Kansas City Royals fans can almost see what the future holds, even if it’s fairly far away.
The draft is long over and the selections are signed. Some of the Royals trade pieces have been dealt, with only a few waiting to find out where they are headed. Mike Moustakas will surely find a new home before July is over. It’s possible Whit Merrifield and Lucas Duda say goodbye, too.
“Baseball America” recently updated its Top-10 prospects list for the Royals, the first update with the recent draft picks. It’s likely none of the players that come to the Royals in any trades the remainder of this season will be good enough to crack this list, so let’s take a look.
Here is the top-10, along with their position and age for the bulk of the 2019 season:
1. Brady Singer, pitcher, 22 (ranked No. 64 on BA’s overall top-100 list).
2. Khalil Lee, outfielder, 20.
3. Jackson Kowar, pitcher, 22.
4. Nicky Lopez, shortstop, 24.
5. MJ Melendez, catcher, 20.
6. Seuly Matias, outfielder, 20.
7. Nick Pratto, first base, 20.
8. Daniel Lynch, pitcher, 22.
9. Kris Bubic, pitcher, 21.
10. Josh Staumont, pitcher, 25.
Four of the Royals 2018 draft picks are included, including Singer, Kowar, Lynch and Bubic.
The ages can be good and bad. The good news is that the bulk of these guys could hit Kansas City around the same time and be a solid nucleus for another playoff run.
The bad news is they are mostly pretty far away from KC at this point. Only Lopez and Staumont are as high as Triple-A Omaha. The other bad news is with talent this young, there is plenty of time for things to go wrong and have one or more of the players flame out. It’s not long ago that Kyle Zimmer was the Royals top prospect, and he was never able to stay healthy.
Still, there is promise on that list. Lee has a ton of tools, Lopez is a good fielder who has shown some flashes of a hitting tool, Matias leads the minor leagues in home runs and it’s never bad to have a promising catcher (Melendez).
But, then again, Matias strikes out a ton, Pratto isn’t hitting, Lopez might be nothing more than a weak-hitting second baseman who plays alongside Adalberto Mondesi in KC, and all the pitchers could potentially blow their arms out.
We really won’t know for another four years, give or take. This is the new reality for Royals fans. So don’t worry about the 2018 Royals bullpen blowing saves. Instead, worry about what guys are doing in Omaha, Northwest Arkansas (Double-A) and Lexington (Single-A). That’s where the light at the end of the losing tunnel is located.