel and Emmanuel Rivera got the promotion to AA after less than elite performances in Wilmington last year. I was afraid they could be held back, but on to AA they go. Add them into a lineup with the likes of Khalil Lee, Anderson Miller, and Samir Duenez, and that could be a very potent lineup in the Texas League.

2.) Okay, so, that Wilmington roster…it’s crazy how loaded they are. Almost the entire core looks like they could be in Northwest Arkansas over the course of the 2019 season. I have no idea who will get the preference in terms of promotions, but if the entire lineup hits…look out. NWA is going to be so much fun come August.

3.) No Scott Barlow or Kyle Zimmer or Chris Ellis in the rotation for Omaha, meaning that they must be on the big league roster, or cut in the case of Chris Ellis. I could not be more excited about Barlow and Zimmer making the Opening Day roster. This Royals bullpen might actually be a formidable force after all.

4.) Nathan Esposito is a name to keep an eye on. He’s 26 years old and quite frankly won’t ever hit enough, but I have heard several pitchers in the system refer to Esposito as one of the best defenders in the entire organization. At some point you have to hit, even Tony Pena Jr. didn’t make it as a glove only, but he keeps climbing the ladder and the pitchers love him.

5.) The Lexington Legends are going to be a fun team to watch again in 2019. Don’t stop going to games, Legends fans, just because the 2018 class graduated. Rubendy Jaquez, Jeison Guzman, Michael Gigliotti, Chase Vallot, Nathan Eaton, Charlie Neuweiler, etc etc etc, ought to have another great team in the South Atlantic League once again.

6.) Expect some, what we call, “Phantom DL” stints early on. Some of these rosters are a bit too big and there will be some guys that open on the DL to make room. Some are probably fine, others maybe not, but these rosters probably aren’t as final as you’d think.

7.) I’m excited to see the rotation play out in Omaha. Scott Blewett looked great in the Arizona Fall League as did Arnaldo Hernandez. Hopefully they’ll create a formidable rotation at AAA to help that team stay in competition for our fans up north.


Photo Credits: PLPhoto2015 (@PPhoto2015)

9 thoughts on “Reactions to the Royals minor league rosters

  1. A few first glance comments –
    1. Interesting to see Chase Vallot at Lexington. Looks like he is starting from stratch. I hope he gets some work at 1B, too. That’s a weak spot for the Legends.
    2. Tillo was held at Wilmington. He was a guy I thought would go to AA. Of course, I had Carlos Hernandez starting with Blue Rocks instead of ExST.
    3. Was surprised that Jose Marquez wasn’t with Lexington. As Burlington POY, I figured he’s move up. Glad to see Rubendy on Legends’ roster.
    4. Martin Gasparini listed as an infielder? Thought that experiment was over.
    5. Does Cheslor get most 1B ABs with Storm Chasers since Gutierrez is there? Thought Duenez would move up to Omaha and play 1B since Schwindel is with KC.
    6. JC Cloney at NWA – bold move for him.
    7. Who is Vidal that is 3rd catcher with Blue Rocks? Guess he allows Melendez and Rivero to DH.
    8. I, too, like the Naturals lineup. Think they could be fun this year.
    9. Good move to have Blewitt and Griffin move up to Omaha. It’s time for them. Kalish and Ogando with Naturals leave NWA with veteran LHers who are more org. types.
    10. Expecting some moves from ExST when weather improves.


    • On #5. I think everyone assumes Schwindel will be back in Omaha by 10/4. The one that surprises me is Toups over Duenez. Royals could get by having Scwhindel, Duenez, Cuthbert and Gutierrez all on roster with Lopez, Arteaga, Flores and Mejia up the middle. Just another case of cast offs filling prospect spots.


  2. Thanks Alex for the assessment. Agree, I am happy for Zimmer and Barlow (although have to assume Barlow will be the first casualty when Royals need a 5th starter on 10 April).
    I assume Fillmyer and Blewett will get the first to starts for Omaha on April 4th and 5th. That would put one of them in line for the Royals start on 10/4 when they need a 5th starter. I will not be surprised at all if it is Blewett over Fillmyer based on how they pitched at end of spring training.
    Still not happy about Kalish “demoted” back to AA and Machado sticking at AAA. But that is the Royals.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. One dumb question. Is it still DL or IL in the minors? I assumed it would be IL thru all levels now but you used DL. Just checking what we should use as proper term these days.


  4. I was surprised Lara is in EST. He was lighting it up last year for Lexington. Is he hurt or just a numbers crunch?


  5. No one besides me is raving about M Ynoa. Dude had as good a spring as any Royals pitcher. Its not clear yet that he can’t be a starter? His frame and delivery make him tough on hitters. Royals winter league scouts deserve kudos for getting him signed. Neither of the rue 5 guys showed enough to keep Ynoa off the opening day roster.


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