Previewing the 2018 Lexington Legends

Nick Pratto, photo courtesy of http://www.kansascity.com/sports/mlb/kansas-city-royals/6zuekb/picture157060489/alternates/FREE_640/RoyalsNickPratto1

Hey guys, welcome to the 2018 Sally team preview series, I’m excited to get these going again.  This is my 3rd year of doing the previews, they make for a great off-season project and I learn a ton from them.

Today I’ll be looking at the 2018 Lexington Legends, the Single-A  full season affiliate of the Kansas City Royals.  The Royals have an improving farm system and they have a lot of talent at the rookie ball level.  Lex should be a fun team to watch in 2018 and moving forward.

For those not familiar with the series: I scour the rookie levels of each organization and speculate on who might be coming to the Sally in 2018 and whenever possible I try to include a scouting report.   New for this year, I’ll also be interviewing some of my favorite prospectors to find out who they’re most excited about coming out of rookie ball.  Both the high end players and some sleepers to watch for.  I’m looking forward to collaborating with some talented people. Some that I know fairly well and others that I’m just a fan of there work.

Joining me for this piece are two talented prospectors.  1st up is Patrick Brennan (on Twitter @paintingcorner) he’s the founder of Royals Farm report (royalsfarmreport.com and on Twitter @RoyalsFarm).  He also writes for BP Wrigleyville and Crawfish Boxes (SB Nation Astros).  I discovered the Royals Farm Report last Summer while looking for some kids to explore for an upcoming look at the  Burlington Royals.  The RFR team helped me out a great deal that day and they continue to help me out today.  Anytime I want info on a Royals farm hand that’s the 1st place I look.  They have built an impressive site in a short time.  I’m looking forward to watching it grow.   Patrick will be giving us some players to watch out for coming out of short season ball.   It’s my 1st time collaborating with Patrick but I found him to be knowledgeable and gracious with his time.   Also contributing on this Lexington preview is Clinton Riddle.  (on Twitter @TheGrandOldGame) I’ve enjoyed Clinton’s work as a prospector/minor league photographer for quite a while.   Formerly with “27 Outs” Clinton now works with John Sickles at “Minor League Ball”, David Conde at “Legends on Deck” and Scott Greene at “Prospect 1500”.  He’s a unique voice in the industry,  in addition to the typical prospect writing, Clinton does quite a few retro pieces that are always entertaining.  He’s  also credentialed with the Lex Legends and will be giving us a few potential returnees that caught his eye in 2017.    Clinton has helped out on a few pieces here at Notes.  He’s an excellent resource and is always generous with his time.   It’s an honor to have both gentlemen here.

At Notes From The Sally it’s all about live look scouting.  Once I see the 2018 Lexington Legend’s you can expect to see write ups on many of the players listed.  I’ll be getting some early looks, they’ll be in my area for 7 games in April plus another 4 in May.  I should get 3 or 4 looks out of that alone.

 

Lets meet the notables (I’m including a scouting link for some of the top players from sites that I trust.   Patrick also gives his thoughts on those players and a whole lot more below)

 

 

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Cqkm2ocVMAA8kvu.jpg

1B) Nick Pratto- Age 19, listed 6’1″ 195 lbs, bats and throws left.  He was drafted 14th overall in the 2017 draft out of High School in Huntington Beach, CA (Los Angeles Metro).

John Sickles of “Minor League Ball” released his Royals top 20 prospect list for 2018 in December and had this to say about Pratto:

“First round pick in 2017 from high school in California; long track record as an amateur including Little League and World Cup heroics; draws praise for his swing mechanics and defensive ability; mentioned comps include Eric Hosmer, Wally Joyner, Joey Votto; hit .247/.330/.414 in pro debut, less than expected but it is early of course; had some issues with contact (58 Ks in 52 games, 198 at-bats) which did not fit advertised skill set; scouts still seem to love him. ETA 2021.”

