Good morning you beautiful souls. Baseball is officially back today as the Royals pitchers and catchers will report to big league Spring Training and have their first official workout of the spring today.
It seems as though this spring is filled with infinitely more optimism for our Boys in Blue than the last couple of Spring Trainings have carried. The Royals recently traded a couple of promising OF prospects for former #1 prospect and Arkansas Razorback Andrew Benintendi. The farm system finally has the look of a top 10-15 unit in all of MLB. Vegas has the Royals win total O/U set at 72.5, putting the Royals within an arm’s reach of .500 if they can catch a couple of big breaks or five. The big league lineup will return a couple of stolen base leaders, a back-to-back hit king, a former league leader in home runs, a catcher with multiple Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards, and the league’s aforementioned former #1 overall prospect.
Add to that a small army of talented pitching prospects and it’s not hard to squint and see this team pulling 80 wins out of their hat in the 2021 season. It will almost certainly be the best team the Royals have fielded since 2017 and, with any luck, should be the most fun too. So buckle up, Royals fans. The boys are back, and they’re lookin’ for trouble.
#21: Nick Heath, OF
The title of “fastest 4th outfielder” in baseball lies firmly in Kansas City. Heath can absolutely fly and ought to have a prominent role on KC’s bench sometime in the near future.
There is a very real chance that Emshoff is at #1 on this list this time next year if he can prove himself in professional baseball. I don’t think he has the ceiling to climb into our top 10 overall, but his floor is certainly high enough to top this list next season.
Assuming the reports on Loftin are true and he makes a quick rise through the system, I expect to see him in the top 10 by next preseason, approaching a mid-July promotion to the big leagues in what should be a competitive 2022 season for the big league club.
If you’ve already read about our top 50 list, or if you saw my tweets on Tuesday night, you’ll know that the Royals only had one 3B prospect in our top 50 overall Royals prospects.
If you haven’t paid attention to the Royals since their run of prominence, there are some names you’ll need to become acquainted with. While there are several important ones I’d love to look at, I’d like to limit this to just five getting a big spotlight.