Top-26 Assets in the Organization

Let’s pretend that Major League Baseball decides to add a couple of expansion teams to the league for the 2024 season. As part of the expansion draft, every MLB team gets to protect a 26-man roster from the two expansion teams. You don’t get to protect your usual 40-man roster, only enough to fill out a big-league roster. You can protect anyone in your organization, from rookie ball to MLB, but you can only protect 26. Who are the 26 most valuable assets in the Royals organization?

#1: Bobby Witt Jr.

Don’t get it twisted, Bobby Witt Jr., the former Minor League Player of the Year, is still by far the most valuable asset in this organization.

#2: Salvador Perez

The contract doesn’t suggest he’s a value steal or anything but, come on. The rankings aren’t the most important part of this until we get closer to 20 anyway. There will be someone that argues Salvy shouldn’t be on this list. They are wrong.

#3: Vinnie Pasquantino

The Royals have the former MiLB POY, a former MLB HR leader at catcher, a top-25 hitter in baseball, and a former MiLB HR leader in the same lineup.

#4: MJ Melendez

Your former MiLB HR leader.

#5: Maikel Garcia

Garcia is a borderline top-100 prospect in baseball and should be treated as such.

#6: Brady Singer

I know he’s struggling right now, but this is a no-brainer.

#7: Nick Pratto

Finished top-5 in all of MiLB in home runs a couple years ago with MJ and Bobby. Gold Glove defender at first base. Another no-brainer.

#8: Drew Waters

Probably not an All-Star or anything but the only real chance the Royals have for a big league regular in CF right now.

#9: Gavin Cross

Top prospect in the system.

#10: Daniel Lynch

Injury history, lack of adequate performance so far at the big league level, still one of your more valuable pitching assets.

#11: Cayden Wallace

Are we 100% sure he isn’t the second best prospect in the system at the moment?

#12: Nick Loftin

Probably only have to protect him because he’s in AAA at the moment. If he had just been drafted you could probably get away with leaving him unprotected. Still a top-5 prospect in the system and having some success at AAA.

#13: Tyler Gentry

Like Nick Loftin, but different.

#14: The 8th Overall Pick in the 2023 Draft

I don’t even know who the team is picking yet, obviously, but we can pretty well assume the player they select will be somewhere around here in terms of his value to the organization.

#15: Alec Marsh

Probably your top pitching prospect left in the upper levels of MiLB?

#16: Anthony Veneziano

6′ 5″ lefty throwing 95-97 at AA…if the organization had more than three pitchers on this list before this point, maybe you don’t have to protect him. But, since they don’t, you probably do.

#17: Frank Mozzicato

At some point you have to protect your best prospects and Mozzicato is one of them.

#18: Ben Kudrna

Same, but different.

#19: Kyle Isbel

Elite defender in CF who was really coming around offensively before messing up his hamstring. 97 wRC+ over his last 40 PA. Talk about crap timing for a hamstring injury.

#20: Michael Massey

They probably don’t have 26 players worth protecting more than Massey. This may surprise some people, but I think it’s pretty easily justified.

#21: Peyton Wilson

Wilson likely doesn’t get drafted in an expansion draft but he’s athletic enough someone might take a chance on him and the organization doesn’t have a ton of other obvious choices at the moment.

#22: Scott Barlow

I promised myself I wouldn’t put relievers on this list but Barlow’s velocity appears to be back, he’s rebounded well from a slow start, and he has some legitimate trade value left entering his final season of team control. He’s probably worth keeping around for the prospect they’ll get back in a trade.

#23: Luca Tresh

Great defensive catching prospect who has had some offensive success at AA. Kind of grabbing at straws for the final few spots here but I think Tresh makes the cut over guys like Bowlan, Bubic, Lacy, etc. recovering from significant injuries.

#24: Noah Cameron

I know he’s still in High-A, but his pitching style could warrant protection in a system void of much pitching talent in the upper levels of the minor leagues.

#25: David Sandlin

Another pitcher in the lower levels with some serious helium and an outside chance to be a big league starter in a couple years.

#26: Carlos Hernandez

Hernandez still has an outside shot to be an elite reliever so I won’t rule him all the way out here. I would be very against having more than a couple relievers on a list like this, but hey, 22 and 26 are the spots to have them I guess.

Anyway. Got bored and started thinking about MLB expansion the other day. Made me think about who the Royals should protect at the moment if an expansion draft were to happen. Very unserious, unscientific waste of time if you ask me. But kind of entertaining nonetheless. Oh, and no, I am not keeping Edward Olivares around over any of these guys. I thought about Nicky Lopez a lot but decided against it. He’d probably be the type of guy to get drafted too. Just don’t think the bat warrants it at this point. The fact that the Royals only have four pitchers on the big league staff right now worth caring too much about is pretty depressing.


4 thoughts on “Top-26 Assets in the Organization

  1. I love your passion for the Royals even though it’s tough to be invested. I would probably protect Kris Bubic and Diego Hernandez but not sure who I would drop from list. I really like Diego and think he maybe CF of the future–unfortunate injury this spring.


  2. If there’s an expansion draft and that Team takes even one guy from the Royals list over anyone from the Rays or Dodgers lists, they are smoking something. You didn’t go too young in this list, but some of these guys are likely AAAA types. What about the high upside, high uncertainty international kids from the last few classes? guys like Vazquez, Tony Ruiz, Marwys Jorge, Juan Olmos, Henry Ramos, and apparently soon someone named Yandel Ricardo. Any rumors that one of these guys is for real? I’d guess at least one or two of them have more straight up trade value than some of the guys above but maybe that’s not what an expansion draft is for.


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