at the end of the season, We looked at the failure of the Kansas City Royals To meet expectations when it comes to success this year at the major league level. Now it’s time to look at the ugliness that is the current state of their farm system.
With the release of Dayton Moore, the royals have officially moved on to the next chapter in the history of the franchise. This means that the 2014 and 2015 teams will not be relevant when discussing the future prospects for this team, which should be good. What’s less than ideal, however, is that the royals now own one of the lowest-ranked farm systems in the entire game of baseball.
This is not only reflected in the overall quality of the odds, but also in the clubs’ overall records. The Royals’ minor league system finished with an overall win percentage of 0.426, the worst of any organization. With that being said, when Vinnie Pasquantino, MJ Melendez, and Nick Prato jump to the pros, you can expect your potential client ratings to succeed. However, it should be noted that both Melendez and Pratto have significantly fallen behind their OPS number last year in the minors.
Offensively, you have to love what Kansas City produced this year from Drew Waters, Maikel Garcia and Tyler Gentry. This year’s newcomers to the royal family have shined, with Gavin Cross and Cayden Wallace excelling in limited business in Columbia. The problem is that blending into the limited A-Ball schedule isn’t enough to build an organization around, and only time will tell if they can adapt to the offering of high-level players.
The royal family’s lack of the ability to develop a promotion is a serious indictment not only for the major league staff, but also for minor league staff. Asa Lacey, to put it nicely, suffered a serious setback in his development. The royal family’s junior league staff likely ruined what could have been the future ace of a big league team. At this point in his career, Asa Lacy is Jackson Kowar without an MLB speedy call-up.
The Royals’ minor league development failures can best be summed up in the four minor league bowlers who traded this year: Beck Way, TJ Sikkema, Chandler Champlain and Andrew Hoffmann. Traded to the royal family, the four shooters pitched a combined 139.2 round with an ERA of 6.85. It would also be pertinent to point out that none of these shooters were ever placed above the Double-A.
Scroll to continue
Angel Zerpa, if you are thinking of performing minor league and major league, is the best prospect in betting Royals. In his very limited activity, he performed for a sub duo stage and showed good sense of his three pitches. However, many Scouts would expect the Zerpa’s roof to be the mid-to-low start-up roof.
Jonathan Pollan, Ben Hernandez, Alec Marsh and Drew Parrish have taken steps back this year and aren’t expecting to be some of the best starters, something the Royals desperately need. Two of the top prospects in the lower tier of the Royals are Ben Codrina and Frank Musicato, both of whom have completed their first year in A-Ball. It’s too early to put it into future plans. There isn’t much help rotating royals across the farm system, which means the likes of Brady Singer, Chris Bobick, Daniel Lynch, Jonathan Hesley and possibly Zerpa will have to make do until new hope emerges.
The player to watch for next season in the Royal Family’s pipeline is Noah Cameron, who has been by far the best and most consistent player in the league this season. Yusr managed to get off 35% of the hitters he’s encountered this year even though his fastball was only approaching 92 mph. Cameron is what we might call a “pitch bowler” in that he throws punches and knows how to handle what he has. As someone who’s seen him advance multiple times for the Quad Cities, his change is of MLB caliber and has attracted a lot of poor contact and more ups and downs. Developing his own curve ball would be the thing to make or break MLB’s ambitions, as he lacks the consistency to be more than just an exhibition field.
The main issue for the Royals is that their “MLB-ready” predictions for Triple-A are lackluster. Most of the future lies in the lower tiers, with 14 of the top 30 organizational predictions in the Single-A or rookie ball. The minor league teams to watch next year will be the Quad Cities and Northwest Arkansas. If those teams are doing well, that means that the younger group of players is succeeding. Triple-A (early) won’t be pretty next year, as you’ll likely have to wait for some interesting arrivals later in the season.
Offensively, the Royals have to get production from players like Waters, Prato, Pasquantino, Garcia, Michael Massey, Edward Olivares and Nate Eaton because there are very few reserves coming. The pipeline is dead in the water, and based on JJ Piccolo’s recent press conference(s), I’m not going to deal with any big moves being made in free agency.
This may, in all honesty, be beneficial to the royal family because signing a group of veterans to fill the roster will not give them a better understanding of what they have in their young players. The success of the royal family will largely depend on how well the farm system bounces back. Judging from the past year, there needs to be a serious organizational shift for the farm system to ensure the organization doesn’t continue to falter.
Next week, we’ll assess what moves the royals have made on the deadline and whether they’re worth making.