For the rest of the Royals top 20, click here:  https://www.minorleagueball.com/2017/11/9/16630650/kansas-city-royals-top-20-prospects-for-2018

 

 

 

 

Khalil Lee, photo courtesy of http://www.kentucky.com/sports/mlb/lexington-legends/q4cr1e/picture147553254/alternates/LANDSCAPE_1140/KhalilLee

CF- RF) Khalil Lee-  Age 19, listed 5’10” 170 lbs, bats and throws left.  He was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2016 draft out of High School in Oakton, VA (20 miles west of Washington, DC)

Worth noting, Patrick think’s he’s headed for Wilmington.  But I’ll include him here just in case.

Patrick and the rest of the team at Royals Farm Report recently released there Royals top 100 prospect list.  And Lee came in at #2 on the list.

Alex Duvall put together a detailed piece in conjunction:   https://royalsfarmreport.com/2017/12/14/2017-royals-prospect-rankings-2/

 

 

 

 

Michael Gigliotti, photo courtesy of https://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/926448904698081280/0kAx9Zsk.jpg

CF) Michael Gigliotti- Turns 22 in February, listed 6’1″ 180 lbs, bats and throws left.  He was drafted in the 4th round of the 2017 draft out of Libscomb Univ (Nashville, TN)

He got into 18 games with Lexington post draft and put up a respectable 8% BB rate and 20% K rate.  But just a .116 ISO and a net 2 SB (SB-CS) despite 12 attempts.   It’ll be interesting to see if he comes back or if he heads for Wilmington (A+).

Clint Scoles of BP Kansas City reviewed the 1st four rounds of the 2017 draft, click here for his thoughts on Gigliotti and a whole lot more.   http://kansascity.locals.baseballprospectus.com/2017/06/16/royals-2017-mlb-draft-review-rounds-1-4/

 

 

 

Seuly Matias, photo courtesy of https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DHjLbX2XgAAXwyp.jpg

RF) Seuly Matias- Age 19, listed 6’3″ 200 lbs, bats and throws right.  He signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2015.

Rich Wilson of “Prospect 361” recently counted down him top 10 Royals prospects and had this to say about Matias:

“Seuly Matias follows Raul Mondesi Jr. and Elier Hernandez as the three highest-paid Latin Players in the Royals organization.  Mondesi has already made it to the major leagues and while he didn’t play particularly well, his future is still very bright.  Hernandez power just hasn’t developed but he’s also still very young.  Matias signed two years ago and is just getting started but the early returns are encouraging”

“In the Appy League, Matias slashed .243/.297/.423 in 57 games with a 3.5:1 strikeout-to-walk rate.  How is that…” encouraging”.  Well, he was one of the youngest players in the league and his .422 SLUG is well, encouraging.”

“Scouting Report:  At 6-foot-3 and 200 pounds, Matias looks the part of a big leaguer.  He’s very athletic with great bat speed.  He shows his bat speed off in batting practice, driving balls effortlessly to all fields.  Common for young players, his primary over-the-fence power is to his pull-side.  Most evaluators believe that as his hit-tool improves, he’s strong enough to drive balls out to center and right.”

For the rest of the Royals top 10, click here:   https://prospect361.com/al-team-prospects/Kansas-City-Royals/

 

 

 

 

MJ Melendez, photo courtesy of The Royals Farm Report

C) MJ Melendez-  Age 19, listed 6’1″ 185 lbs, bats left and throws right.  He was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2017 draft out of high school in Miami, Fl.

Nick J Faleris and Burke Granger of “2080 Ball” had Melendez as the 3rd best catcher in the 2017 draft.  You can read there thoughts here:   https://2080baseball.com/2017/06/2017-mlb-draft-positional-previews-catchers/

 

 

 

Evan Steele, photo courtesy of http://cdnak1.psbin.com/img/mw=450/cr=n/d=qyn6m/f6elb3i4yuluvck7.jpg

LHP)  Evan Steele- Age 21, listed 6’5″ 210 lbs, bats right and throws left.  He was drafted 74th overall in the 2017 draft out of Chipola College (Marianna, FL)

 

 

 

 

Daniel Tillo, photo courtesy of the Royals Farm Report

LHP) Daniel Tillo- Age 21, listed 6’5″ 215 lbs, bats and throws left.  He was drafted in the 3rd rd of the 2017 draft out of Iowa, Western Community College.

