The Royals farm system continues to improve, as evidenced by the latest top prospect mid-season update from MLB Pipeline, where four Royals were ranked among the top 100 prospects in baseball. Infielder Bobby Witt, Jr. comes in at #11 as a hitter with “20/20 potential” with his power and speed combo that should be able to stick at shortstop. He actually moves down slightly from his #10 ranking back in January, but he was very impressive in Summer Camp, which may cause the front office to reassess his timetable.
Joining the list for the first time is Royals 2020 first-round pick Asa Lacy. The left-hander out of Texas A&M was selected third overall, but is not currently in the 60-man club pool. MLB Pipeline writes that Lacy uses his 6’4’’ frame well to create downhill action with a 92-97 mph fastball. He also features a hard slider, a curveball, and a solid change up with fade that gives him a starter’s arsenal. MLB Pipeline estimates Lacy should be in the big leagues by 2022. Fellow 2020 draft picks ahead of Lacy include Spencer Torkelson (#7) and Austin Martin (#20).
Brady Singer, who still has prospect eligibility until he has 45 days in the big leagues, comes in at #65, down from his #59 ranking back in January. They write that Singer’s calling card is his “sinker-slider combo” which he has used to great effect in his first three big league starts, the 2018 first-round pick has a 4.80 ERA with 18 strikeouts and 6 walks in 15 innings.
Fellow 2018 draft pick Daniel Lynch comes in right behind Singer at #67, down a bit from his #61 ranking in January. They praise the Royals for unlocking more velocity from the left-hander, getting his fastball to sit at 94-96 mph with a plus slider. Lynch missed some time last year with arm soreness, but could see some time at the big league level this year.
MLB Pipeline tallies up the value of each ranking using Prospect Points to give an idea of organizational rankings. According to Prospect Points, the Royals rank ninth in baseball, with the Detroit Tigers ranking first. However this is just an analysis of the top prospects in a system and does not speak to depth.
In addition to Singer, a number of prospects on the list are already in the big leagues and should graduate off the list soon, such as Luis Robert, Jo Adell, Nate Pearson, Jesus Luzardo, Carter Kieboom, Dustin May, Luis Patino, Nick Madrigal, Nico Hoerner, and Daulton Varsho.