1) Sean McCauley
Age: 19 | Team: Idaho Falls Chukars (R-Adv)
2008 Vital Line: .278/.347/.385, 28/17 K/BB
The Royals got a steal in the 12th round last year when they selected catcher Sean McCauley from Manassas, Virginia. He was actually expected to be a fairly tough sign, but after coaching changes at Western Carolina (his commit), things changed. After signing for an above slot bonus, McCauley went to Arizona and hit surprisingly well, especially considering he was drafted more because of his defense. Baseball America ranked him as having the best pop time in the Royals system among catchers.
McCauley hit well after a slow start this year, batting .312/.390/.448 in the months of July and August, which is a pretty impressive number for a 19-year-old in the Pioneer League. He needs to continue to add some weight to his skinny frame, which will improve his blocking ability, endurance over a long season, and should add more power to his offensive game.
2) Salvador Perez
Age: 18 | Team: Burlington Royals (R)/Idaho Falls Chukars (R-Adv)
2008 Vital Line: .333/.392/.455, 5/6 K/BB
Perez has shown that stats in complex leagues, ESPECIALLY stats from Latin guys in their first year in the states, can not be taken very seriously. He originally signed during the signing period in 2006 from Venezuela for about $75,000. Soon there after, Perez had a huge growth spurt and now stands at about 6-foot-3, 190 pounds. Perez put up a TPJ like stat line last year, but has really hit well this year as you can see by his stats. He's an excellent contact hitter that utilizes the entire field. The pop isn't really there yet, but from a guy his size you expect it to come at some point or another (insert Mark Teahen joke here).
The arm, receiving skills, and frame is there for him to be a solid defensive catcher too. In fact, he threw out nearly 50% of base runners last year. Keep in mind, that he did that as a 17-year-old with pitchers that probably had raw and possibly slow mechanics.
3) Travis Jones
Age: 19 | Team: Surprise Royals (R)
2008 Vital Line: .188/.316/.188, 7/3 K/BB
Jones checks in at #3. He was the 50th round draft pick this year, although he's better than your typical 50th round pick for sure. He signed for about $160,000 after his summer league was over and headed to Arizona where he just recently started playing in a few games. The thing that stands out most about Jones is his raw power. In fact, he beat Eric Hosmer in a home run derby this summer (HOSMER IS A BUST!!!!!!!!1!1!!1!), so it's got to be pretty darn good.
I don't know that much about his defense, there was talk that some teams viewed him as a third baseman. Either way, both positions take a strong arm and that's a pretty darn good place to start if your a young catcher.
Jose Bonilla - Big numbers in AZL, don't know anything beyond that.
Mauricio Matos - 10th round pick, projectable.
Adam Donachie - Too bad we took him instead of Brian McCann.
To end this, it's really just a matter of preference between McCauley and Perez. My amateur gut feeling likes McCauley a tad more right now, but that could change next year. My guess is they'll split catching duties with Burlington next year, and probably getting some additional AB's at the DH spot. It wouldn't surprise me one bit if either of them ended among the Royals 10 best prospects.
And yea, it's pretty lame that I could only do a top 3 here, but after starting I didn't want to not post it, and I didn't know enough to go all the way to five. So there it is.