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Kansas City Royals Top 20 prospects for 2017: Mid-Season Review

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Here’s a review of the pre-season Kansas City Royals prospect list. How are they doing?

MLB: Kansas City Royals at Tampa Bay Rays
Jorge Bonifacio
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

We continue our mid-season organization reviews with a look at the Kansas City Royals Top 20 Prospects from the beginning of 2017.

Please remember, THIS IS NOT A NEW LIST

THIS IS A REVIEW OF THE PRE-SEASON LIST

THESE ARE NOT NEW GRADES

This list was originally published November 21st 2016 and revised on February 13, 2017.

1) Josh Staumont, RHP, Grade B/B+: Age 22, second round pick in 2015 from Azusa Pacific; serious command problems led to 6.28 ERA in 76 innings with Triple-A Omaha, 96/65 K/BB; just sent down to Double-A this week. Tremendous ceiling and the strikeouts aren’t lying but he’s obviously not close to ready.

2) Hunter Dozier, 3B-OF, Grade B: Age 25, has missed almost entire season with a strained oblique followed by a fractured wrist.

3) Matt Strahm, LHP, Grade B: Age 25, 5.45 ERA in 35 major league innings with 37/22 K/BB before going on 60-day disabled list with a knee injury.

4) Eric Skoglund, LHP, Grade B-: Age 24, lefty stringbean posted 4.42 ERA in 59 innings in Triple-A with 59/17 K/BB; made three major league starts, pitched well once and hit hard twice; more chances will come, projects as four/five starter.

5) Jorge Bonifacio, OF, Grade B-: Age 24, took advantage of major league opportunity and hitting .250/.322/.448 with 11 homers, 24 walks, 68 strikeouts in 232 at-bats; I wish I had ranked him four spots higher.

6) Ryan O’Hearn, 1B, Grade B-/C+: Age 23, hitting .254/.319/.451 with 15 homers, 29 walks, 87 strikeouts in 315 at-bats in Triple-A; could be Clint Robinson Part Two perhaps.

7) Chase Vallot, C, Grade B-/C+: Age 20, hitting .221/.361/.423 with 11 homers, 52 walks, 114 strikeouts in 253 at-bats in High-A; continues to show power, patience, and serious contact concerns; still struggling on defense; still young enough to improve.

8) Donnie Dewees, OF, Grade B-/C+: Age 23, second round pick by Cubs in 2015 from North Florida, traded to Royals in February for Alec Mills; hitting .258/.320/.415 with six homers and 14 steals in Double-A; a somewhat blah season with the bat but he’s played well defensively in center field according to Texas League observers.

9) Scott Blewett, RHP, Grade C+: Age 21, second round pick in 2014 from high school in New York; nice decent season in High-A with 3.97 ERA in 100 innings, 91/36 K/BB, 95 hits; caution flag is 13 homers but he’s also had several very high strikeout games.

10) A.J. Puckett, RHP, Grade C+: Age 22, second round pick in 2016 from Pepperdine, 4.18 ERA in High-A with 88/40 K/BB in 90 innings, 92 hits; feels a bit disappointing but I don’t have a recent report; batted ball profile and comparison with teammate Blewett would be interesting study.

11) Kyle Zimmer, RHP, Grade C+: Age 25, 6.66 ERA in 24 innings between Double-A and Triple-A with 24/11 K/BB; he hasn’t been hurt since early June but hasn’t been every effective, either; single-highhandedly responsible for 24% of US healthcare spending.

12) Khalil Lee, OF, Grade C+: Age 19, third round pick in 2016 from high school in Virginia; intriguing power/speed combo, hitting .248/.356/.456 with 13 homers, 16 steals in Low-A; gets caught stealing too much and strikes out a lot but a high ceiling capable of refinement. Years away.

13) Jake Junis, RHP, Grade C+: Age 24, 29th round pick in 2011 from high school in Illinois, sharp in Triple-A (2.83, 70/10 in 54 innings), needs more time to make adjustments in the majors (5.66, 28/16 in 35 innings, 41 hits); he could be much better three years from now.

14) Meibrys Viloria, C, Grade C+: Age 20, hit .376/.436/.606 with 28 doubles, 20 walks, 36 strikeouts in 226 at-bats in Pioneer League in 2016; much less robust in 2017 with .244/.303/.368 with 18 walks, 57 strikeout in 250 at-bats in Low-A; the Sally League is a lot harder than the Pioneer; lefty hitter from Colombia, like Lee, he will need lots of time but has the physical potential to be a fine player.

15) Garrett Davila, LHP, Grade C+: Age 20, fourth round pick in 2015 from high school in North Carolina; posted 2.77 ERA with 55/27 K/BB in 65 innings in Appalachian League in 2016; but 5.82 ERA in 87 innings this year in Low-A, 64/36 K/BB, 94 hits; see Viloria; big jump in competition from rookie level to full-season ball.

16) Samir Duenez, 1B, Grade C+: Age 21, from Venezuela, hitting .273/.330/.439 with 12 homers, 26 walks, 68 strikeouts in 337 at-bats in Double-A; reputation still ahead of his performance but he hasn’t been bad; expect he’ll need a full year of Triple-A before being ready for a trial.

17) Seuly Matias, OF, Grade C+: Age 18, signed out of Dominican Republic for $2,250,000 in 2015; just getting in action in Appalachian League with .236/.317/.436 through 14 games, 55 at-bats; strong power bat if it all works out.

18) Pedro Fernandez, RHP, Grade C+: Age 23, fine year in Double-A bullpen, 2.64 ERA with 48/12 K/BB in 48 innings; spike in strikeout rate tracks reports of improved secondary pitches to match with plus fastball. Could be ready soon.

19) Andrew Edwards, RHP, Grade C: Age 25, 19th round pick in 2013 from Western Kentucky, struggling this year with command and injuries, combined 7.99 ERA in 24 innings between Double-A, Triple-A, and some A-ball rehab work; can hit 99 but erratic track record.

20) Cam Gallagher, C, Grade C: Age 24, second round pick in 2011; bat has never really developed but defense has turned out very well; hitting .272/.324/.387 in 191 Triple-A at-bats while throwing out 32% of runners, has given up just one passed ball all year; glove will get him to the majors.

Ask questions about anyone else in the system and I’ll do my best to answer in the comments section.