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:
- Brennon McNair
- Kale Emshoff
- Michael Massey
- Noah Murdock
- Carter Jensen
- Nathan Webb
- Clay Dungan
- Noah Cameron
- Jake Means
Speeeeedddddd! That is the carrying tool of the guy we are covering this week. Kansas City Royals’ prospect Tyler Tolbert is just a stolen base waiting to happen. He was rated the fastest baserunner in the Kansas City Royals system in 2022 by Baseball America. You just have to look at his numbers to see why. Tolbert has already stolen 27 bases in 47 games this year and last year he stole a total of 55 bags in 89 games. He is just fun to watch as soon as he gets on base. He really gives you Jarrod Dyson vibes when you watch him run around the bases. It is safe to assume that Tolbert gets the greenlight as soon as he is on first base. Tolbert is just a top-level athlete and on top of blazing on the base paths, he makes some nice defensive plays both in the outfield and infield. So far in 2022, he has played all of his games at shortstop.
Tolbert has the chance to be a solid fourth or fifth outfielder who can come off the bench as a pinch runner or a good defensive upgrade late in games. In the words of Jarrod Dyson “That’s what speed do”. The bat is the biggest question mark for him, but if he can hang around the league-average batting line at each level, he will most definitely be an asset once he gets to the major leagues. You aren’t expecting a major league starter here, but he is definitely a piece that could become a solid bench piece. He has also shown a great ability to go on base by drawing the walk and has seen his strikeout percentage drop 7% from his near 32% strikeout rate in 2021. If he can keep making improvements on the offensive side, he becomes more and more valuable to the Kansas City Royals.
Tolbert is just a fun guy to root for. The 13th rounder out of the University of Alabama-Birmingham won’t bring ya much power, but will bring you a ton of excitement. A fun fact is that he has hosted youth camps with another Royals teammate and another UABer, Brewer Hicklen. Tolbert is a super high-energy guy on the field and brings an intensity that teammates feed off of. Like most of the Royals prospects, he seems like an absolutely amazing dude who is selfless on and off the field.