Kansas City Royals: No minor league season in 2020

(Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images) /

There won’t be a minor league season in 2020, meaning the Kansas City Royals won’t be able to rely on their farm system in this shortened season.

The COVID-19 pandemic put the sports world on hold and while Major League Baseball is scheduled to return later this month (Summer Camp starts on Friday at Kauffman Stadium for the Kansas City Royals), there won’t be a minor league system this year.

The announcement came on Tuesday from various different sources and while it’s a bummer, it’s probably for the best.

Evan Dreilich of The Athletic (subscription required) noted a few reasons for the cancellation are due to player safety, lack of media revenue, and lack of players.

How this affects the Kansas City Royals is that it could propel them to having Brady Singer, Jackson Kowar, and some of the other near-ready prospects on their actual roster due to not having a minor league team to send them down to.

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This will be a huge blow to a lot of minor league teams, however, and it’s entirely possible they aren’t able to stay afloat after this. Also, the minor leaguers who don’t end up on Major League rosters for the shortened season might not have a paycheck for awhile.

The Royals announced awhile back that they would indeed pay their minor leaguers without there was a season to be had or not and are still one of the few organizations to step up to the plate (pun intended) and help out their prospects. Even big market organizations haven’t made the decision to do that, so good for the Royals for being top notch in that department.

Even though an MLB season is currently planning to go ahead as scheduled, it’ll be interesting to see how things play out. There have already been some fairly big names in the majors who have said they won’t be participating in the 2020 season and one has to wonder if that will become a domino effect with more players opting out.

As of now, no member of the Kansas City Royals has opted to sit this season out.

Not having a minor league season will be a huge setback for 2019 second overall pick Bobby Witt Jr. and 2020 fourth overall pick Asa Lacy. Witt made the 60-player club pool for Summer Camp, but is only 20 years old and the Royals still won’t want to rush him, so it’s doubtful he makes the team. Lacy did not make the 60-player pool and now has no minor league system to work his way through.

These are scary times for everyone and the sports world has gotten hit by all of this. Here’s to hoping for a minor league season in 2021.