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:
This week, we look at the 2021 5th-round pick out of Mississippi State, Eric Cerantola. Originally from Montreal, Canada, the 6’5, 220lb right-handed pitcher was the Saturday night starter for the Bulldogs. He possesses an elite fastball that has pushed 100 mph and pairs it with an elite curveball and above-average changeup. After being drafted, he got a brief taste of professional ball by throwing 4.2 innings pitched while striking out nine and walking seven.
The only thing is that his stuff is extremely raw. Even in his first taste of professional baseball, he struggled with command. He was taken in the first five rounds just based on the projection of what his stuff could turn into if he developed even just average command and control. Since he is already 21 years old, Cerantola has started the year in Low-A Columbia, bringing his elite stuff to the mound. He has thrown 3.1 innings pitched while walking two and striking out three. This year, his primary focus will be looking to hone his fastball command. If he can maintain his high velocity and control it, he could be a major staple for the major league club.
Cerantola grew up in hockey. Before becoming fully invested in baseball, he was selected in the eighth round of the 2016 Ontario Hockey League draft. The other thing that I love about him is that he is an absolute competitor on the mound. He has an intensity that you love to see. He is a physical presence on the mound, and you can tell he is an outstanding athlete. He’s got the tools and traits to be a bulldog on the mound in the major leagues. At the very least, he could become a high-leverage, high-octane bullpen arm who makes hitters look foolish in the 7th, 8th, or 9th innings.