Prospects the Royals should be targeting at the trade deadline

The 2022 MLB trade deadline is exactly one week from today. It’s been pushed back a couple of days from the normal July 31st deadline, so it’ll be on August 2nd this year. There is no more “August waiver trade” bologna that used to take place, so any player that is going to be traded this season must be traded prior to the deadline on Tuesday August 2nd. The Royals have a bunch of players that teams ought to be interested in this year, so I’m going to give you one last breakdown of prospects that I would be targeting if I was JJ Picollo and company. Really quick, you can read this piece I wrote back in June outlining a few teams and players I thought made sense at the time. Here’s a quick, updated roundup of teams and prospects I’ve got my eyes set on that I think the Royals could trade for within the next week:

  • Philadelphia Phillies:
    • Johan Rojas, CF, AA, 21 years old
      • Rojas is a true 70-grade runner and a mortal lock to stick in CF long-term. He’s young, and he’s got a ways to go despite being in AA already, but he’s certainly a kid you can bank on manning CF at The K long-term (which is ironic considering there probably won’t be “The K” long-term). Offensively, Rojas is pretty raw but he does have quite a bit of raw power and he’ll swipe a bunch of bags. He should probably be at the top of KC’s wish list.
    • Alec Bohm, 3B, MLB, 25 years old
      • Okay so Bohm isn’t a “prospect” per se, but he’s a big kid with a ton of raw power who just hasn’t quite figured things out at the big league level just yet. Still, there’s a lot to like about this kid and he’d fill an immediate need of “third baseman of the future” in Kansas City.
    • Erick Miller, LHP, AA, 24 years old
      • Miller is a little bit older, and his recent success may have him higher on boards than I realize, but I think he’s attainable in some kind of trade revolving around Benintendi. We all know this club needs pitching and Miller is a big lefty at 6′ 5″ 240′ with a bevy of offspeed stuff that should make him a staple in a big league rotation.
  • San Diego Padres:
    • Robert Hassell III, OF, High-A, 20 years old
      • I can tell you right now that this isn’t happening, but the Royals should be willing to trade basically every veteran on the team for him. Maybe Benintendi combined with Whit and Barlow gets it done. You’re definitely going to have to have Beni and Barlow in on this. Anyway, I think Hassell is a certified top-25 prospect in baseball and while he’s *probably* not available, the Padres ought to be in “go” mode and Hassell is still a couple years away form contributing in the big leagues. However, if you’re Kansas City looking to reload the farm system for the next few years…here’s your guy. Sell out for him.
    • Jackson Merrill, SS, Low-A, 19 years old
      • The Royals had Merrill in for a pre-draft workout last year and I’m pretty sure he was on their radar. He’s done nothing but hit since being drafted so hopefully nothing has changed on that end. You might be able to get him for Beni straight up, but I’d be okay adding in a kicker here.
    • Eguy Rosario, 3B, AAA, 22 years old
      • The Padres have Manny Machado and Fernando Tatis Jr. on the left side of their infield for the foreseeable future, so Rosario may actually be obtainable. He doesn’t have any elite calling cards but he’s a good defender at the hot corner with a recent track record of producing as a younger guy at each level. He’s got 14 HR and 15 SB at AAA this year so he’s certainly got the tools to be a big leaguer.
  • New York Yankees
    • Ken Waldichuk, LHP, AAA, 24 years old
      • Solid starting pitching prospect who may never be a top-3 piece of a playoff rotation, but seems like a good bet to be a starter long-term.
    • TJ Sikkema, LHP, High-A, 23 years old
      • Underrated arm out of Mizzou that’s been hindered a bit by injuries. Might be able to start in the big leagues but reminds me of a Gabe Speier type that should be able to find success out of the bullpen.
    • Hayden Wesneski, RHP, AAA, 24 years old
      • Very much like Waldichuk. Probably never a #1-3 but could certainly slot in as a #4-5 right now in the big leagues.
    • Oswaldo Cabrera, INF, AAA, 23 years old
      • I’m not sure the Yankees would want to sell low on Cabrera right now, but he’s got a 30% K% in AAA after having some success at the level last summer. I like the Yankees arms better than their bats, but if you’re looking to get a bat out of them, this could be your guy.
  • Atlanta Braves
    • Jared Shuster, LHP, AA, 23 years old
      • The Royals already traded for the first guy I mentioned from Atlanta, so why not go 2/2 here? We know the two front offices are familiar with each other and the Braves just lost Adam Duvall for the season so they have an even bigger need in the outfield right now. They’re also without Ozzie Albies for another month or more so maybe you swing a huge deal here all at once?
    • Vaughn Grissom, INF, AA, 21 years old
      • The 2019 MLB Draft has already produced one big leaguer from the 11th round of that class, and Grissom could soon make for a second. He’s done nothing but rake since being drafted and, like Eguy Rosario earlier in this article, he doesn’t possess an elite calling card which could make him attainable this week. The Braves are set to lose Dansby Swanson in free agency this offseason, so if they don’t work something out with him they could view Grissom as their next SS long-term. In any case, he should definitely be on the radar if you want to keep adding bats to the system.
    • Alan Rangel, RHP, AA, 24 years old
      • Rangel may not be a starter long-term, but I think he’s got the chance to be a damn good reliever. You certainly wouldn’t build a return around Benintendi around him, but he’d be an excellent throw in.
  • Tampa Bay Rays
    • Kam Misner, OF, AA, 24 years old
      • Another Mizzou commit, the power has come through this year, and so have the strikeouts. The Rays probably won’t look to buy anyone like Benintendi or Barlow, but maybe they come calling for MAT or Gallagher…or both.
    • Jonathan Aranda, INF, AAA, 24 years old
      • The Rays sent Aranda back to AAA this week for some reason, despite him having a bunch of success in a limited big league sample. Maybe if the Rays don’t need him immediately, they’d be willing to trade him? I also think it’s possible his stock has risen way more than I realize this summer.
    • Tanner Murray, INF, High-A, 22 years old
      • Just seems like the Royals kind of guy.
  • Milwaukee Brewers
    • Garrett Mitchell, CF, AA, 23 years old
      • The Brewers have Sal Frelick coming in hot and Mitchell has had a hard time staying healthy in his brief minor league career. If you can send Benintendi to the current leaders of the NL Central, you might be able to get a young CF with big time tools in return.
    • Ethan Small, LHP, AAA, 25 years old
      • Very much like a couple of the aforementioned pitchers from the Yankees system. Probably never a high-impact starter but has a high likelihood of offering you starter’s innings.
    • Tyler Black, 2B, High-A, 22 years old
      • Black was the 33rd overall pick in last year’s draft and has had a great run in High-A this year. He’s exactly the type of guy I’d be looking to add to the system if I was JJ Picollo. More walks than strikeouts, 13 stolen bases, good defender, producing at the plate…
    • Antoine Kelly, LHP, High-A, 22 years old
      • I love Kelly. He’s a 6′ 5″ LHP with dynamic stuff and is finally reigning in the control a little bit this year. The walks are still…problematic, and may ultimately put Kelly in the bullpen long-term, but he’s exactly the type of arm I’d take a gamble on if I were KC.
    • Dylan File, RHP, AAA, 26 years old
      • File throws three good offspeed pitches and has great command, but his fastball limits any kind of ceiling you would hope for in the big leagues. This is good for Kansas City because that means he could be available in a trade.
  • Los Angeles Dodgers
    • Andy Pages, OF, AA, 21 years old
      • This kid has all kinds of raw power and is quickly working his way up top-100 lists. I don’t know how motivated the Dodgers would be to trade Pages, but he should be the number two prospect on the Royals wish list, behind Robert Hassell III, in my opinion.
    • Jacob Amaya, SS, AAA, 23 years old
      • The Dodgers system is so deep, so it’s hard telling who could be available and who may not be, but Amaya would be on my short list of guys I want the Royals looking at from their system.
    • Gavin Stone, RHP, AA, 23 years old
      • I’ve watched stone throw a few times this year already and, let me tell you, the kid is legit. He’s got #2 starter in the big leagues “stuff” and he’s controlled it better than I think most publications give him credit for. He doesn’t have great command in the zone, which can lead to him getting hit some, but he keeps the ball in the yard and he gets plenty of strikeouts. Now might be a team’s last chance to get him before he becomes untouchable.
    • James Outman, CF, AAA, 25 years old
      • The Dodgers always seem to have guys like this that pop up out of nowhere and become legitimate big league prospects. The Royals are doing that a fair bit too nowadays, but Outman is a legitimate center fielder which the Royals have very few of at the moment.

