Welcome to a new series called Get to know a Royals prospect! In this series, I’ll be looking at prospects at each level, giving you some background and analysis about each of them. The talent in the Kansas City Royals minor league system runs extremely deep. This series will aim to help you get to know about some of the great players that make up the Royals minor league system, including the ones you read and hear about daily and some of the not-so-well-known prospects. I’ll give you the background of where the player came from, take a look at their minor league numbers, provide some analysis about each player, and potentially feature some incredible stories that look at the human behind the athlete.
Here’s a list of the ones I’ve written up so far:
Carter Jensen was one of my favorite prospects that the Kansas City Royals took in the 2021 MLB Draft. The third-rounder was considered one of the best hitting (if not the best) catching prospects in the entire draft. He is a local kid who played his high school baseball at Park Hill High School. He posted some of the best pop times behind the plate before the draft and he is built in a way that will help him stick behind the plate. There were some questions about his ability to stick behind the plate before last year’s draft, but it seems like he is silencing many of those concerns from what I’ve seen. Given his age, he’ll have plenty of time to develop and take off.
Jensen is a guy you can quickly get excited about due to his advanced approach at the plate and ability to show power to all fields. He hit the ground running to start his time in the Arizona Complex League, where he showed off his well-advanced hit tool in his first taste of professional baseball. It was a small sample size as it was only 67 plate appearances, but he sported a solid 14.9% walk rate with a .388 OBP and .404 SLG. Jensen will start the season as an 18-year old and turn 19 next year, so if he winds up starting the season with Low-A Columbia, he’ll be one of the younger players in the league. If he can get off to a hot start again, we may see him rise up prospect lists quickly in 2022.
It was exciting to see the Kansas City Royals take a couple of local guys in Ben Kudrna and Carter Jensen. Anne Rogers pointed out that both had committed to Louisiana State and were planning to be roommates at the college level. The Royals were able to keep both Kudrna and Jensen from going to LSU by signing them well over slot value.
Jensen also really touched on something on Twitter recently that is a passion of mine, mental health awareness. In his tweet, he discussed how mental health is a silent killer and let people know that they should never feel ashamed to speak up if they are struggling. I have tried to highlight this many times in the drive to destigmatize mental health. Always know you are not alone. That is okay not to be okay. To see Jensen at such a young age be aware of these issues, let people know that athletes go through the same issues as everyone else, and be so open is genuinely admirable.