 

 

 

 

 

RHP) Tyler Zuber, Age 22, listed 5’11” 175 lbs, bats and throws right.  He was drafted in the 6th round of the 2017 draft out of Arkansas State Univ (Jonesboro, AK) (60 miles north west of Memphis, TN).

 

 

 

LF)  Brewer Hicklen-  Turns 22 in February, listed 6’2″ 208 lbs, bats and throws right.  He was drafted in the 7th round of the 2017 draft out of the Univ of Alabama (Brimingham).

 

 

Now here’s Patrick Brennan of the Royals Farm Report  giving us a bunch of names to watch for coming out of short season.

 

Question #1   The 14th overall pick in the 2017 draft was Nick Pratto and he’s received a lot of positive buzz post draft.  Who is he and what’s his offensive ceiling/floor?  Is he a 1B only player?  Do you think he reaches Lexington in 2018?

 

Patrick-  “When the Royals called Pratto’s name at 14, I was pretty satisfied. There was some other talent left on the board that I would have liked to have (J.B. Bukauskas, Alex Faedo, D.L. Hall, Heliot Ramos), but heading into the draft I thought Pratto possessed one of the better swings in this year’s class.”

“After the draft, I was pretty convinced that Pratto was the Royals best prospect (that probably says more about the system as a whole). If you look at the slashline (.247/.330/.414), he had what you would consider a mediocre debut. But if you look deeper, there were some encouraging underlying numbers. He posted a high 43.6% FB% and an above-average 10.4% BB%. He also stole 10 bases and hit 15 doubles, which tied for fourth in the Arizona League.”

“With Pratto, many expect the power to develop later on as climbs up through the ranks. And this plays a big part on what type of outcome his career will have. With his beautiful swing and offensive profile, it isn’t out of the realm of possibility that he could develop into a tier-one first baseman. Worst case scenario is the power never develops and his bat won’t fit at first base.”

“With first base prospects Ryan O’Hearn and Samir Duenez currently ahead of Pratto, along with the possibility of Eric Hosmer resigning with the club, I’d expect the Royals to take a slower route with Pratto’s development. My guess is he starts at Lexington next year.”

“I don’t see why Pratto can’t stick at first. He’s a good athlete for the position, showing off some quickness and a strong-arm (reached 90 MPH in high school as a pitcher). He could even end up with an above-average profile.”

 

 

Question #2   I’m interested to hear your thoughts on young slugger  Seuly Matias.  What’s does his ceiling/floor and 50% on the range of outcomes look like?   Do you think he has a chance to stick in the OF long term and do we see him in Lexington in 2018? 

Patrick-  “Seuly Matias might have the highest ceiling of any Royals prospect. The raw power is unreal, as Matias has unbelievably quick hands and reaction time. That being said, there are still a lot of questions with him. There is still a ton of swing-and-miss in his game, though he did lower his K-rate from his 36.9% mark in 2016 to 29.3% in 2017. Still a high number, but the improvement is encouraging.”

“Matias has a wide range of outcomes as a prospect. Like I said, outside of the power, there are some issues with the bat and if he doesn’t improve, he’ll have more trouble as he climbs the organizational ladder. But I still love the ceiling. If he can get his strikeouts to a more manageable number and make hard-contact more consistently, the home run number could go through the roof. It isn’t hard to picture a future 30 home run guy here. The 50% range of outcomes probably looks like a .250 hitter with above-average home run number.”

