I will hopefully get my own minor league report from spring training with videos available within the next week. Until then, here are some recent Royal-centric minor league articles.
Clint Scoles at Pinetarpress.com gives an updated top twenty five prospect list. I spent one day with Clint on the back fields last week watching Jarrod Dyson try to bunt.
15. Samir Duenez (NR) - The Royals may have scouted themselves a potential star in Duenez, a Venezuelan lefthand hitting potential stud. They signed him for $400K a couple years ago when he had the physical appearance of Prince Fielder and have watched him grow an extra inch or two while he has slimmed down. Currently he is mixing in time in left field and at first base as he has just an average arm and less than ideal speed. Offensively is where the 18 year old stands out with great bat speed and a good idea of what he is doing at the plate. As he puts on muscle the Royals could have a stud first baseman that is ready to take over for Eric Hosmer whenever he decides to leave for free agency.
"[Almonte] gets compared a lot to Ventura because their backgrounds and body types are similar, but they're different guys," Picollo said. "Almonte has better feel for pitching than Ventura had at the same time, and he has better feel for his curveball and changeup at a similar age. He doesn't have the same fastball, but he has plenty of fastball at 91-96 mph.
"People talk about our starting pitching but Aaron Brooks has flown under the radar," Kansas City assistant GM for scouting and player development J.J. Picollo said. "I remember Scott Groot, who's now scouting with the Dodgers, said, ‘I don't care where we get this guy but he can pitch.' One Aaron got his emotions in check, he started moving quickly. He has four pitches - fastball, curveball, slider, changeup - a traditional guy. His velocity has crept up to where he tops out at 95 mph and pitches at 91-92."
The issue with the 22-year-old Ventura has been inconsistent command. He doesn't always know where the ball is going. Repetition, maturity and repeating his delivery will help guide Ventura to a very bright future. There has been great improvement in his command this spring.
Shaun Kernahan gives a first hand report on Marten Gasparini
I have read several outlets questioning whether or not he will be able to stick at short, but today I liked his actions at short. He has little-to-no excess movement, but is not stiff. He booted a few balls, but he was also taking grounders from a coach during live batting practice, so he wasn't always completely focused on a single baseball at a time and will get a pass on those few.
Rany takes a looks at how the Royals have improved their Central American signings.
Which is why the person who is key to the Royals' Latin American success isn't Dayton Moore at all, as I'm sure Moore will tell you himself. It's a man who most Royals fans have never heard of. It's Rene Francisco.
Francisco was one of the first hires that Moore made when he took the job, luring Francisco to be a Special Assistant to the General Manager/International Operations - basically, their international scouting director - in August of 2006. A few weeks later he was down in Venezuela watching a tryout where kids did their best to impress him. One of those kids was Salvador Perez.