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This Week(end) in the Minors: top prospects at new levels

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Peeking in at how Kansas City’s top prospects are doing after pre-season promotions.

Minor League Baseball: Arizona Fall League-Fall Stars Game
Ryan O’Hearn and four other top prospects are jumping into the 2017 MiLB season at new levels.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to ‘This Week in the Minors,’ the weekly rundown of the Kansas City farm system. Usually this is where we answer the simple question of “who had a good week?” However, the minor league fellas have only been playing since Thursday. So this time, we’ll just check in on some Top 10 prospects who have been promoted.

For the sake of Royals Review synergy, we’ll use Shaun Newkirk’s rankings as a reference. Please proceed with big flashing Small Sample Size warnings implied at every turn.

Player: Chase Vallot, C (#1)

Promoted to: Wilmington

So far, he’s doing: fine! It’s two games. He has hit a single and walked twice, but struck out four times. Vallot is the youngest player on the Blue Rocks roster, and one of only ten 20-year-old position players in the Carolina League.

Player: Ryan O’Hearn, 1B (#2)

Promoted to: Omaha

So far, he’s doing: exactly what he did at Double-A. He already has half a dozen hits in four games, including two doubles and his first Triple-A home run. He can definitely sustain a .611 slugging percentage, right?

(To this day, no one knows where that ball went. Hey, camera operators don’t all get Spring Training.)

Like Vallot, O’Hearn is the youngest hitter on his new team.

Player: Donnie DeWees, OF (#3)

Promoted to: New to the Royals organization, and also new to Double-A

So far, he’s doing: variably. On the plus side, he has already hit a home run and drawn three walks in four games. But he is 0-for-2 in base stealing attempts, which is an unexpected start for such a highly-regarded runner.

Player: Josh Staumont, RHP (#5)

Promoted to: Omaha

So far, he’s doing: not great, Bob. In his Triple-A debut, Staumont gave up seven runs on seven hits. Two were home runs, and he was pulled after throwing 92 pitches in 3.1 innings. However, of course, everyone can have a bad game. As the Storm Chasers rotation stands now, he will get another crack at it on Thursday.

Player: Scott Blewett, RHP (#6)

Promoted to: Wilmington

So far, he’s doing: fine. Blewett pitched five innings in his first start high-A. He allowed three runs on five hits, plus two walks and three strikeouts. Blewett is one of just three 21-year-olds on the Blue Rocks pitching staff. The others are lefties Richard Lovelady and Foster Griffin.

Next week, I will resume the regular format, hunting down any random player who happened to catch fire for a week. In the meantime, if any of you head to games in Omaha, please don’t hesitate to come say hello!