Minor League Minutes: 8/18/2021

The new leaderboards are out. Vinnie Pasquantino leads all Royals minor leaguers in K%, wRC+, and doubles. The season he’s having has been nothing short of incredible and deserves more attention from Royals fans.

K%

1.) Vinnie Pasquantino: 13.6%
2.) Nick Loftin: 13.8%
3.) Michael Massey: 14.2%
4.) Darryl Collins: 14.5%
5.) Clay Dungan: 15.4%

Vinnie came in at #21 on our midseason prospect rankings. It’s important to keep in mind that he didn’t make the top 20 solely because his defensive value will be close to nil. He’s got one of the 5-6 best bats in the system at the moment.

#23: Dylan Coleman, RHP

#22: Darryl Collins, OF

#21: Vinnie Pasquantino, 1B

#20: Jon Heasley, RHP

#19: Maikel Garcia, SS

Vinnie was also kind enough to join Joel on the podcast a couple weeks ago to talk about his season and the new minor league format.

On the most recent edition of the podcast, we had the Royals MiLB leader in strikeouts on the show. Anthony Veneziano also cracked our top 30 at midseason.

John Sorce recently wrote up an interview with Royals 4th round pick Shane Panzini in which they talked about Shane’s journey to pro ball.

“I came into high school fastball, curve/slurve and not really a changeup,” Panzini said. “I took my slurve and was able to distinguish two different breaking balls in the curve and my slider, which had a lot more movement. I also developed a changeup, which you need at the next level, going into my junior year which I was able to use that summer a decent amount.”

8/17/2021 Highlight Reel

Daniel Lynch shines against baseball’s best offense

The Houston Astros lineup has been one of the most ridiculous things going in Major League Baseball this season. They currently have nine hitters with at least 200 PA and a wRC+ of at least 114. That is patently absurd. Kind of makes you wonder if they’ve found an alternative to the trash cans.

Lynch fired 7 innings of 1-run ball against baseball’s best offense last night while giving up just 4 hits, just two of which were doubles, and striking out 5 while staying under 100 total pitches. Over his last five starts, Daniel Lynch has posted an ERA of 2.35 with 24 K in 30.2 IP. He’s been outstanding since returning from Omaha and has faced MLB’s 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 11th, and 18th ranked teams in terms of wRC+ while he’s been at it. The kid is incredibly talented and we’re finally seeing it all come together at the big league level. We had Lynch pegged as our 2nd ranked Royals prospect before graduating him from our list this preseason. Hopefully we’ll keep seeing this version of Lynch as the season goes on.

Another minor wave of promotions

Center fielder Dairon Blanco was promoted to AAA Omaha while Seuly Matias was promoted to AA Northwest Arkansas. Since June 1st, Blanco was hitting .330/.389/.524/.913 with a 144 wRC+ in 259 PA. Matias has been hot lately as well hitting .255/.307/.649/.956 with a 148 wRC+ over his last 101 PA with High-A Quad Cities. Both have seen a drop in their K% lately and, even if you don’t believe in the power potential of Blanco, it’s encouraging to see a guy with legitimate 80-grade speed and a chance to play CF in the big leagues start to hit a little bit. Blanco isn’t young, he’s 28 and in just his third full professional season, but if there’s anyone in the upper levels with a chance to play CF for Kansas City in the future, it’s him. Also, it’s always a good thing when Seuly Matias is healthy.

You may have noticed it in the highlights but RHP Luinder Avila made his full-season debut for Columbia last night. The 19-year old from Venezuela has a big frame and clean arm action to go with a seriously advanced feel for a changeup. He tripled up on the pitch a couple different times to LHH last night which is always a blast to watch. His 4-seam fastball had some crazy cutting action to it and while I don’t think that’s by design, it was good to see him control it in the strike zone with all of that movement. He joined recently promoted Enrique Valdez, a 20-year old SS from the DR, in Columbia after good showings in Arizona early on.

Photo Credits: Josh Franzen (@BanditsPhotog)

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