Nick Pratto could give KC Royals Gold Glove-caliber defense at first base

The KC Royals are being patient with Nick Pratto and for good reason. The kid could be really special, especially defensively. 

The Kansas City Royals selected Nick Pratto with the No. 14 pick in the 2017 MLB Draft. When the selection was made, most Royals fans thought the same thing, which was that they were looking to replace Eric Hosmer with, well – a younger version of Hosmer.

Nearly four years later, Pratto hasn’t wowed in the minor leagues like the Royals and fans were hoping for, but there is one thing to be excited about with this kid and that’s his defense.

Jim Callis of penned an article about the best defensive prospects in baseball and Pratto was his selection from the Royals’ farm system. Here was what Callis had to say about his choice,

The 14th overall pick in the 2017 Draft out of a California high school, Pratto has developed slower than expected offensively but has shown Gold Glove potential at first base. A better athlete than most at his position, he moves well around the bag, has a strong arm that made him a pitching prospect as an amateur and plays defense with an aggressive mindset.

The KC Royals expect big things from Nick Pratto, but it’s taken some time. 

Fans didn’t really anticipate Pratto getting to the minors as quickly as Hosmer did (drafted in 2008 and made his debut in 2011), but there was definitely hope that he could be ready to go in 2021. That doesn’t look to be the case, sadly, and probably played a big role in why Dayton Moore went out and signed Carlos Santana to a two-year contract.

With Santana now at first base for the next two years, it gives Pratto time to work on what’s been ailing him in the minors. The last time he was able to play in the minors, which was in 2019, he hit just .191 in 472 plate appearances during his time in Wilmington.

While Pratto hasn’t been good offensively, it’s nice to hear that he’s looking solid defensively. The Royals love players who are exceptional on defense, so Pratto fits that mold for sure. At the same time, however, the Royals need bats if this team wants to make any noise in the AL Central, so Pratto definitely needs to improve before KC calls him up.

Hopefully, Pratto can make strides at the plate this year and become an all-around good player for the KC Royals. They’re going to need all the help they can get if they want to get to the top of the AL Central any time soon.