clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Matt Strahm tops list of Royals prospects, ranked by ESPN’s Keith Law

The lefty leads a thin class.

Minnesotoa Twins v Kansas City Royals Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Keith Law has come out with his ranking of Royals prospects, with left-handed pitcher Matt Strahm topping the list in an article for ESPN Insider. Law recently ranked the Royals as having the fifth-worst system in baseball, but reiterated that there is still a lot of high-ceiling talent left in the organization.

They’ve drafted and scouted for high-ceiling impact players, and I think they’ve identified the right athletes, but the last few classes coming into the system haven’t panned out so far.

Strahm made his Major League debut with the Royals last August and was brilliant out of the pen with a 1.23 ERA in 22 innings. The Royals are still committed to him as a starting pitcher long-term, but he may make the club this year as a reliever. Law notes that Strahm just missed his Top 100 prospect list, where he wrote:

He may touch 96 mph as a starter but will probably be more 90-93, with a plus curveball and an average changeup; he’s very tough on lefties but the changeup is good enough to make him a real three-pitch starter. He missed the top 100 because he just hasn’t pitched that much and because his ceiling may just not be high enough, but I do think the Royals should try to start him to maximize his value before returning him to the bullpen.

Here is the complete list.

  1. LHP Matt Strahm
  2. 3B/OF Hunter Dozier
  3. RHP Josh Staumont
  4. RHP Miguel Almonte
  5. RHP Kyle Zimmer
  6. RHP Scott Blewett
  7. 1B Ryan O’Hearn
  8. LHP Garrett Davila
  9. OF Jorge Bonifacio
  10. LHP Eric Skoglund
  11. OF Seuly Matias
  12. RHP Nolan Watson
  13. C Chase Vallot
  14. RHP Foster Griffin
  15. RHP A.J. Puckett
  16. OF Khalil Lee
  17. SS Marten Gasparini

Law notes that Staumont has “ace stuff” but worries even a move to the bullpen will not improve his awful command. Almonte still ranks high despite an awful season that saw him get demoted to AA, but Law thinks he was overthrowing last year and could pitch in the Royals bullpen before the end of the year.

Notable omissions are former first round picks outfielder Bubba Starling and pitcher Ashe Russell, who Law notes had the “yips” last year that saw his velocity drop to the mid-80s. Shortstop Raul Mondesi no longer had eligibility to be on the prospect list.