KC Royals: How 2019 farm system is shaping up like 2011 farm system

Nicky Lopez #1 of the Kansas City Royals gets the victory shower from Whit Merrifield (Photo by John Sleezer/Getty Images)
Nicky Lopez #1 of the Kansas City Royals gets the victory shower from Whit Merrifield (Photo by John Sleezer/Getty Images) /

The 2019 KC Royals low minor league teams had a resoundingly successful 2019 season, capturing four league championships. How are the successful low minor Royals like the 2011 record setting farm system?

Between 2007 – 2011, the Kansas City Royals minor system sustained prolong championship success as prospects advanced through the system. These prospects played together, found a taste for success, and competed for championships in the minor league playoffs.

Culminating in record setting farm system 2011 prospect ranking which included nine players landing in the top 100 ranking with Eric Hosmer (8), Mike Moustakas (9), Wil Myers (10), John Lamb (18), Mike Montgomery (19), Christian Colon (51), Danny Duffy (68), Jake Odorizzi (69), and Chris Dwyer (83).

The evaluators left C Salvador Perez, RP Kelvin Herrera, RP Greg Holland, and OF Jarrod Dyson out of a majority of their top 100 prospect lists.

The players who made the top 100 list and the underrated players in the stocked minor league system learned how to compete for and win championships in the minors together. They graduated to the majors and contributed to the Royals rosters that went to back to back World Series in 2014 and 2015, winning it all in 2015.

Learning how to sustain success into deep playoff runs is valuable lesson to acquire along the climb to the majors. The Royals drafted and developed enough talent who had the desire for ultimate success and it worked wonders in getting the Kansas City Royals to end their drought of 29 years without a playoff appearance.

2018 and 2019 performances (5 Titles and 1 Runner Up)

What’s different about this system build vs 2011 system?

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  • Dominant pitching is leading the way. The 2011 system had five pitchers ranked in the top 100 prospects list. The pitchers in the current system are putting up superior numbers in the lower minors at this point in their career. If this trend continues the Royals farm system may be host up to six pitchers ranked in the top 100 prospect list.

Will the Royals put more players onto the top 100 list and why aren’t they on there now?

  • As more guys on the list graduate to the majors, the Royals prospects, if they continue to develop and have success, will fill in the gaps left behind with graduation. Some of the prospects in the system looking to join SS Bobby Witt Jr, SP Brady Singer, and SP Daniel Lynch on the top 100 prospect list are SP Jackson Kowar, SP Kris Bubic, OF Khalil Lee, OF Kyle Isbel, C MJ Melendez, 1B Nick Pratto, SP Jonathan Bowlan, and OF Brewer Hicklen. The system appears to be stocked thru recent drafts in 2017, 2018, and 2019 with players who offer at least one plus tool and could be role players on a future competitive Royals roster.

When can the Royals start to reap the benefits of a successful lower minor league system in the majors?

Next. Five Prospects to Watch in September. dark

  • Northwest Arkansas roster should be strong contenders in 2020 (Wilmington and Lexington rosters will be very competitive as well)
  • AAA roster should be strong league contenders in 2021 (Northwest Arkansas and Wilmington rosters will be competitive as well)
  • MLB roster should be competitive in 2022 and 2023 (Omaha and Northwest Arkansas will contend for titles)
  • MLB roster could be a contender in 2024