 

 

Question #3  Pitchers LHP) Evan Steele, LHP) Daniel Tillo, RHP) Charlie Neuweiler and RHP)Tyler Zuber were all selected in the top 6 rounds of the 2017 draft.  How would you rank them in terms of stuff and pitchability?  Is there an impact SP or RP in the group?

Patrick-  “The 2017 draft seems to be one of the Royals better ones in recent memory and a lot of that positivity can be attributed to the pitchers that were selected. I’m a big fan of lefty Evan Steele out of Chipola College, pinning an aggressive ranking on him in our top 100 series at Royals Farm Report, putting him at #13. Standing at 6’5”, Steele is an imposing figure on the mound. The fastball/slider combo is where all my excitement stems from. The fastball is still need some work, currently sitting at around 92-93 MPH, but it has the potential to become an above-average offering. The slider is by far the best pitch in his repertoire, featuring some insane horizontal movement, making it especially tough on righties. Steele also features an above-average changeup, along with a curveball. I’d figure he starts in Lexington, but expect him to be on some sort of innings limit, pitching only eight innings for the AZL Royals last season.”

“There is a lot to like about this group of pitchers, which makes ranking them kind of hard. As it currently stands, I’d rank Steele #1, profiling him above. At #2, I’d put righty reliever Tyler Zuber. The product out of Arkansas State put together a very impressive debut season with the Burlington Royals, pitching to the tune of a 2.16 ERA, 1.82 FIP, and 13.9 K/9 (!). He has the ceiling of an impact reliever. It’s probably most likely he starts in Lexington next year, but don’t be surprised if the Royals fast track him to High-A Wilmington. At #3, I’d put Daniel Tillo. Like Steele, he works with a low-to-mid 90s worm-killing fastball and a nasty slider. The changeup still needs some refinement. What stands out to me is the 68.8% GB% he put up in 31 innings with Burlington last year, which led the Appalachian League. Showing promise in his rookie season of pro-ball, I’d bet he starts in High-A Wilmington next year. And at #4, I’d put Charlie Neuweiler. The 18-year-old posted a 1.76 ERA in the Arizona League this past summer, so he might be a guy to keep an eye on. Being a high school arm, another season of short-season ball won’t hurt.”

 

 

Question #4  Prep catcher MJ Melendez drafted 52nd overall, what are his stand out tools?  Do you see him getting to full season in 2018?

Patrick-  “MJ Melendez is another enticing prospect in the Royals organization. He has insane athleticism for a catcher. He owns an elite glove, showing off a cannon for an arm. With his father, Meryvl Melendez, being an accomplished college baseball coach, his leadership and baseball IQ are through the roof.”

“Melendez exceeded all my expectations with the bat in his debut, putting up a .262/.374/.417 slash line, good for a 121 wRC+. There are some plate discipline concerns (30.3% K%), but he did put up a 13.1% BB% to help cover that up. With great bat speed, his stroke has some potential for power down the road. I’m fairly confident he will start the year in Lexington.”

 

 

Question #5 Any draftees taken outside of the top 5 rounds catch your eye post draft?

Patrick-  “This one is fairly easy for me. Possibly my favorite pick up in the 2017 draft was 7th rounder Brewer Hicklen. A two-sport athlete in college (was also a WR on the UAB football team), Hicklen is insanely athletic for a baseball player, something the Royals organization seems to value. The outfielder hit the cover off the ball in his first professional season, hitting .321/.409/.532 between two of the Royals Rookie League affiliates. He’s a legit power/speed threat, swiping 16 bags in 20 attempts and having 20 of his 50 hits go for extra-bases. He’s a guy to keep an eye on this year, as I wouldn’t be surprised to see him soar up the Royals prospect rankings.”

