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:
It has been a minute since the last Get to Know a Royals prospect, but we are back! This time we head back to the field to cover another position player to cover Jake Means. Does the last name sound familiar? Jake is the younger brother of Baltimore Orioles left hander John Means who was an American League All Star in 2019. Jake has been with the Kansas City Royals since being selected in the 22nd Round of the 2019 MLB Draft out of Indiana State University. He flashed good potential during his time at Indiana State hitting .286 with a .417 OBP with five home runs and 42 RBI in his senior year.
He has never been a highly touted prospect, but has shown flashes of success throughout his time with the Royals farm system, especially in the power department. Despite his raw power, Means has struggled a bit with the strikeouts. He does offset that with an above-average ability to get on base shown by 14.3% walk rate in 2021. The power and feel for the strike zone gives him the tools to be a solid big leaguer if he can make more consistent quality contact. Those two tools led him to being named to the Arizona Fall League. He struggled there, but did hit cleanup a few times even showing off his power yet again.
Watching the ball come off of Means bat is just fun. He’s had some of the same struggles with making contact (31.9% K rate) with the Northwest Arkansas Naturals, but you just dream of what that raw power could do if he can find a way to gain more consistency with the barrel. The Royals obviously see something they like in Means, both offensively and defensively, given the fact that they sent him to the Arizona Fall League. Drew Saylor called Means a “grinder” and you can see that in the way he goes out and competes every single day. Defensively, he also looks to be average or above-average with quick instincts at both third base and first base. He probably has the ceiling of a major league depth piece, but regardless he is still a fun player to watch.
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