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Royals call up eight minor leaguers, including Nick Pratto, for series in Toronto

The Royals are gonna need some nametags.

Kansas City Royals Photo Day Photo by Daniel Shirey/MLB Photos via Getty Images

The Royals have called up eight minor leaguers to replace the players who were placed on the restricted list for being unable to make the trip to Toronto due to Canada’s vaccination requirements for visitors. They “anticipate adding up to two more players during the series.” According to Alec Lewis, the Royals cannot replace Brad Keller until Saturday, and Brady Singer until Sunday, presumably because they are starting pitchers. Transactions to replace players on the restricted list can be made without ramifications to the 40-man roster. The players called up to the Major Leagues:

Nathan Eaton is an infielder/outfielder selected in the 21st round of the 2018 draft out of Virginia Military Institute. He has been a versatile utility player who has played all over the field, but his power has developed this season with 13 home run in 76 games across Double-A and Triple-A. Overall the 25-year old right-handed hitter is batting .301/.360/.498, but has really turned it on since his promotion to Omaha, hitting .329 with 9 home runs in 39 games.

Freddy Fermin is a 27-year-old catcher signed out of Venezuela who has been a solid organizational player. His bat has started to come around the last two seasons, and he is hitting .242/.357/.422 with five home runs in 40 games for Omaha with a very healthy 14.9 percent walk rate.

Maikel Garcia is a 22-year old infielder drawing raves this year for his defense and ability to draw walks. He is hitting .287/.365/.397 with 27 steals in 74 games this year for Double-A Northwest Arkansas. He has an 11 percent walk rate while striking out just 17 percent of the time. The right-hander has very little power, but good speed, stealing 35 bases in 41 attempts last year.

Brewer Hicklen is a 26-year-old outfielder who was the Royals’ seventh-round pick in the 2017 draft out of the University of Alabama-Birmingham. He is a toolsy player with a good power/speed combo, stealing 40 bases last year with 16 home runs. He is hitting .267/.365/.504 with 14 home runs and 18 steals in 73 games for Omaha this year, and was called up earlier to the Royals to appear in two games, going 0-for-2.

Michael Massey has emerged from being the fourth round pick in the 2019 draft out of the University of Illinois to become one of the top hitting prospects in the Royals organization. He shows good power for a middle infielder from the left side of the plate and has smacked 15 home runs in 78 games across Double-A and Triple-A, hitting .317/.373/.535. His walk rate has improved a bit this year to 8.2 percent, and has swiped 12 bases in 14 tries this year. The 24-year-old has spent the most time at second base, but has recently played some third base as well.

Nick Pratto is the top Royals prospect not up at the big league level, and a former first-round pick in 2017. The 23-year-old California native was hitting .240/.374/.484 with 17 home runs in 74 games for Omaha. He was a consensus top 100 prospect in baseball after a monster 2021 season in which he hit .265/.385/.602 with 36 home runs in the upper minors. Pratto features a smooth glove at first base and a patient eye with a 15 percent walk rate, but can also get called out on strikes quite a bit with a 30 percent strikeout rate.

Sebastian Rivero is a 23-year-old catcher who has spent parts of the last two seasons with the Royals, appearing in 20 games with a line of .149/.231/.192. He is noted for his solid glove behind the plate, although his bat has yet to develop. This year for Omaha he has hit .220/.295/.415 with four home runs in 33 games as a right-handed bat.

Angel Zerpa is a 22-year-old left-hander who has made two appearances with the Royals over the last two years, giving up no earned runs (two unearned) in seven innings of work. Zerpa had a 4.36 ERA with 69 strikeouts and 21 walks in 64 innings for Double-A Northwest Arkansas.

The players placed on the restricted list include Andrew Benintendi, Dylan Coleman, Hunter Dozier, Cam Gallagher, Kyle Isbel, Brad Keller, MJ Melendez, Whit Merrifield, Brady Singer, and Michael A. Taylor. Players placed on the restricted list are not paid and do not accrue service time.