The much anticipated AAA debut of Bobby Witt Jr. and Nick Pratto will take place at 11 am in Omaha. Daniel Lynch will be on the mound for the Storm Chasers, who play host to the St. Paul Saints for a 6-game series. Omaha is currently 40-24 and in 1st place in the AAA East “Midwest Division.” They have the 3rd best record in the entire AAA East league and will be adding some reinforcements to a lineup that was definitely missing Ryan O’Hearn and Emmanuel Rivera. This team is going to be a lot of fun to watch not down the stretch, as they currently roster 4 top 100 prospects according to Baseball America in Pratto, Lynch, Witt Jr., and Jackson Kowar. Kyle Isbel, Sebastian Rivero, Tyler Zuber, Grant Gavin, Gabe Speier, and Edward Olivares are also still on the team for the time being, making them an incredibly intriguing for the second half of the season.
There are also going to be a couple of new faces in the AA Northwest Arkansas lineup today. Jimmy Govern has joined the team to fill in for Bobby Witt Jr. and Vinnie Pasquantino will take over at 1B for the Naturals. Jimmy Govern has done nothing but rake since entering the organization in 2019, and should help to bolster a Naturals lineup that will be missing its two stars from the first half. Pasquantino struck out just once in his last 51 PA at High-A before being promoted on Sunday evening. He leads the organization with 20 doubles already and has 13 HR to go with it. Once he gets adjusted to AA pitching, he should be able to help the Naturals continue their playoff chase down the stretch.
Folks will be wondering about Michael Massey not immediately being promoted from High-A with Pasquantino, but you can’t totally gut the lineup of the 1st place River Bandits down in Quad Cities. Jeison Guzman is off playing in the Olympics with the Dominican Republic, and I imagine they’ll look at potentially promoting Massey after he returns to the team. Maikel Garcia is up with Quad Cities now and Nick Loftin is still there, so they should be fine once Guzman returns. For now, Massey will anchor the aforementioned 1st place lineup and I have no doubt will prove he’s ready for AA here in the coming weeks.
1.) Bobby Witt Jr. + Michael Massey – 50
3.) MJ Melendez + Ryan McBroom – 49
5.) Juan Carlos Negret – 45
#23 Nick Pratto, 1B: Pratto has a 156 wRC+ and has already clubbed 14 HR for AA Northwest Arkansas this season. His K% keeps going up and is starting to concern me a little bit, but the power is legit and he has answered a bunch of questions that folks had about him coming into 2021.
Shameless Plug Time
The guys at the site have done a wonderful job this year promoting the Royals minor league system. Drew did about as good of draft day coverage as I’ve seen on any prospect site. Joel has been managing and editing our podcast for well over a year now. We’ve been able to incorporate more video this year than ever before, bringing you footage (sometimes live) of the Royals future stars. We’ve been able to bring you live insight from Spring Training, the College World Series, Omaha, and Northwest Arkansas. All of that to say, we are determined to remain a free website with 100% free content for as long as possible. We do make a little ad money from the site, but I’d like to be able to better compensate our guys if possible. We have a Patreon page setup for anyone who would like to support the work we do here. You can find us at www.patreon.com/royalsfarm. Every patron we have allows us to do more and more things to bring you the best coverage possible of the Royals minor league system. You won’t find much content there because it’s all free on our website or Twitter account, but every $1/month pledge makes a difference. Thank you for your continued support. We look forward to watching this system grow with you.