Well it just seems like a perfect time to bring back the first ever series I did for Royals Farm Report last year! One of my favorite things about following Royals minor league baseball is trying to find the under-the-radar prospects in the organization that don’t get enough attention, but have the potential to explode. Last year the series covered:
This year, I expanded the list to six. There has been so much fun talent in the Kansas City Royals minor leagues that it only seemed fitting to add one more. Here is who I’ve covered so:
I am back! Feels like it has been forever since I wrote an article for Royals Farm Report and it sort of has been. Life events, including getting engaged, had me taking a hiatus from the writing world. But what is more exciting than coming back to some more under-the-radar Royals prospects. I get to dive deep into infield prospect Lizandro Rodriguez. I first covered Rodriguez in an article back in November 2021 where I took a look at 5 Arizona Complex League and Dominican Summer League players to keep your eye. Rodriguez was my #2 behind Junior Marin.
The 19-year-old out of Santiago, Dominican Republic has been off to a torrid start since coming stateside. He started off in the Arizona Complex League but was quickly promoted to the Columbia Fireflies (Single-A) after sporting a .973 OPS in 25 games. In the complex league, he was showing a great feel for the strikezone as was seen by his 16.8% strikeout rate. He has a great batted ball profile that gives you a ton of excitement. When the Kansas City Royals first signed him as an international free agent in 2019 he was very much considered a contact oriented first type bat. But Rodriguez has grown and with that growth has come some increased flashes of power. He is showing off a solid blend of speed and power at his young age sporting six doubles, five home runs, and six stolen bases. What is even more exciting is that he has more room for growth in his frame.
On top of his contact skills and developing speed and power, Rodriguez is known for his plus defensive ability and athleticism. Minor League Baseball has him listed as a shortstop but he most definitely profiles as a second baseman with his frame and arm. To that end, he has played all except two games at second base. His athleticism helps him on the base paths and on the field, but Rodriguez is still working to improve his base running abilities to get better jumps and reads. There is still plenty of time for him to improve in those areas as he is still a teenager and has already shown signs of excelling in Single-A.
Rodriguez possesses a lot of tools to get excited about. For a Kansas City Royals farm system that just came in ranked 30th by Baseball America, the development of guys like Rodriguez, Brennon McNair, Roger Leyton, and many others are what will help them most in terms of pushing their way back up the ranks. It is hard to believe this farm system in general is the bottom of the barrel with guys like Gavin Cross, Cayden Wallace, Tyler Gentry, Ben Kudrna, and many others, but alas that is where Baseball America decided to put them. Rodriguez is showing all the signs of things you love to see in a potential top prospect. He still only has a small sample size in Single-A, but with his athleticism, contact skills, and potential growth, the sky’s the limit for Rodriguez.
Photo Credits: Columbia Fireflies