Welcome back. This is now the third edition of our preseason prospect rankings here at Royals Farm Report. Before we get into the rankings, there is a lot that has changed here at the site that I want to catch you up on.
First of all, our founding father and fearless leader, Patrick Brennan (@paintingcorner), is now working on the analytics team for Kansas State Baseball. One of our writers, Joel Penfield (@jtpenfield), was picked up by 2080 Baseball doing scouting in the Texas League. Another writer and editor, Joshua Payton (@josh_payton), was hired by Excelsior Leader Sports as their new Director of Baseball Operations.
We’re all busy people, but with the turnover we’ve had recently things are going to be a little different around here. You’ll still see a lot of familiar names writing here, it may just be in different capacities. In any case, we’d like to like to sincerely thank all of you for reading along. As you can tell from above, this website has given our writers access to opportunities bigger and better than we ever could have imagined. We love sharing our love of Minor League Baseball, and of the Royals, with you, and we thank you for allowing us to do so.
Without further ado, here are our 2020 preseason prospect rankings, 35-31.
#35: Scott Blewett, RHP
- Age: 23 (April 10, 1996)
- Birthplace: Baldwinsville, NY
- Bats/Throws: R/R
- Ht: 6′ 6″ Wt: 210
- Acquired: 2014 MLB Draft
- 2019 stats (OMA): 81.1 IP, 8.52 ERA, 8.17 FIP, 6.20 K/9, 5.09 BB/9, 2.66 HR/9
If you go back to our midseason rankings, you’ll notice Scott Blewett came in at 54 and another pitcher in this article came in just behind him. As a staff, we not only had significant turnover in the people voting on these rankings, but decided to somewhat disregard what ever the hell happened at AAA Omaha last season. We have new voters, new info, and decided to take a new way of looking at certain players and their numbers.
As it pertains specifically to Scott Blewett, I really don’t know what to think. Blewett is a guy that I really enjoy watching throw baseballs. He has just never really had any success to speak of in the minor leagues. He got absolutely destroyed at Omaha, but actually looked pretty good when they sent him to NWA for five starts. He struck out lots of batters, walked very few, and was promoted right back to AAA Omaha. Maybe it was the ball, maybe it was a stiff mattress, who knows. I do think that Blewett could benefit from a move to the bullpen, which may happen sooner than later with the incoming wave of the 2018 college arms. In any case, this ranking for Blewett is a vote of confidence in his stuff. This could be the soon-to-be 24-year olds last chance at the rotation.
#34: Delvin Capellan, RHP
- Age: 20 (December 6, 1998)
- Birthplace: Guayubin, Dominican Republic
- Bats/Throws: R/R
- Ht: 6′ 1″ Wt: 167
- Acquired: International Free Agent
- 2019 stats (BUR): 52.1 IP, 4.99 ERA, 4.64 FIP, 9.11 K/9, 2.41 BB/9, 1.20 HR/9
It was a bit of an odd season for Capellan with Burlington last summer. Over his first four starts of the year, he posted an ERA of 2.75 with 21 K in 19.2 IP. Over his last four starts of the year, he posted an ERA of 2.25 with 21 K in 20 IP. Over four starts in the middle, however, Capellan posted an ERA of 12.79 with 11 K in 12.2 IP. Maybe the kid just doesn’t like the month of July, but everything we have to go off of says he’s more like the pitcher we saw at the beginning and end of the year, than in the middle. I’ve heard coaches and scouts rave about the kid, and I am really excited to see what he brings to the table for Lexington in 2020.
#33: Erick Mejia, UTIL
- Age: 25 (November 9, 1994)
- Birthplace: Villa Mela, Dominican Republic
- Bats/Throws: S/R
- Ht: 5′ 11″ Wt: 155
- Acquired: Trade for Joakim Soria and Scott Alexander
- 2019 stats (OMA): 556 PA, .271/.339/.382/.721, 7 HR, 35 XBH, 19 SB, 0.49 BB/K, 78 wRC+
I may be crazy, but I really think Erick Mejia is the best option to be Kansas City’s super utility bench bat for the 2020 season. The kid can really run, shown by his 34 stolen bases in 2018, he plays 5-6 positions, and puts together professional at-bats. He’s not a great hitter, he’ll probably never be an every day big leaguer, but he can do a lot of things well and provides great versatility for a big league roster. He didn’t have a ton of success in his first go at the big leagues, but I thought he looked comfortable and that’s a pretty good indicator of what you could expect from Mejia over a full season, in my opinion.
#32: Grant Gavin, RHP
- Age: 24 (July 10, 1995)
- Birthplace: Parkville, MO
- Bats/Throws: R/R
- Ht: 6′ 2″ Wt: 185
- Acquired: 2016 MLB Draft
- 2019 stats (NWA): 52.1 IP, 3.61 ERA, 4.04 FIP, 12.55 K/9, 4.30 BB/9, 1.03 HR/9
Any non-closing, right-handed reliever is going to come with a lack of ceiling, but Gavin’s stuff gives him a chance to be a really effective middle reliever at the big league level. His spin rates are really good, giving him extra life to a fastball that sits 92-94, and helping him strike out more hitters per nine innings than almost every other pitcher in the Royals system last year. He’s going to have to cut down on the walks to stick in the big leagues, but his swing and miss abilities make him an intriguing option for the big league bullpen as the 2020 season nears September.
#31: Tyler Zuber, RHP
- Age: 24 (June 16, 1995)
- Birthplace: White Hall, AR
- Bats/Throws: R/R
- Ht: 5′ 11″ Wt: 175
- Acquired: 2017 MLB Draft
- 2019 stats (NWA): 26 IP, 2.42 ERA, 2.95 FIP, 10.38 K/9, 1.73 BB/9, 0.69 HR/9
Tyler Zuber has a real shot to make the big league bullpen early on in 2020. He reminds some in the Royals org of Greg Holland, being an undersized right-handed reliever without an elite fastball but throws a plus breaking ball and has great pitchability. Zuber doesn’t quite have the raw “stuff” that Gavin has, but his ability to mix his pitches consistently in the strike zone gives him the slight nod here.
Photo Credits: David Berding – USA TODAY Sports