“Some other guys to keep an eye on taken outside the first five rounds include 6th round pick Tyler Zuber (RHP, see above), 11th round pick Sal Biasi (RHP, fastball can reach mid-90s, also features a slider and a changeup), 17th round pick Julio Gonzalez(SS, great glove in the middle infield, advanced profile at the plate, hit .289/.395/.371 across two levels), 18th round pick Marlin Willis (LHP, low-90s fastball, probably a project), 29th round pick Travis Jones (IF/OF, can play all four corner positions, hit .364/.445/.541 across three levels this year, probably a future bench piece), and 32nd round pick Andrew Beckwith (RHP, former College World Series MVP at Coastal Carolina, 32:10 K:BB ratio in 27.1 innings last year).”

 

 

Question #6   Aside from Matias, who are the your top five Latin Players potentially graduating short season ball.

Patrick- 

“1)  Yefri del Rosario, RHP- recently signed prospect from the Atlanta Braves scandal, features a mid-90s fastball, above-average curveball, project changeup, with good numbers in the AZL, it isn’t out of the question that he could pitch in Lexington next summer.”

2)  Sebastian Rivero, C- signed for $450,000 out of Venezuela in 2015, there were questions about the bat and still are (.662 OPS and four home runs in two season), but the glove is promising, not convinced he’ll see Lexington this year though.

3)  Dennicher Carrasco, 1B- one of my favorite under-the-radar prospects in the system, strong, aggressive pull-hitter with some pop, decent defensive profile at both first and third, should probably spend most of the year in Lexington

4)  Oliver Nunez, SS- another underrated prospect in my opinion, posted a 121 wRC+ in Burlington to go with 19 stolen bases, having experience at 2B, SS, and 3B, a utility profile fits him well, fairly confident he’s heading to Lexington.

5)  Janser Lara, RHP- smooth delivery, deceptive fastball that reaches the upper-90s, I figure he too is heading to Lexington where I will be very excited to see his progression.

 

 

Question #7  Sleepers,  a player or two not listed above that stood out, perhaps they excel at one particular tool (+ Raw power or + speed)?

Patrick-  “As for certain tools, there are some standouts in the lower-levels. Oliver Nunez is a wizard with the glove. He also can handle the bat pretty well, putting up a K% of 14.5% and a BB% of 8.8%. Dennicher Carrasco was tied for second in the Appalachian League in home runs, hitting ten over the fence, so he has some power. A guy that I haven’t mentioned yet is catcher Jesus Atencio. He looked really good behind the plate this year, throwing out 10 of 30 possible base stealers. He should see some time in Low-A next season. Another guy I haven’t brought up is Carlos Hernandez. Owning a 9.0 K/9 in Burlington last year, he had times where he looked amazing on the mound, but ultimately struggled overall (5.49 ERA, 4.89 FIP).

 

 

Now here’s Clinton Riddle giving us a few potential returnees to watch for:

 

Khalil Lee, despite doing quite well for a teenager in Class-A, could benefit
from at least starting the season back in Lexington. Lee smacked 47 extra-base
hits in 121 games with the Legends last year, but along with that came
strikeouts in bunches (171 in 532 PA). While he has excellent speed, he’ll need to improve on that caught stealing rate (20 of 38 steal attempts successful). If he comes out of the gate hot in spring training, a move to Wilmington could be in the works, but he’ll be 20 years old this season and there’s no reason to rush him just yet. He did appear somewhat blasé in his approach, from time to time, but that could have been just the wear of a 140-game schedule. Every player goes through that, at one time or another.

“It’s easy to forget that OF Marten Gasparini is still only 20 years old. The 2017 season was his fourth as a pro and second with the Legends. While he made definite progress, there is still much to be done if he is going to fulfill the promise that netted him what was the largest signing bonus of any European player at the time. Besides switching positions in 2017, moving to the outfield where he seems a lot more at ease, he has also had to pick up the pace at the plate. He has put a lot of pressure on himself over the past couple of years, and while there have been a number of concerns (369 strikeouts in 1196 PA over 310 career games, 32.6% career CS rate, .620 career OPS), he did start to appear more confident at the plate in the last two months of the season. In 120 games in the outfield last year, while he did make six errors, he also picked up 7 assists and three double plays. All but one assist and all three DP came from his time in left (65 games), where his skills play up. He tracks the ball well in left, and while he has the speed to play center, he seems more comfortable in the corner spot. There is still plenty of reason to believe that Gasparini will turn the corner in 2018 and begin to show consistent signs of fulfilled potential.”

