Welcome back. Another year is upon us which means it’s time to break out another edition of the Royals Farm Report preseason prospect rankings. As always, these rankings are a cumulation of what is now seven different lists compiled by the guys on staff here. Jared Perkins, a new member of our staff, was able to get involved this year adding a new angle to our list. A couple of things to remember about prospect lists:
– They DO NOT MATTER. This is a list from a group of bloggers that love the Royals. We watch as many games as possible, do as much digging as possible, and try like hell to get you the best list possible so you can have an idea of what the Royals have coming through the minor league system. We love what we do and we love sharing that love with you. There’s no reason to be upset about a list. I promise you JJ Piccolo and the Royals front office aren’t using this list in their evaluations. So, enjoy the list, but please don’t take it too seriously.
– This list is a combination of seven individual lists. There’s no one person responsible for the placement of the prospects on this list.
– This list won’t be perfect. There will certainly be someone we rank way too low that makes us look silly in a couple of years. We do what we can, but understand that this is more for record keeping than “player #14 is better than player #15.” Pay more attention to tiers, and groups of prospects, rather than each individual ranking.
Alright, that should cover most of our bases. Thank you all so much for getting this far. We appreciate all of you for your support over the years. This will be our fourth annual preseason prospect rankings here at Royals Farm Report. Just for funsies, here’s a quick look at the top 5 prospects on each of our previous preseason lists.
1) Nick Pratto
2) Khalil Lee
3) Seuly Matias
4) Hunter Dozier
5) MJ Melendez
1) MJ Melendez
2) Brady Singer
3) Daniel Lynch
4) Khalil Lee
5) Nicky Lopez
1) Bobby Witt Jr.
2) Jackson Kowar
3) Daniel Lynch
4) Brady Singer
5) Erick Pena
1) Bobby Witt Jr.
2) Daniel Lynch
3) Asa Lacy
4) Jackson Kowar
5) Erick Pena
A couple of those names from 2021 might look pretty similar this year, but there’s gonna be some new faces in there too. I’m excited to get this going. Thank you, again, very much for enjoying this with us. To get started, we’re going to rattle off 23 players that didn’t quite make the list, but deserve mention in some capacity. To have 73 players worth mentioning on any sort of a prospect list is a wonderful problem for an organization to have. So, without further ado, here are your 2022 preseason honorable mentions.
Foster Griffin, LHP
Griffin made his big league debut on his birthday back in 2020 and immediately required Tommy John Surgery after 1.2 IP. He spent most of the 2021 season rehabbing, but did make it back for some live action in the minor leagues. Griffin threw 46 innings between A-ball, AA, and AAA last year to the tune of a 2.93 ERA. He also struck out 42 batters to just 13 walks. Assuming he can return to his pre-surgery form, I don’t see why Griffin wouldn’t get another shot at the big leagues. In his prime, Griffin worked 88-91 with good arm-side run on his fastball, and effectively mixed in a changeup and breaking ball that kept hitters off balance. I don’t have a ton of expectations for him, but I wouldn’t rule out him being a semi-serviceable big league arm at some point either.
Brennon McNair, SS
A 2021 draftee with quite a bit of raw talent. McNair hit well in his first go at pro ball in Arizona last summer and is definitely worth keeping an eye on in 2022.
Rothaikeg Seijas, OF
A 19-year old outfielder with a bunch of raw power and a short record of offensive production in professional baseball. Excited to see if he can make his way to Low-A Columbia this summer. One of my favorite under-the-radar guys in the system.
Diego Hernandez, CF
Maybe the best defensive centerfielder in the system. Good bat-to-ball skills. ++ runner. 21-year old with a chance to rise through the system.
John Rave, CF
Maybe the only other candidate for the “best defensive centerfielder” in the system. Good speed. Good raw power. Lots of swing and miss. Really came on late in the year. Should get a shot to start in CF at AA Northwest Arkansas this spring.
Charlie Neuweiler, RHP
Gonna be 23 in AA this year. Really good feel to pitch. Fastball velocity just never came around. One of my favorite breaking balls in the system. Added a low RPM changeup last offseason that could be a legitimate weapon against lefties. Could easily get back into the top 40 with a good showing at AA early in 2022.
Roger Leyton, OF
Athletic outfielder that had a really good showing in Arizona last summer.
Jaswel De Los Santos, OF
Another athletic outfielder that hit the ball well in Arizona last summer.
Dayton Dooney, 2B
2021 draftee out of a JUCO in Arizona. I actually like Dooney a good bit. Made our top 50 at midseason. Should get a chance to start in Low-A Columbia as a 22-year old this spring.
Kasey Kalich, RHP
The relief prospect KC got for Jorge Soler. Good fastball. I’m bullish on the curveball. Probably a big league reliever.
Samuel Valerio, RHP
6′ 4″ 20-year old kid with a huge fastball that’s topped 100 mph.
AJ Block, LHP
Block kind of came out of nowhere in 2021. Dominated Low-A and then held his own in High-A after a mid-season promotion. Fastball sits in the low-90’s, tops 94. Changeup is a ++ pitch for him. Could be interesting to watch. Will be 24 next summer.
Matt Stil, RHP
21-year old that held his own in Low-A last summer. Struck out his fair share of batters. Walked quite a few too. Good fastball. Could develop into an effective big league reliever I think.
Saul Garza, C/1B
Big undrafted free agent signing out of LSU back in 2020. Would be higher on this list but he played a lot more 1B than C with Low-A Columbia last summer. Not sure he hits enough to play 1B long-term. Bat could carry him behind the plate though. We’ll see.
Lizandro Rodriguez, IF
18-year old tore up the DSL last summer. Will keep my eye on him in Arizona.
Junior Marin, OF
Similar story as Rodriguez. 17-year old posted a 205 wRC+ with 7 HR in the DSL. One of the best offensive seasons any Royals international free agent has had. Certainly worth keeping an eye on in Arizona.
Herard Gonzlez, IF
Tooled up middle infielder that showed some impressive pop and discipline at the plate in 2021. There’s too much swing and miss here for me to put him in our top 50 just yet, but I really like this kid.
Omar Florentino, SS
Tooled up SS. Struggled in Arizona last summer.
Burle Dixon, OF
Tooled up outfielder with huge upside if he ever cuts down on the strikeouts. Tons of raw athleticism. Fun guy to watch.
Yohanse Morel, RHP
I thought it was odd that Morel was moved to the bullpen at the very beginning of 2021, but he did not fair overly well there. A former top-20 prospect of ours. The stuff is legit. His fastball/changeup combo are nasty. Results have just never matched the eye test.
Delvin Capellan, RHP
Capellan had a pretty good year for Columbia. Walked way more guys than he needs to be walking. Needs an uptick in his fastball velocity. Strong feel to pitch. Stuff not quite there yet. He’s close, though. Just missed our top 50.
Adrian Alcantara, RHP
A personal favorite of mine. Great fastball/split-change combo. Great feel to pitch. Stuff needs to tick up but this kid could take off if it does. Still just 22.
Anderson Paulino, RHP
Big fastball. Looks athletic on the mound. Not much else has come full circle just yet. The fastball gives him a chance.