Despite trading top hitting prospect Wil Myers, along with Jake Odorizzi, Patrick Leonard and Mike Montgomery just two over a year ago, the Kansas City Royals farm system is back to being one of the best in baseball. Baseball Prospectus has ranked the Royals organization seventh in baseball. BP also says that the system should only get better as younger talent at the lower levels matures.
The Royals organization has plenty of top-end talent. Right-handers Yordano Ventura and Kyle Zimmer made every top-100 list. Ventura proved that he could pitch at the Major Level and, after making adjustments, Kyle Zimmer impressed at the AA level. Athletic eighteen year old shortstop Adalberto Mondesi made every top-100 list as well. Despite his young age, he will be entering his third season in the minors. He makes adjustments to each new level and is projected to be a special player.
On the fringe of some lists is corner outfielder Jorge Bonifacio, who has shown patience and pop. If he figures things out at the higher levels, he can be a solid everyday player at the major league level.
Miguel Almonte ranked as highly as #46 on top-100 lists. It depends on when scouts saw him. Toward the end of the 2013 season, his curveball started flashing as a legit third pitch to compliment his fastball and excellent changeup. He has good pitching sense and an ace attitude on the mound. If his curveball becomes just average, he’ll be in the Royals rotation in a couple of years.
Sean Manaea, who has yet to throw a professional pitch, is healthy after hip surgery and ready to throw. His awkward mechanics turn some scouts off, but he throws hard and accurately. Before his hip surgery, he was a contender for the #1 overall pick in the draft. With some fancy maneuvering, the Kansas City Royals obtained him 34th.
Just as he did in college, Hunter Dozier hit like a monster when he joined the organization. Rookie ball and low-A numbers combined, Dozier hit .308/.397/.495 in 2013 and will probably start the 2014 season in high-A Wilmington, a treasure trove of talent this season. He is poised to be a breakout star and we shouldn’t be surprised to see his name in the top-50 on next year’s lists.
According to Baseball Prospectus, the Royals farm will remain strong after the promotion of Yordano Ventura, and probably Jason Adam, because of plentiful low-level talent. The organization also has a strong Latin American presence and continues to make excellent amateur free agent signings.