It’s May, many of the big name prospects in the Royals system aren’t hitting, the big league club sucks, and I’ve frankly run out of things to be excited about at the moment. The Royals stole Richard Lovelady and Nicky Lopez from our ranks. Luckily for us, they’ve so generously given KG back, but still.
So, anyway, in a hope to find some excitement, in a fairly pointless exercise, we’re going to revisit an article that I wrote over a year ago and see which prospects we think are in it for the long run. To be clear, this exercise should be less about projecting a real lineup, and more of an inventory check up on the farm.
Here is what the projected lineup that I came up with looked like back then:
- CF – Michael Gigliotti
- SS – Raul Mondesi
- 1B – Nick Pratto
- LF – Seuly Matias
- DH – Eric Hosmer
- 3B – Hunter Dozier
- RF – Khalil Lee
- 2B – Gabriel Cancel
- C – MJ Melendez
Bench: Sebastian Rivero, Donnie Dewees Jr., Nicky Lopez, Samir Duenez
SP – Danny Duffy, Jake Junis, Foster Griffin, Evan Steele, Sal Biasi
RP – Richard Lovelady, Grant Gavin, Miguel Almonte, Josh Staumont, Erik Skoglund, Scott Blewett, Charlie Neuweiler
That pitching staff, man.
Things change quickly in baseball. Part of the drill was that I promised to ONLY use players that are currently in the Royals system. Therefore, bullpens are quite literally impossible to peg.
Without getting too much into this, here’s what I’d currently guess to be the Royals Opening Day lineup in 2023:
- Nicky Lopez, 2B
- Kyle Isbel, LF
- Adalberto Mondesi, SS
- Kelvin Gutierrez, 1B
- Khalil Lee, RF
- Seuly Matias, DH
- MJ Melendez, C
- Gabriel Cancel, 3B
- Michael Gigliotti, CF
Bench: Nick Heath, Sebastian Rivero, Emmanuel Rivera, Travis Jones
- Jackson Kowar
- Daniel Lynch
- Brad Keller
- Brady Singer
- Kris Bubic
- Richard Lovelady
- Josh Staumont
- Evan Steele
- Arnaldo Hernandez
- Holden Capps
- Tad Ratliff
- Yefri Del Rosario
- I want to be clear that this is something of a pointless exercise. This should be taken as something of an inventory check, not as me trying to guess the EXACT lineup. This is a culmination of positions, guys who are or are not performing, and some personal prediction thrown in.
- This might be a pitching org now. The offense this year has been pretty horrendous and, while it’s plenty early, it’s fair to be confused about who fits into this future and who doesn’t. I like Nick Pratto enough, but he’s surrounded by other talented LHH.
- I love the improvement I’ve seen from Kelvin Gutierrez since joining the org. The kid is super athletic and, while I love the glove at 3B, I wouldn’t mind him focusing on adding power, even if that means a move to 1B.
- Speaking of pitching orgs, how bout that rotation?
- I’m still a big fan of Mike Gigliotti in CF. He and Blake Perkins are really the only guys I can see patrolling CF at Kauffman Stadium long-term. Kyle Isbel and Khalil Lee are good, but I don’t know if they will maintain the speed necessary to play there long-term.
Don’t read too much into my personal list. Feel free to leave some guys in the comments you think I left off. Nate Eaton, Blake Perkins, and Jeison Guzman are guys I had a hard time leaving off. Let this be a fun inventory check, not a Magic 8-Ball prediction.
Photo Credits: PLPhoto2015 (@PPhoto2015)