“Manny Olloque, however, will be 22 in May. He could still benefit from a
repeat in Lexington. There is power potential here, but Olloque is definitely
light at 6’2”, 165, and he does have a small frame. He may have trouble putting on weight over the course of the season, and it remains to be seen how this might affect his ability to handle a full season. He does put a charge into the ball when he squares it up, and will drive one into the gap or over the fence on occasion. As he gets more time at the plate, 12-15 homers per year is not out of the question, with a potential for 30+ extra-base hits, besides.”

“Speaking of players with limited Class-A experience, Rudy Martin is high on my list.  Martin has speed to burn and knows how to use it (26 of 30 steal attempts in 37 games at Lexington in 2017).  A full season with a healthy Martin could bring a stolen base crown to our fair city.  He can bunt for a hit or slap the ball into the gap and run for days, and could become a prime #2 hitter.  Critics will point to his size (5’7″ 150 lbs) but speed is Martin’s game and size doesn’t really play into that.  A 25th round selection out of Lewisburg High School in Mississippi, Martin turns 22 in a couple of weeks.  Overcoming what was a lost 2017 and regaining his momentum will be key, but all he really has to do is show up healthy and the rest might take care of itself.  Keep an eye on him. ”

“Amalani Fukofuka started out 2017 in Lexington, but soon found himself back in Idaho Falls (.208 BA, .553 OPS in 33 games at Lexington).  Of course he took off once more with the Chukars (.803 OPS, 26 XBH, 24 steals in 66 games and 66 runs scored), and those numbers accurately reflect what Fukofuka can give a lineup.  He was a 5th- round pick in 2013 out of Logan HS in California, and for good reason, but as happens with many high-school draftees success hasn’t come quickly or easily for him.  He is now 22, but will spend the whole 2018 season at that age (birthday is September 25th), and I stil believe he;s got a lot of untapped potential.  Coming back to the Legends would be a good idea for him, and if he hits the ground running in Spring Training he could use it as a springboard to a pre-ASB promotion to Wilmington”

 

Around the diamond

 

Catcher

MJ Melendez

 

Meibrys Viloria- Turns 21 in February, listed 5’11” 175 lbs, bats left and throws right.  He was signed out of Columbia in 2013.  Still young it’s possible he comes back for a 1/2 season.

 

 

Jesus Atencio- Age 21, listed 5’10” 165 lbs, bats and throws right.  He was signed out of Venezuela in 2012.

 

Chris Hudgins- Turns 22 in March, listed 6’1″ 190 lbs, bats and throws right. He was drafted in the 16th round of the 2017 draft out of Cal State Fullerton.

 

Mark (MJ) Sanchez- Age 23, listed 5’10” 197 lbs, bats left and throws right.  He was drafted in the 35th round of the 2016 draft out of California Baptist Univ (Riverside, CA)

 

Freddy Fermin- Age 22, listed 5’10” 185 lbs, bats and throws right.   He was signed out of Venezuela in 2015.

 

Nick Hutchins- Age 22, listed 6’1″ 200 lbs, bats and throws right.  He was drafted in the 27th round of the 2017 draft out of Southern Illinois Univ.  (95 miles southeast of St Louis)

 

Sebastian Rivero- Age 19, listed 6’1″ 180 lbs, bats and throws right.  He was signed out of Venezuela in 2015.

Patrick thinks he’s headed for another year of short season.  Makes sense, teenage catchers typically move slow.

 

 

 

Corner Infield

1B) Nick Pratto-  Worth noting, Patrick thinks he spends 2018 in short season.  I hope we see him in the Sally but he’s still a teenager so an extra year in rookie ball is reasonable.