There are certainly more guys in play than this for Kansas City. I nailed their interest in Drew Waters in that piece back in June, but I wouldn’t be surprised at all if they traded three big league players and didn’t acquire a single player on this list. In any case, they should have a wonderful opportunity to add a ton of talent to their farm system if they play their cards right, and these are just some names I’ve got my eye on personally.

Really quick, because people have asked, here’s a quick inventory of how likely I think it is that they trade players currently on the big league roster:

– Andrew Benintendi

– Whit Merrifield

– Cam Gallagher
– Michael A. Taylor

– Scott Barlow
– Amir Garrett

– Brad Keller
– Taylor Clarke

– Jose Cuas
– Joel Payamps

– Josh Staumont
– Hunter Dozier

– Emmanuel Rivera
– Kyle Isbel
– Zack Greinke
– Dylan Coleman

– Nicky Lopez
– Bobby Witt Jr.
– MJ Melendez
– Vinnie Pasquantino
– Nick Pratto
– Brady Singer
– Angel Zerpa
– Kris Bubic
– Jackson Kowar
– Wyatt Mills
– Ryan O’Hearn

3 thoughts on “Prospects the Royals should be targeting at the trade deadline

  1. If I’m the GM, I’m prioritizing pitching in return unless its a CF or 3B prospect. I’m pretty comfortable with the guys that have come up and with guys like Michael Massey, Maikel Garcia and Tyler Gentry and Nick Lofton. The pitching has struggled mightily in the minors. Nearly all of our former prospects have taken steps backwards.


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