With June almost over, we find the DSL Royals tied for first with the DSL Rays at 15-10. First impressions are that this team is much more offensively talented than last years team, but that comes with less pitching talent than last year. This team reminds me a lot of the 2012 team that included offensive talent like Wander Franco (IDF), Cristian Cano (BUR), Jecksson Flores (IDF), Angelo Castellano (Bur), and Brawlun Gomez (IDF). Of course that 2012 team also had some pitchers, with the biggest name of all being Miguel Almonte (WIL), not to mention Pedro Fernandez (LEX).
Once again, the best IFA talents never see the DSL. Last year's top signings Martin Gasparini and Meibrys Viloria are already in Burlington. Also, Chrstian Vasquez is rumored to be in Burlington, but isn't currently on the roster. But, unexpected growth or development can still thrust a DSL player into the limelight. Yordano Ventura spent a year and a half in the DSL before his fastball started taking off and his prospect status also. Jorge Bonifacio spent about 2 months in the DSL before his wRC+ of 167 earned him a promotion to Arizona. With the Royals no longer fielding a team in Arizona, it'll be interesting to see if any player will be able to earn a promotion to the states this year.
In my season preview, I identified 2 new players, 5 returning players, and a special 8th player. I also mentioned that I would keep my open for any breakout players. One batter has forced his way into my report with his break-out first month. So, my list of names to follow has risen to 9 players.
Joel Arias (OF/CF)
Jose Caraballo (OF/RF)
Jesus Atencio (C)
Alberto Saez (LF)
Junior Reyes (LHP)
Ofriedy Gomez (RHP)
Jose Vital (OF)
Yeison Melo (OF/DH)
Breakout 9th player: Offermen Collado (2B)
Joel Arias (OF/CF) age 17, PA 72
11.1 BB%, 27.8 K/%, 0 HR, 4 SB, 0 CS, 840 OPS, 109 ISO, 143 wRC+ Arias has the profile of a speedy center-fielder. He has a super high Babip and his ISO probably has more to do with speed than pop. The K% is a bit of a concern, but he is still young.
Jose Caraballo (OF/RF) age 17, PA 80
7.5 BB%, 26.3 K%, 1 HR, 2 SB, 2 CS, 768 OPS, 153 ISO, 117 wRC+ Caraballo has a bit of pop, having already hit a home-run in a power sapping league. The BB% could be higher and the K% could be lower but, he is still young.
Jesus Atencio (C) age 17, PA 37
10.8 BB%, 10.8 K%, 571 OPS, 0 ISO, 45 wRC+ Atencio is having a disappointing start to his second season in the DSL. The K% and BB% are good, so there is hope he may turn it around.
Alberto Saez (OF/LF) age 17, PA 33
12.1 BB%, 36.4 K%, 484 OPS, 103 ISO, 48 wRC+ Saez was always considered to be a slow mover, but a poor start to his second DSL is discouraging. However, the ISO shows he may be developing the pop required to be a LF.
Jose Vital (OF) age 18, PA 17
5.9 BB%, 47.1 %, 59 OPS, 0 ISO, -72 wRC+ Vital seems to have fallen out of favor in a crowded DSL Royals outfield and has been given only 17 PA. He may need a promotion or injury to free up more time for him prove himself.
Yeison Melo (DH/OF) age 18, PA 91
9.9 BB%, 14.3 K%, 0 HR, 3 SB, 0 CS, 829 OPS, 123 ISO, 136 wRC+ Melo has shown good pop with 8 extra base hits out of 26 hits. At almost 19 years old, he needs to hit well if he is to ever be considered for promotion.
Offerman Collado (2B) age 18, PA 92
18.5 BB%, 9.8 K%, 1 HR, 5 SB, 4 CS, 917 OPS, 096 ISO, 170 wRC+ Collado has shown impressive plate discipline with almost a 2:1 BB to K ratio. Interestingly he has a home run and 2 triples, but no doubles. If he can keep this up, he may have the best shot at getting a call up to Burlington.
Junior Reyes (LHP) age 18, 19 IP
6.63 k/9, 4.26 BB/9, 1 HRA, 5.21 ERA, 4.32 FIP Junior has actually improved his control, but unfortunately the reduction in BB/9 has been followed by a reduction in K/9. The FIP has actually gone down, but overall the year shows little improvement over the previous year.
Ofreidy Gomez (RHP) age 18, 17 IP
9.53 K/9, 5.29 BB/9, 1 HRA, 5.29 ERA, 4.14 FIP Ofreidy has moved into the starting rotation this year. The K/9 shows promise, but there has been little improvement in his control. Overall the FIP is roughly unchanged from last year.
Bonus player for June:
Reinaldo Cepin (LHP) age 20, 20 IP
10.35 K/9, 4.05 BB/9, 0 HRA, 2.25 ERA, 2.42 FIP In his third year with the DSL Royals, Reinaldo isn't much of a prospect, unless he has somehow added a couple of mph to his fastball. But, he has been a key reason for the strong start by the DSL Royals.
IFA Signing update:
July 2 will be the start of the International free agent signing period for 16 year old international kids. The Royals have $2.136 Million in pool money to spend. I've had trouble finding free information about the prospects available this year. But MLB.com links the Royals with their #24 prospect Ricky Aracena a switch hitting shortstop from the DR. He is considered to be a player who can stay at shortstop with good speed and arm and poor power. With the Yankees rumored spending spree, there might not be any more big name signings. But, it is difficult to get information on international signings and the Royals have done well with the cheaper players that have developed beyond expectation. In fact, to put this in perspective, I hadn't heard anything at all about Meibrys Viloria until he showed up on the Burlington Royals roster.