MiLM for 5/25/22: Nick Pratto…the future in LF?

The 73rd episode of the RFR Podcast is up. Josh, Joel, and I relax a little bit with a game of Two Truths and A Lie, then revisit some preseason predictions to see how bad they were. Then we slowed down for the Minor League Minute where we covered Ben Kudrna, Frank Mozzicato, Eric Cerantola, River Town, Maikel Garcia, Michael Massey, Vinnie Pasquantino, and more…check it out! You don’t want to miss Josh’s doctoral defense of Carlos Santana!

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Here’s a just-for-fun update on the RFR Fantasy League. I am excited to get a few of you guys involved next summer. This has turned out pretty well.

Brewer Hicklen1912151664102467
Michael Massey281181335439115
Nick Loftin29614101772596
Tyler Tolbert21741937181176
Carter Jensen11515213721552
Anthony Veneziano120211235
Alec Marsh48161295
Adrian Alcantara236141380
Nate Webb0
Will Klein18-6
Nick Pratto15417234642167
MJ Melendez16514183631047
Seuly Matias1631510481931
Darryl Collins1892252331262
John Rave24313212972276
Angel Zerpa12692369
Drew Parrish4411064126
Frank Mozzicato333
Jon Bowlan0
John McMillon2016129
Vinnie Pasquantino16121102325340137
Maikel Garcia3411128281415102
Tucker Bradley21424111471783
Kale Emshoff14569451230
Erick Pena1011310471138
Asa Lacy135126
Jon Heasley132131372
Noah Murdock32192370
Ben Kudrna519
Yefri Del Rosario321102147

Yesterday, Jared wrote about the infusion of youth on the Columbia Fireflies roster.

Kudrna was absolutely filthy in his first outing. He went three and a two-thirds innings giving up one hit, one earned run, one walk, and striking out five. His fastball looked great in this one, and the first one was clocked in at 95 mph. As Alex mentioned, his changeup looked disgustingly good. Kudrna struggled to locate his slider but still looked like an above-average pitch. It has some great bite to it. 

Be sure to check out our way-too-early update on the 2021 draft class.

Peyton Wilson may have a bigger “swing and miss” issue than I realized. His 16.2% SwStr% ranks 223rd out of 279 hitters with at least 80 PA at High-A this spring. I thought Wilson’s ability to hit hard line drives might make up for what he lacks in plate discipline, but he’s barely hitting 20% of his batted balls for line drives right now so even his batted ball profile isn’t great right now. He’s still just 22 years old so there’s no reason to worry yet, and he has showed off a good combination of raw power and speed for the level.

AAA Omaha (21-21): L 1-6

Carlos Hernandez’ stuff is just too good for AAA hitters. The big righty only gave up 3 hits in 4.2 innings of work last night, but he walked 5 batters and his control was pretty much terrible all night. He struck out 4 hitters and was, for the most part, not hit hard at all, but he has to control the ball better if he wants to stick in a big league rotation. On an aside, Nick Pratto looks like he might be able to hold it down in LF long-term…he’s not going to win any Gold Gloves out there or anything, but he appears to read the ball just fine and actually plays the position like he’s done it before. It sounds like Rusty Kuntz has been working with him in the outfield before games, which is great news for Royals fans. If Pratto can play LF twice a week in the big leagues it will all of a sudden become super easy to work all these young bats in on a daily basis. Andrew Benintendi is almost surely going to be traded in the next month or two, meaning Pratto might be playing LF in the big leagues sooner rather than later.

Box Score:
– Nick Pratto: 0-2, 2 BB, K
– Vinnie Pasquantino: 1-3, BB, K
– Brewer Hicklen: 0-4, 3 K
– Clay Dungan: 0-4, K
– Jimmy Govern: 1-3, HR
– Carlos Hernandez: 4.2 IP, 3 H, 5 BB, 4 K, 4 ER
– Dylan Coleman: 1 IP, 0 H, 1 BB, 1 K, 0 R

AA Northwest Arkansas (19-20): W 8-5

The Naturals continue to claw back toward .500 with an impressive victory yesterday. Maikel Garcia singled in his 4th at bat of the game, giving him hits in 22 of his last 23 games. He’s been insanely impressive in his first stint at AA. The 22-year old SS was added to the Royals 40-man roster last offseason and is showing everyone why with his performance this spring. On the mound, Angel Zerpa got back to striking guys out with 7 in 5 IP. He gave up 7 hits too, but there were some doinkers involved and the 7 K to 1 BB is what I’m more concerned about. I’d expect him to be back in conversations for big league starts by July.

Box Score:
– Maikel Garcia: 1-5
– Nick Loftin: 0-4, BB, K
– Michael Massey: 3-5, HR, SB, K
– Robbie Glendinning: 1-5, HR, K
– Nate Eaton: 1-4, 2B
– Seuly Matias: 0-3, BB, 3 K
– John Rave: 2-3, BB, K
– Angel Zerpa: 5 IP, 7 H, 1 BB, 7 K, 3 ER
– Yefri Del Rosario: 2 IP, 3 H, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 ER

A+ Quad Cities (15-25): W 3-1

The lack of overall production at both levels of A-ball may not be something worth talking about right now, but it might be in three years. Neither team has been very consistent, or very good really, but the River Bandits were able to pull out a victory last night on the back of a great start from Rylan Kaufman. Kaufman, a 23-year old LHP with phenomenal raw stuff, struck out 8 batters in 6 IP last night. The offense provided just enough support and the River Bandits escaped with a victory.

Box Score:
– Tyler Tolbert: 0-3, BB, 2 SB, K
– Peyton Wilson: 0-3, BB
– Tyler Gentry: 0-4, 3 K
– Luca Tresh: 1-3, BB, 2 K
– Kale Emshoff: 1-4, 2 K
– Herard Gonzalez: 1-3, K
– Rylan Kaufman: 6 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 8 K, 1 ER

A- Columbia (11-29): L 1-9

The cameras in Lynchburg weren’t working last night so I didn’t get to see much of Frank Mozzicato. The Royals 7th overall pick last year recorded just one out last night, gave up three hits, and walked a pair. It wasn’t really the…worst start imaginable, but he didn’t appear to be commanding the baseball at all. I will say…there was a pretty lengthy rain delay before the game, so this may just be a case of a young starter not knowing how to adjust his routine yet. It’s just his second pro start so…maybe. Like I said, I didn’t get to see any of it because of the cameras in Lynchburg, but I’m not at all concerned about one start.

Box Score:
– River Town: 1-4, 2B, K
– Carter Jensen: 1-4, 2 K
– Erick Pena: 0-4, 3 K
– Daniel Vazquez: 0-4, 2 K
– Omar Florentino: 0-3, 2 K
– Frank Mozzicato: 0.1 IP, 3 H, 2 BB, 0 K, 5 ER
– Delvin Capellan: 2.2 IP, 4 H, 1 BB, 4 K, 2 ER

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