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Baseball America Releases Royals Top 10 Prospects, Mondesi Ranked #1

The annual season of prospect lists are upon us, the first of the major publications, Baseball America, has the Royals out

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier this morning, Baseball America has officially released their Royals Top 10 prospects for 2015. This list made its workings on the internet on Tuesday due to hard copy subscribers receiving the list before website and digital subscribers (I've complained about this numerous times the past few days), so the suspense has been dulled down. The expanded content is behind the pay-wall and to quote MLB Trade Rumors, a subscription is required and recommended, but I'll post a few tidbits here. You can subscribe to Baseball America here.

Baseball America notes that the run to the World Series the Royals saw this year couldn't have been accomplished without the "second wave" of prospects. They note Wil Myers and Jake Odorizzi as the pieces to the James Shields/Wade Davis trade, Yordano Ventura, and Christian Colon as all playing a role in their 2014 success. Also mentioned is the stumbling some of the "second wave" members in Bubba Starling, Brett Eibner, and the trade of Jason Adam for bench bat Josh Willingham.

They also think the Royals are well equipped on the pitching side that can produce a third wave once the current Royals roster payrolls begin to rise through arbitration. A wave that features Miguel Almonte, Kyle Zimmer, Sean Manaea, and Brandon Finnegan as pitchers who will all spend time at AA or higher in the coming season.

1. Raul Mondesi - SS

The Royals were so taken by his spring training performance that they half-expected him to reach Double-A Northwest Arkansas by midseason, but after a strong April, he failed to hit better than .215 in any of the final four months of the season.

2. Brandon Finnegan - LHP

Finnegan's 5-foot-11 and his delivery is not without effort. The Royals, and some other team's scouts, believe he's strong enough and athletic enough to repeat his mechanics, but others see him as a power reliever.

3. Sean Manaea - LHP

Manaea made big strides, but he still has to demonstrate he can be more precise. He heads to Double-A Northwest Arkansas with the raw ingredients to be a No. 3 starter.

4. Kyle Zimmer - RHP of the key attributes of a front-line starter is durability, something he has not achieved. If he can stay healthy, Zimmer is the Royals' most talented pitching prospect.

5. Hunter Dozier - 3B

Dozier's second-half performance at Double-A was an uncharacteristic hiccup, and he'll return to Northwest Arkansas in 2015.

6. Miguel Almonte - RHP

The Royals have every incentive to see if he can sequence his pitches better and improve his command to stick as a starter.

7. Foster Griffin - LHP

Griffin is the most prominent high school lefty the Royals have had in the system since the days of Mike Montgomery, Danny Duffy and John Lamb.

8. Scott Blewett - RHP

Working limited innings in his pro debut, he didn't use his fringy changeup much. Blewett's control is below-average at this point, but as a Northeastern arm, he has plenty of development ahead of him.

9. Jorge Bonifacio - OF

Bonifacio still is the Royals' best hope for an in-house option to become an everyday corner outfielder, but he's no closer to filling that role than he was a year ago.

10. Christian Colon - SS/2B

Colon doesn't have any one exceptional tool, but he is productive because he does everything well enough.

Projected 2018 Lineup:

Catcher Sal Perez
1B Eric Hosmer
2B Raul Mondesi
3B Hunter Dozier
SS Alcides Escobar
LF Alex Gordon
CF Lorenzo Cain
RF Jorge Bonifacio
DH Mike Moustakas
#1 Yordano Ventura
#2 Danny Duffy
#3 Brandon Finnegan
#4 Sean Manaea
#5 Kyle Zimmer
Closer Wade Davis

That lineup does include some theoretical inaccuracies as some listed players aren't currently under team control during the 2018 season, but the prescience of the list can only be extended so far.

My Top 30 list will be out eventually. As obviously named, I'm going to do 30 prospects and I expect to have writeups on at least the top 15 or so of them with others having some bits and pieces of info if it needs to be mentioned. Based on the preliminary outline I have, my Top 10 expects to be different, almost substantially, than Baseball America's. Spoiler: Dozier is not #1. Also I'm not sure yet if I'm going to include Finnegan or Colon.