Minor League Minutes: 8/26/2021

The newest episode of the RFR Podcast is up. Joel and I sat down with Geoff Pontes (@ProspectJesus), the co-founder of Prospects Live, to talk about PL’s midseason top 30 Royals prospect list and where the Royals system stacks up against the rest of MLB.

In yesterday’s Minutes I wrote about the crazy season that Vinnie Pasquantino is having. He went 2-4 with a HR and a double last night for Northwest Arkansas.

The list of players:
– Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (19, AAA)
– Jeff McNeil (26, AAA)
– Alex Bregman (22, AAA)

The weekly MiLB leaderboards are updated.

Batting Average

1.) Edward Olivares: .306
2.) Vinnie Pasquantino: .304
3.) Tucker Bradley: .297
4.) Michael Massey + Bobby Witt Jr.: .293
6.) Rudy Martin: .291
7.) Maikel Garcia: .289
8.) Freddy Fermin: .287
9.) Dairon Blanco: .280
10.) MJ Melendez: .279

I wrote recently about the impending Rule 5 decisions that the Royals will have to make, and how it affects the Opening Day roster in 2022.

Locks for the 40-man roster:
– Nick Pratto, 1B
– MJ Melendez, C
– Jonathan Bowlan, RHP
– Dylan Coleman, RHP
– Jonathan Heasley, RHP

If you’ve never read Minda Haas Kuhlmann’s “This Week in the Minors” column over at Royals Review, I highly recommend it. It runs every Tuesday morning.

Jackson Kowar dominated on Saturday, making it into the 7th with no runs allowed, nine strikeouts, a pair of walks, and just two hits allowed. The first strikeout of that game was his 100th of the season, so he now stands at a league-leading 108.

Wednesday Night Highlight Reel

Never Before Seen Power

While Bobby Witt Jr. and Nick Pratto continued to go scorched earth on AAA pitching last night, it made me curious as to how many 30 HR hitters the Royals have had in their MiLB system over the years. The answer was not many. Seuly Matias, Carlos Peguero, Wil Myers, Josh Fields, Mike Moustakas…but the Royals (since at least 2006) never had multiple 30 HR hitters in a single MiLB season. They are about to have three in 2021 between Nick Pratto, Bobby Witt Jr., and MJ Melendez, who currently have 26, 27, and 31 HR, respectively. The Royals have never had a trio of hitters have seasons like this in their MiLB system all at once. This doesn’t even include the guy who might be having the best season in the entire system in Vinnie Pasquantino, who hit his 19th HR of the year last night. The sudden embarrassment of riches that the Royals find themselves with in terms of bats in the minor leagues has been insane, and ought to be a massive tip of the cap towards MiLB hitting coordinators Alec Zumwalt, Drew Saylor, Mike Tosar, and Keoni DeRenne. I’m not certain we’ll see either Pratto or Witt Jr. in Kansas City this September, but it won’t be long in 2022 before they’re wreaking havoc on big league pitching as well.

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