 

1B-3B)  Dennicher Carrasco- Age 22, listed 5’11” 195 lbs, bats and throws right.  He was signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2015.  A little older than typical for Latin players, age 20 at signing.

 

1B/3B) Manny Olloque-  Age 21, listed 6’2″ 165 lbs, bats and throws right.  He was drafted in the 16th round of the 2014 draft out of High School in Torrance, CA (Los Angeles metro).

 

(1B, 3B, LF, RF) Travis Jones- Age 22, listed 6’4″ 210 lbs, bats and throws right.  He was drafted in the 29th round of the 2017 draft out of the Univ of Texas at Austin.

 

1B) Joe Dudek- Age 23, listed 6’2″ 230 lbs, bats and throws left.  He was signed as an undrafted free agent out of the Univ of Kentucky in 2016.

 

 

 

Other options at Corner Infield:  Tyler Straub (3B) Darrell Miller (C, 1B), Robby Rinn (1B), Ryan Dale (1B), Benji Cash (1B)

 

 

Middle Infield

2B, 3B, SS) Oliver Nunez- Turns 23 in February, listed 5’10” 170 lbs, bats both and throws right.  He was signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2013.

 

SS-2B-3B) Julio Gonzalez- Age 22, listed 5’10” 185 lbs, bats left and throws right.  He was drafted in the 17th round of the 2017 draft out of Florida Gulf Coast Univ.

 

SS) Ricky Aracena- Age 20, listed 5’8″ 160 lbs, bats both and throws right.  He was signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2014.

 

SS/2B) Matt Morales- Age 21, listed 5’11” 170 lbs, bats both and throws right.  He was drafted in the 23rd round of the 2017 draft out of Palm Beach Junior College.

 

Other options at Middle Infield:   Offerman Collado (2B/SS), Jeison Guzman (SS), Jose Marquez (2B),

Outfield

LF) Brewer Hicklen

 

CF) Michael Gigliotti-

 

CF/RF)  Khalil Lee-

 

CF/LF) Marten Gasparini- Age 20, listed 6′ 195 lbs, bats both and throws right.  He was signed out of Italy in 2013.  Toolsy but raw, it’s possible he comes back for another 1/2 season.

 

CF) Cristhian Vazquez- Age 21, listed 6′ 175 lbs, bats and throws left.  He was signed out of Venezuela in 2014.

 

RF) Seuly Matias

 

RF/CF/LF) Amalani Fukofuka-  Age 22, listed 6’1″ 180, bats and throws right.  Super toolsy but pitch recognition is an issue.

 

RF/LF) Rudy Martin- Turns 22 in January, listed 5’7″ 150 lbs, bats and throws left.  He was drafted in the 25th round of the 2014 draft out of High School in Olive Branch, MS (Memphis, TN area).

 

RF/LF/1B) Travis Jones- Age 22, listed 6’4″ 210 lbs, bats and throws right.  He was drafted in the 29th round of the 2017 draft out of the Univ of Texas.

 

Other OF options, Dalton Griffin (LF, RF), Cal Jones (CF, LF), Jose Caraballo (RF),  Reed Rohlman (LF)

 

 

Starting Pitching

LHP) Evan Steele

 

RHP) Sal Biasi- Age 22, listed 6′ 190 lbs, bats and throws right.  He was drafted in the 11th round of the 2017 draft out of Penn State Univ.

 

RHP) Janser Lara- Age 21, listed 6′ 170 lbs, bats and throws right.  He was signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2015.

 

RHP) Carlos Hernandez- Turns 21 in March, listed 6’4″ 175 lbs, bats and throws right.  He was signed out of Venezuela in 2016.

 

 

These arms are less likely to see Lexington in 2018.

 

LHP) Daniel Tillo-  Patrick thinks he’s heading for Wilmington.

