It’s been one busy week here at Royals Farm Report. The man that runs our podcast is getting married today. Congratulate Joel on Twitter @jtpenfield on his big day! Let’s get you caught up on all the week’s action, including the season opener for the Idaho Falls Chukars.
THE THREE CURRENT GRITTIEST PLAYERS IN THE ROYALS FARM SYSTEM
- Nick Heath
While speed alone is not necessarily gritty, what Nick Heath is doing in the Royals farm system is insane. At 38 SB this season, Heath is running like an absolute madman, and his sheer aggression and eagerness is quite admirable. It takes true grit to be able to continually run on opponents like that, showing that you are not afraid to steal every base and exert every ounce of effort to get the NWA Naturals closer to a win.
Get your Bubba Starling fix here:
Drew has been doing video scouting of some Royals draft picks. Check out the ones he’s done so far here:
After being drafted Dye was sent to rookie league Burlington where he appeared in eleven games and made seven starts posting a 4.54 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP while striking out 34 batters to only 5 walks in 35.2 innings. Dye may have been a little unlucky considering his .373 BABIP, his 3.96 FIP and 3.57 xFIP say he pitched better than his ERA suggests. Dye did make one start at High-A Wilmington where he pitched five innings giving up only one run and striking out six.
That .250 ISO in the month of June is a welcoming site. Lee has also been running wild on opposing batteries, and now the power has come back in a big way. This is the Khalil Lee that we had ranked as the Royals #1 overall prospect last season. This is the Khalil Lee that has a chance to be a fixture in the Royals lineup for a long time.
70 RHP Isaiah Campbell – I took a chance here. I really wanted Bryce Osmond but rumors of big money were scaring teams off. I gambled he would last another 10 picks as there were some higher ranked HS arms available still. The Arkansas ace has a big future. He can move quick and will slide into the big 4 immediately on the prospect rankings. I probably move him slowly this season as he has a lot of innings already. You could probably start him in Wilmington next season.
To understand this, consider another recent draftee from the University of Florida, Jonathan India. India was drafted fifth overall by the Reds in 2018. For a while, people wondered if he might go top-3 after a blazing hot start to his junior year. He ended up hitting .350/.497/.717 as a junior to secure his place in the top-5.
This was after two average seasons at Florida. India had some hype behind him going into college just like McConnell. He played at one of the most prestigious baseball factories in the country—American Heritage High School in Delray Beach, Florida. In his sophomore year, though, India disappointed, hitting just .274/.354/.429, not terrible, but certainly not good enough to get drafted in the top-5.
Speaking of McConnell, he appears to have agreed to a deal to sign with KC.