Its late January, which means its time for Prospect Lists! Its baseball answer to the ridiculous recruitment lists in college football! We saw four Royals on MLB.com's list last week, so let's look at the list from Jason Parks at Baseball Prospectus today.
12. RHP Yordano Ventura
29. SS Raul Adalberto Mondesi
34. RHP Kyle Zimmer
46. RHP Miguel Almonte
78. LHP Sean Manaea
96. 3B Hunter Dozier
99. OF Jorge Bonifacio
Holy upside, Batman! It looks like only the Cubs have as many prospects in the top 101 as our plucky Royals. Are back to the halcyon days of having a loaded farm system again? Or is this too much type for a pair of 2013 draft picks (Dozier and Manaea) who have barely played pro ball? Prospects may break your heart, but I'd rather have seven of them on this list than - uh, a number less than seven.
What is also interesting is the aggressive ranking for Ventura. In the MLB.com prospect thread we discussed whether or not Ventura would or should break camp in the rotation. In this piece by Dick Kaegel, it sounds like the Royals may let Ventura make his case in Arizona.
"So, in his mind, he should come into camp like, 'It's my job to lose.' Somebody's going to have to take it from him or he's going to have to give it away," Picollo said. "But I do think he's in a great position to win a spot in that rotation and I do think he's ready for it at this point."
Of course, its not hard to envision Wade Davis having two good starts in Surprise and Royals coaches proclaiming he has "learned a new pitch" or is in "the best shape of his life" or has "developed mound composure" or "doesn't suck at pitching anymore." And there is Ventura's service time to consider - pushing his promotion to mid-to-late May would bump his arbitration-eligibility back another year.
But if this is an "all-in" year, well everything is on the table then. Is is time to trade all these guys for David Price?