Minor League Minutes: 6/14/2021

I recently wrote down some thoughts I had watching Asa Lacy pitch. You can find those here.

Lacy’s fastball is a bear to deal with. If he’s putting it on the inner half of the plate like this, A-ball hitters won’t touch it. It’s too much. It’s thrown too hard, spins too fast, from too tough of an angle to get to. The only real chance these guys have is if Lacy leaves a fastball out over the plate and hopefully up in the zone.

If the Royals don’t add any more players between now and 2023, what might their Opening Day roster look like in 2023?

As I’ve maintained for a while, 2023 is the first year that I believe Kansas City HAS to make the playoffs as part of this rebuild. I know the big league club hovering around .500 this year has a lot of folks excited, but I’d actually argue that the club is over performing their ability and is ahead of schedule, at the moment. If the club finishes 78-84 this year, 84-78 in 2022 and barely misses the playoffs, then finishes something like 88-74 in 2023 and makes the playoffs, I’d consider this program working.

The Royals have been a little unorthodox with their top pitching prospects so far, but it’s not cause for concern just yet.

These are five of the best pitching prospects that Kansas City has had since Yordano Ventura made his big league debut. Add in Asa Lacy who started his pro career in A+, Alec Marsh, Jonathan Bowlan, and Austin Cox who are currently in AA, and the Royals have a really steady flow of top-notch pitching prospects to lean on. It is FASCINATING that only two of the Core 4 + Hernandez fired a single pitch at AA before making their big league debuts. Hernandez never even made it to Wilmington!

Alright, let’s get to a recap of Sunday’s MiLB games:

AAA Omaha (25-10): W 15-4

The Omaha Storm Chasers continue to be scorching hot as they take four of six from the St. Paul Saints last week. The team hit a total of 7 HR on Sunday, one each from Edward Olivares, Gabriel Cancel, Angelo Castellano, and Alcides Escobar. Ryan McBroom hit 3 HR in the victory, giving him *12* for the season. Grant Gavin fired three more scoreless innings of relief, lowering his season ERA to 1.82. Tyler Zuber struck out a pair of hitters in two scoreless innings as well. Omaha will play host to the Louisville Bats this week, the Reds AAA affiliate, where Hunter Greene figures to make his AAA debut. Greene, if you’re not familiar, was the 2nd overall pick back in 2017. He’s on a comeback from TJS and is consistently triple digits with his fastball. Should be a great series in Omaha.

AA Northwest Arkansas (16-17): L 4-8

Nick Pratto and MJ Melendez hit back-to-back HR again for the Naturals last night, but it wasn’t enough as the pitching staff handed out 11 BB in 8 IP in the loss. Clay Dungan finished 3-5 with a 2B. Bobby Witt Jr. was 1-4 with a BB and 0 K. Nick Pratto was 2-4 with a HR. MJ Melendez was 1-4 with a HR. The rest of the Naturals lineup was 1-19. They’ll continue their road trip in San Antonio this week.

A+ Quad Cities (22-13): W 8-4

The River Bandits continue to swing hot bats and get great starts from the rotation. Nick Loftin and Vinnie Pasquantino both doubled in the victory. Eric Cole hit his 5th HR of the season. Tyler Gentry walked 3 times. Anthony Veneziano struck out 6 batters in 5 scoreless innings. Will Klein struck out 4 batters in 1.2 innings of relief. The River Bandits will return home on Tuesday.

A- Columbia (19-14): Rain

The weather was not cooperating for Columbia this weekend. They’ll return home Tuesday night.

Photo Credits: Tim Campbell

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