The Royals announced their minor league rosters for the season scheduled to begin on May 4. After a full season with no minor league games, it will be great to see Royals prospects playing in live games once again. The Royals will have two new affiliates, with the Quad Cities Bandits signing on as their new High-A affiliate, and the Columbia (SC) Fireflies as their new Low-A affiliate. There will be no short-season rookie ball leagues this year, but the Royals will continue to field a team in the Arizona Summer League, which will take the field later this summer. These rosters are provisional and are subject to change.
Omaha Storm Chasers (Triple-A)
Home: Werner Park, Sarpy County, NE
The Omaha Storm Chasers will feature some faces familiar to Royals fans such as outfielder Bubba Starling, catcher Meibrys Viloria, outfielder Kyle Isbel, and pitchers Carlos Hernandez and Kris Bubic. The team will also feature two of the top pitching prospects in the organization - left-hander Daniel Lynch and right-hander Jackson Kowar. Omaha manager Brian Poldberg returns for his eighth season, assisted by hitting coach Brian Buchanan and pitching coach Dane Johnson.
Catchers: Nick Dini, Sebastian Rivero, Meibrys Viloria
Infielders: Gabriel Cancel, Lucius Fox, Kelvin Gutierrez, Kevin Merrell, Emmanuel Rivera
Outfielders: Kyle Isbel, Erick Mejia, Anderson Miller, Edward Olivares, Bubba Starling
Pitchers: Scott Blewett, Ronald Bolanos, Kris Bubic, Grant Gavin, Carlos Hernandez, Jake Kalish, Jackson Kowar, Daniel Lynch, Jake Newberry, Michael Shawaryn, Andres Sotillet, Gabe Speier, Jace Vines
Northwest Arkansas Naturals (Double-A)
Home: Arvest Ballpark, Springdale, AR
The Northwest Arkansas Naturals will feature a loaded roster headlined by top prospect Bobby Witt, Jr. The phenom infielder will be joined by fellow first-round pick Nick Pratto, who has made major strides with his swing at the Alternate Site. Pitchers Alec Marsh, Jonathan Heasley, and Jonathan Bowlan - who tossed a no-hitter in 2019 with Wilmington - are some pitchers to watch. Scott Thorman will begin his first season managing the Naturals, with Abraham Nunez serving as hitting coach and Derrick Lewis as pitching coach.
Catchers: Nathan Esposito, MJ Melendez, Freddy Fermin
Infielders: Brhet Bewley, Dennicher Carrasco, Angelo Castellano, Clay Dungan, Nick Pratto, Bobby Witt, Jr.
Outfielders: Dairon Blanco, Brewer Hicklen, Travis Jones, Rudy Martin
Pitchers: Derrick Adams, Jonathan Bowlan, Dylan Coleman, Yefri del Rosario, Josh Dye, Peyton Gray, Jonathan Heasley, Alec Marsh, Marcelo Martinez, Andres Nunez, Carlos Sanabria, Collin Snider, Stephen Woods, Jr.
Quad Cities Bandits (High-A)
Home: Modern Woodmen Park, Davenport, IA
The Quad Cities Bandits join the Royals organization from nearby Iowa, and their pitching staff will be fronted by 2020 first-round pick Asa Lacy, who will be making his professional debut. Zach Haake, Yohanse Morel, and former first-round pick Nolan Watson are some other arms to keep tabs on. The hitters will be led by infielder Nick Loftin, who was taken in the supplementary round of last year’s draft. Seuly Matias provides big power, and John Rave, Eric Cole, and Vinnie Pasquantino could also provide offense in that lineup. Chris Widger will manage the Bandits with Mike Jirschele as his bench coach, Andy LaRoche as hitting coach, and Steve Luebber as pitching coach
Catchers: Tyler Cropley, William Hancock, Logan Porter
Infielders: Nathan Eaton, Jimmy Govern, Jeison Guzman, Nick Loftin, Michael Massey, Vinnie Pasquantino
Outfielders: Eric Cole, Tyler Gentry, Seuly Matias, John Rave
Pitchers: Dante Biasi, Garrett Davila, Jonah DiPoto, Mitch Ellis, Grant Gambrell, Zach Haake, Will Klein, Asa Lacy, Adam Lukas, Yohanse Morel, Drew Parrish, Anthony Veneziano, Nolan Watson, Angel Zerpa
Columbia Fireflies (Low-A)
Home: Segra Park, Columbia, SC
The Fireflies also join the Royals organization for the first time with Brooks Conrad set to manage the club. Jesus Azuaje will serve as hitting coach, Glenn Hubbard will serve as bench coach, and Carlos Martinez will serve as pitching coach. The team will feature a young squad, but several players were top hitters in college including Kale Emshoff, Brady McConnell, and Tucker Bradley, Darry Collins is one of many international signings on the roster that could impress, along with Juan Carlos Negret and Maikel Garcia. Ben Hernandez was a second-round pick in last year’s draft and will head straight to Low-A out of high school.
Catchers: Kale Emshoff, Felix Familia, Omar Hernandez
Infielders: Maikel Garcia, Herard Gonzalez, Rubendy Jaquez, Brady McConnell, Jake Means, Matt Schmidt, Tyler Tolbert
Outfielders: Tucker Bradley, Darryl Collins, Diego Hernandez, Juan Carlos Negret
Pitchers: Adrian Alcantara, Ismael Aquino, AJ Block, Delvin Capellan, Christian Cosby, Luis de Avila, Ben Hernandez, Rylan Kaufman, Emilio Marquez, Cruz Noriega, Anderson Paulino, Walter Pennington, Patrick Smith, Matthew Stil, Nathan Webb, Marlin Willis