Minor League Minutes for 7/19/2021: Bobby Witt Jr. and Nick Pratto to AAA Omaha

We were literally uploading the most recent edition of the RFR podcast when the move was made. There are more moves coming, so join the guys and Alec Lewis of The Athletic as they talk about this wave of promotions.

I wrote about some of the guys due for a promotion last week. Two guys down, two guys to go, and maybe more?

Bobby Witt Jr., SS

This man is wanted for aggravated assault in several different states. From May 21st through July 13th, Jr. hit .337/.408/.669/1.077 with 13 HR, 9 doubles, 4 triples, a 0.40 BB/K, and 180 wRC+ in 196 PA. Then last night he went 1-4 with HR #15 and a walk without striking out. I actually think he’d be in Omaha already if the schedules had lined up better with the Future’s Game.

Speaking of Nick Pratto, he joined the guys on the podcast recently to talk about the success he’s having this season and all the work that went into it.

Our mid-season top 50 prospects list should be out this week. I wrote down some thoughts before the draft started on how this list could look different than the preseason list.

Graduates from the Pre-Season List

#45 Grant Gambrell, RHP: Traded to the Boston Red Sox as a PTBNL in the Andrew Benintendi trade.

#28 Sebastian Rivero, C: He’s currently got like 30ish days of big league service time and you only maintain rookie eligibility through your first 45 days in the big leagues. He may not actually graduate by the end of next week, but he’ll be close enough to graduating that he doesn’t warrant leaving on the list for long.

#21 Nick Heath, OF: Traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks for RHP Eduardo Herrera.

#12 Carlos Hernandez, RHP: Graduated from rookie eligibility.

Photo of Nick Pratto and Bobby Witt Jr.: MLB.com

AAA Omaha (40-24): L 5-12

Omaha has been a little more human since Emmanuel Rivera and Ryan O’Hearn left the lineup, but they’re about to get some reinforcements into an already impressive lineup. Bobby Witt Jr. at SS and Nick Pratto at 1B should create one hell of an offense with Edward Olivares and Kyle Isbel still with Omaha. Omaha will be at home all week against the St. Paul Saints for the debuts of Witt and Pratto.

Really quick, Kyle Isbel finished 2-2 with a HR and a pair of walks on Sunday. He’s struggled some this year but he has been much better of late. He’s got a ways to go yet, but Royals fans shouldn’t be discouraged by the stat line Isbel has posted this year. He’s actually impressed me a bit of late.

AA Northwest Arkansas (34-30): W 4-2, L 6-10

The Northwest Arkansas Naturals are losing their two best players, but reinforcements are on their way. Can’t say who yet, but it’s going to be a much needed boost to the offense in the absence of Pratto and Witt Jr. The Naturals still have a chance to make a playoff run this year so you know the organization won’t let them squander completely in the absence of their best players so far. NWA will be in Tulsa this year where Bobby Witt Jr. will be credited with an extra double when they complete a suspended game from earlier in the year.

A+ Quad Cities (43-21): L 4-5

The River Bandits almost pulled off the 6-game sweep of the Snappers this week. They wasted a great start from LHP Anthony Veneziano and lost the final game of the series late in the game. In any case, they’re about to lose a big piece or two from their lineup and I’m kind of curious to see how they backfill those spots. The River Bandits have to be considered the favorite to win the High-A Central at the moment and you know the Royals will want to give them every opportunity to chase that title in the absence of a couple of their big bats thus far in the season. Quad Cities returns home this week.

Low-A Columbia (31-32): L 2-5

The Fireflies continue to slide in the absence of Maikel Garcia and Ben Hernandez. I can’t help but think they could be down a bat as well as the moves from the upper levels could potentially affect this team too. We’ll see. Foster Griffin made his return to full-season ball last night, striking out 3 in 4 scoreless innings. Saul Garza is now with the team as well, so that should be a helpful reinforcement. Columbia will be back home this week.

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