 

RHP) Charlie Neuweiler- Turns 19 in February, listed 6’1″ 205 lbs, bats and throws right.  He was drafted in the 5th round of the 2017 draft out of High School in East Elmhurst, NY (Queens area).  He could be headed for Burlington or Idaho Falls.

 

LHP) Marlin Willis-  Age 19, listed 6’4″ 190 lbs, bats and throws left.  He was drafted in the 18th round of the 2017 draft out of high school in Powder Springs, GA  (Atlanta Metro).   Could do another round of short season ball.

 

RHP) Yefri Del Rosario- Age 18, listed 6’2″ 180 lbs, bats and throws right.  He was signed by the Braves in 2016 out of the Dominican Republic.

 

Some potential returnees:

RHP) Nolan Watson, Turns 21 in January, listed 6’2″ 195 lbs, bats and throws right.  He was selected in the 1st round of the 2015 draft out of High School in Indianapolis, IN.

 

LHP) Garrett Davila- Turns 21 in January, listed 6’2″ 180 lbs, bats and throws left.  He was drafted in the 4th round of the 2015 draft out of Belmont, NC (Charlotte metro)

 

RHP) Ofreidy Gomez- Age 22, listed 6’3″190 lbs, bats and throws right.   He was signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2012.

 

And others from short season

LHP) Holden Capps- Turns 23 in March, listed 6’2″ 180 lbs, bats right and throws left.  He was drafted in the 8th round of the 2017 draft out of the U niv of Central Oklahoma (20 miles north of Oklahoma city)

LHP) JC Cloney- Age 23, listed 6’1″ 226 lbs, bats and throws left.  He was drafted in the 9th round of the 2017 draft out of the Univ of Arizona (Tucson)

LHP) Robert Garcia- Age 21, listed 6’4″ 225 lbs, bats right and throws left.  He was drafted in the 15th round of the 2017 draft out of the Univ of California at Davis (Sacramento area)

RHP) David McKay- Turns 23 in March, listed 6’3″ 205 lbs, bats and throws right.  He was drafted in the 14th round of the 2016 draft out of Florida Atlantic Univ.

RHP) Dillon Drabble- Age 21, listed 6’2″ 190 lbs, bats and throws right.  He was drafted in the 17th round of the 2016 draft out of Seminole College, OK (50 miles East of Oklahoma city)

RHP) Julio Pinto- Age 22, listed 6’3″ 185 lbs, bats and throws right.  He was signed out of Venezuela in 2012.

RHP) Andres Sotillet- Turns 21 in March, listed 6’1″ 175 lbs, bats and throws right.  He was signed out of Venezuela in 2015.

RHP) Nathan Webb- Age 20, listed 6’2″ 215 lbs, bats and throws right.  He was drafted in the 34th round of the 2016 draft out of High School in Lee’s Summit, MO.  (Kansas City Metro).

RHP) Connor Mayes- Age 21, listed 6’2″ 205 lbs, bats and throws right.  He was drafted in the 24th round of the 2017 draft out of the Univ of Texas (Austin)

 

That’s a lot of inventory at SP if I had to guess and this is just a guess.

Steele

Davilla

Biasi

Lara

Hernandez

Capps

Garcia

 

 

I enjoyed the deep dive into the Royals farm system, big thanks to Patrick (on Twitter @paintingcorner) and Clinton (On Twitter @TheGrandOldGame) for doing the bulk of the heavy lifting.

Talent wise this team has the potential to be pretty strong.  The SP will be very deep and lots of pedigree too.  The OF could be loaded if Lee comes back and the Infield has a lot of interesting pieces too.  They might push for top 5 in the league.

Next up at Notes is a Greenville Drive (Red Sox) preview.  Ralph Lifshitz (on Twitter @ProspectJesus) the lead prospect writer for Razzball (https://razzball.com/category/fantasy-baseball-prospects/ and host of one of the best prospect podcasts around will be assisting.  Looking forward to that.

 

Cheers, thanks for visiting,

 

 

 

 

 

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