The Royals have added outfielder Tyler Gentry and pitcher Will Klein to the 40-man roster to protect them from the Rule 5 draft. To make room for the pair, the Royals designated catcher Logan Porter and pitcher Josh Staumont for assignment. Today was the deadline to add eligible players in anticipation of the draft that will be held on December 6.
Gentry was a third-round pick in 2020 out of Alabama, who hit .253/.370/.421 with 16 home runs and 14 steals in 129 games for Triple-A Omaha. A right-handed hitter, the 24-year-old is one of the best hitting prospects in the upper minors for the Royals and is ranked #8 in the farm system by MLB Pipeline and #9 by Baseball America. Gentry has a patient eye, some solid power, and profiles as a corner outfielder.
Klein was a fifth-round pick in the same draft out of Eastern Illinois and was the Royals’ representative at the Futures Game this year. The 23-year-old right-hander had a 3.38 ERA with 44 strikeouts in 29 1/3 innings out of the bullpen for Northwest Arkansas before being promoted and putting up a 5.66 ERA in 35 innings with a high walk rate in Omaha. He is ranked #22 in the Royals farm system by Baseball America and #25 by MLB Pipeline.
Staumont has pitched for the Royals since 2019 and raised hopes after he posted a 2.76 ERA in 90 games over 2020-21 with 10.7 strikeouts-per-nine-innings. But control issues and injuries have derailed his career since and he was a non-tender candidate after a 5.40 ERA with 13 walks in 20 innings in a season cut short following thoracic outlet syndrome surgery.
Porter made his MLB debut this year after the Royals suffered hits to their catching depth late in the year. The 28-year-old appeared in 11 games with the Royals after hitting .232/.339/.377 with 13 home runs in 110 games with Omaha.
Notable players that were not added to the 40-man roster and will be eligible for the Rule 5 draft include infielders CJ Alexander, Devin Mann and Tyler Tolbert, outfielders Tucker Bradley and John Rave, and pitchers Luinder Avila, Christian Chamberlain, Asa Lacy, and Beck Way.
The Rule 5 draft allows teams to select players from other organizations that are eligible and have not been added to the 40-man roster and thus “protected.” Players are eligible after four seasons in the minors if they signed at age 19 or later, or after five seasons if they signed younger than age 19. That means this year, the college draftees from 2020 become eligible, while all signees from 2019 and before are eligible.