Minor League Minutes: 8/2/2021

If you haven’t already, make sure to check out our mid-season top 51 Royals prospects.

Biggest Strength: Pitching and Middle Infield

Biggest Weakness: Legitimate CF Options

Potential Risers for Preseason 2022: Omar Hernandez, Dayton Dooney, Austin Cox, Carter Jensen

The next episode of the RFR podcast will be later tonight. Make sure to check out the episode from last week, when the guys talked about the trade deadline and some standouts on the farm.

ICYMI: Drew wrote up a great interview he did with Frank Mozzicato’s high school coach.

The curve is a special pitch. It can get anyone out in any count and any situation. It has strong break, moves late, and seems to gain speed as it breaks. I saw an anonymous scout compared the pitch to Andy Petite’s curve. MLB also gave a Frank Viola comparison live on the draft broadcast as it was happening.

I thought this was a cool tweet coming from someone that covers one of KC’s rivals in the AL Central. Brings up a great interview we did with Emshoff after he signed with KC last year.

I chose KC because they have family values and a history of taking care of all players in the organization. Also the scout that recruited me Matt Price was a big reason as well. Developed a great relationship with him and that allowed me to feel comfortable with the organization even more.

Photo of Nick Loftin: Josh Franzen (@BanditsPhotog)

AAA Omaha (44-32): L 3-6

Omaha lost Daniel Lynch to the big league club and is now running a bit short on pitching. They’ve still got Jackson Kowar, but then the rest of the rotation is made up of Brandon Barker, Marcelo Martinez, Jake Kalish, and Eddie Butler. Brady Singer is also there at the moment rehabbing but I don’t think we expect that to last long. They’re going to lose Jackson Kowar and Dylan Coleman to the big league club before too long you’d think, but I’m not entirely sure who the reinforcements will be either. Jon Heasley seems like a quality candidate but he’s also allowed 7 HR in his last 3 starts. Yefri Del Rosario has struggled a bit lately. Angel Zerpa doesn’t appear to be ready to make the jump. In a similar fashion as to why Michael Massey is still stuck in High-A, with no one to take his spot from Low-A, I wonder if it’ll prevent us from seeing Kowar later this year.

Box Score
– Rudy Martin: 2-4, 2B, BB, K
– Bobby Witt Jr.: 0-4, BB, 3 K
– Nick Pratto: 0-3, 2 K
– Meibrys Viloria: 0-3, BB
– Jimmy Govern: 0-4
– Dylan Coleman: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 BB, 3 K
– Joel Payamps: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 BB, 1 K

AA Northwest Arkansas (40-37): L 10-11

Clay Dungan keeps doing his thing at AA. We ranked him #15 on our mid-season rankings more as a tip of the cap to the floor I think he has, less than the potential ceiling, but I think we’ve seen exactly what he can be this year. He’s hitting .294 with a .799 OPS after a 3-6 day for NWA on Sunday. If he hits .294 in the big leagues that would obviously be a huge win, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he could hit .280 with a .730ish OPS either. Really, really impressed with what Dungan has been able to put together this year. I’m excited to see him get a chance at the upper levels to see how it translates.

Box Score
– Clay Dungan: 3-6, 3B
– Emmanuel Rivera: 1-5, BB, K
– MJ Melendez: 0-3, BB, 2 K
– Vinnie Pasquantino: 1-4, BB, 2 K
– Dairon Blanco: 2-5
– Freddy Fermin: 2-3, 2B, 2 BB
– Blake Perkins: 1-4, HR, BB, 2 K
– Brewer Hicklen: 2-5, HR, 2 K
– Kevin Merrell: 2-4, BB, K
– Yefri Del Rosario: 2.2 IP, 4 H, 5 BB, 1 K, 4 ER
– Nolan Watson: 3.1 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 2 K, 0 R

A+ Quad Cities (51-25): W 14-12

On the surface, Nick Loftin has had a pretty mediocre go at professional baseball so far. Doing a quick scouting tour of his stat line isn’t that impressive. Watching him play, however, has been wildly impressive. Loftin hits line drives all over the place. He flashes plus-power to his pull side. He’s played 2B, SS, and 3B for the River Bandits and has performed admirably at all three. On Sunday, he finished 5-6 with 2 doubles, a triple, and a HR, completing the cycle with a walkoff HR in the bottom of the 9th. He’s been a catalyst at the top of the lineup for Quad Cities all year and he’s been under rated by most accounts. He’s going to be an every day big leaguer in some capacity, and while he may never be a perennial All-Star, I could see him sneaking into an All-Star Game or two the same way Whit Merrifield has.

Box Score
– Nick Loftin: 5-6, 2 2B, 3B, HR, K
– Nate Eaton: 2-4, 3B, BB, 2 K
– Michael Massey: 1-4, 2 K
– Seuly Matias: 1-4, HR, BB, K
– Maikel Garcia: 2-5, 2 K
– John Rave: 4-5, HR, K
– Kasey Kalich: 1 IP, 1 H, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 ER
– Yohanse Morel: 0.2 IP, 4 H, 0 BB, 2 K, 3 ER
– Nate Webb: 2 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 4 K, 2 ER

A- Columbia (38-39): W 10-6

There is a ton of perplexing talent in Columbia. You’ve got Kale Emshoff with legitimate 60-grade raw power to go with some problematic swing and miss tendencies. You’ve got Burle Dixon, who may have some of the best raw athleticism in the entire organization, but struggles to hit consistently. Diego Hernandez might be the best defensive CF prospect the Royals have, and he’s hitting .288, but he swings a bit of a limp noodle for a 20-year old in Low-A. It’s a pretty classic Low-A team in that regard, there’s just a lot of volatility in the lineup now that Darryl Collins has missed some time due to injury and Maikel Garcia got promoted to High-A. Will be interesting to see if Erick Pena or any of the 2021 draftees make their way to Columbia any time soon.

Box Score
– Diego Hernandez: 1-5, SB
– Saul Garza: 2-3, 2 BB, K, SB
– Kale Emshoff: 3-4, HR, BB
– Burle Dixon: 1-4, BB, K, 2 SB
– Anderson Paulino: 4.2 IP, 5 H, 1 BB, 7 K, 1 ER

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