The weather outside is frigid, which reflects the state of the Royals’ farm system, at least as judged by outside observers. Baseball Prospectus released their top 101 prospect rankings with only one Royals player making the list - 2023 first-round pick Blake Mitchell, who comes in at #96. Last year, the Royals only placed one prospect on the list as well, 2022 first-round pick Gavin Cross at #70, but he fell off after a disastrous season.
Mitchell was the eighth overall pick in last summer’s draft out of Sinton High School in Texas. The Royals overlooked the poor history of catchers selected out of high school in the first round of the draft and chose the left-handed hitting Mitchell for his smooth stroke and defense behind the plate. He appeared in just 13 games in the Arizona Complex League last year, struggling with an average of .147 and one extra-base hit, although he did draw 17 walks. Mitchell is the tenth-best catcher on the list, and ranks behind Kyle Teel at #47, who was selected by the Red Sox six picks after Mitchell.
The Cubs placed the most prospects on the list with nine. Every team placed at least one prospect on the list, but the Royals join the Astros, Angels, Athletics, and Phillies as teams with just one player ranked. Orioles shortstop Jackson Holliday is the top ranked prospect in baseball, followed by Rangers outfielder Wyatt Langford, Rays third baseman Junior Caminero, Rangers outfielder Evan Carter, and Nationals outfielder Dylan Crews.