Pre-Season Top 15 Prospects

Here is my Top 15 Prospect list for the Kansas City Royals. The stats are from the 2011 season unless otherwise noted. This list can also be found here at Diamond Prospects.

1. Bubba Starling, OF - 62 AB, .339/.474/.532, 3 HR, 12 RBI, 16 BB, 12 K, 3 SB 1 CS (18U Team USA)

The athletic ability of Starling is too much for me to put Myers ahead of him. If he develops correctly Starling could become a more consistent Matt Kemp-like player with all 5 tools, a rare talent.

2. Wil Myers, OF - 354 AB, .254/.353/.393, 8 HR, 49 RBI, 52 BB, 87 K, 9 SB 2 CS (AA)

Im not as high on Myers as other people are, but he still has a big time bat with plus power and he is a breakout candidate for 2012 who could reach the Majors in September.

3. Jake Odorizzi, RHP - 10-7, 3.73 ERA, 147 IP, 134 H, 44 BB, 157 K (A+/AA)

Odorizzi has an advanced feel for pitching and a very easy, sound delivery that allows him to add and subtract from his fastball and command his pitches well. He will return to AA looking to duplicate the success he had in the Carolina League.

4. Cheslor Cuthbert, 3B - 300 AB, .267/.345/.397, 8 HR, 51 RBI, 36 BB, 65 K, 2 SB 0 CS (A)

Cuthbert has a smooth swing that gives him 25 HR potential along with an ability to hit for average. He slumped late in the year and he could move up this list with a good year, but he could also drop rapidly if he doesn't put up good numbers at the plate because he is average at best on defense.

5. Mike Montgomery, LHP - 5-11, 5.32 ERA, 150.2 IP, 157 H, 69 BB, 129 K (AAA)

Montgomery has the ability to have 3 plus pitches, but his control has eluded him way too often for him to maximize his potential. He has the ceiling of an ace if he can locate his pitches.

6. Kelvin Herrera, RHP - 7-1, 1.60 ERA, 14 SV, 67. 2 IP, 42 H, 15 BB, 70 K (A+/AA/AAA)

Herrera throws three above-average or better pitches out of the bullpen and don't be surprised if Kansas City eventually gives him a shot at closing with Joakim Soria out for the year.

7. John Lamb, LHP - 1-2, 3.09 ERA, 35 IP, 33 H, 13 BB, 22 K (AA)

Lamb was coming off a breakout year in 2010 when his season was ended after just 8 starts needing Tommy John Surgery. He has solid #3 starter potential if he can bounce back and return to form.

8. Christian Colon, SS - 491 AB, .257/.325/.342, 8 HR, 61 RBI, 46 BB, 51 K, 17 SB 7 CS (AA)

Colon had a down year at the plate, but he controlled the strike-zone well and his BABIP was uncharacteristically low so I still believe he can turn into a solid everyday Major Leaguer up the middle.

9. Elier Hernandez, OF - 2011 International Signee

Hernandez earned a $3.1 million bonus as a 16-year old out of the Dominican Republic and he has 5 potential plus tools. He may have to move to a corner outfield spot, but his ceiling is right up there with Bubba Starling.

10. Chris Dwyer, LHP - 8-10, 5.60 ERA, 141.1 IP, 124 H, 78 BB, 126 K (AA)

With the best curveball in the system Dwyer still has the potential of a very good #3 starter, but with his poor command and subpar change-up he might be best suited for the bullpen.

11. Jorge Bonifacio, OF - 236 AB, .284/.333/.492, 7 HR, 30 RBI, 16 BB, 58 K, 5 SB 6 CS (RK)

Bonifacio showed strong power potential and a strong arm in the outfield, but he is very raw and he has a long way to go before he maximizes his impressive tools. He is the younger brother of Marlins centerfielder Emilio Bonifacio.

12. Brett Eibner, OF - 272 AB, .213/.340/.408, 12 HR, 31 RBI, 48 BB, 90 K, 2 SB 3 CS (A)

Eibner missed the first half of the season with a thumb injury and when he came back he struggled mightily to make contact. He has plus power and a plus arm along with the range to play anywhere in the outfield, but his future is tied to whether he can make consistent contact or not.

13. Jason Adam, RHP - 6-9, 4.23 ERA, 104.1 IP, 94 H, 25 BB, 76 K (A)

Adam commands his low 90's fastball well and does a good job of working down in the zone, although his secondary pitches are behind at this point. He is very projectable however and he could have a breakout year if he can improve his stuff.

14. Bryan Brickhouse, RHP - 6-1, 3.23 ERA, 48 IP, 37 H, 22 BB, 90 K (HS)

Brickhouse is built like his name and he has a big fastball and a sharp curveball. The 2011 3rd-round pick's mechanics need a lot of work so don't expect him to dominate in the minors right away.

15. Kyle Smith, RHP - 9-1, 0.40 ERA, 69 IP, 46 H, 14 BB, 116 K (HS)

Another 2011 draftee out of high school, Smith isn't the biggest guy but he has a live fastball and a curveball that projects as plus in the future.


Tim Melville, RHP - 11-10, 4.32 ERA, 135.1 IP, 152 H, 53 BB, 108 K (A+)

Melville was one of the top prep pitching prospects when he was drafted in 2008, but he hasn't quite been able to put it all together so far in his pro career. He still has #2-3 starter ability and an increased focus on locating his pitches could put him back in the prospect picture. If he struggles again a move to the bullpen could really help his progress.

This FanPost was written by a member of the Royals Review community. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the editors and writers of this site.

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