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LOD’s 2019 Offseason Top Prospects: Kansas City Royals

Kansas City Royals Top Prospects

Here at Legends on Deck our passion is prospects and the offseason presents an outstanding opportunity for us to showcase some of baseball’s top up and comers. Throughout the offseason, we will be bringing you the top ten prospects from all 30 organizations. We will start with the Arizona Diamondbacks and work our way alphabetically all the way through the Washington Nationals. This series is the opinion of Jake Berry, Senior Editor at Legends on Deck and does not reflect any official MLB rankings. 

#10 – RHP Yefri Del Rosario

2019 Opening Day Age: 19           ETA: 2022            Top Future Pitch: FB

2018 Stats (Single-A): 3.19 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 72 SO, 29 BB

At just 18 years old, Del Rosario was the youngest pitcher in the South Atlantic League last year and played a big role in helping the Lexington Legends to the league title. The Royals acquired the Dominican native after the Braves international signing scandal and it was quite a steal for Kansas City. The fastball is Del Rosario’s only plus pitch at the moment, but the slider has shown flashes and the changeup, while already an average offering, could develop into a great third pitch.

#9 – OF Kyle Isbel

2019 Opening Day Age: 22           ETA: 2021              Top Future Tool: Run 

2018 Stats (Rookie/Single-A): .326/.389/.504, 7 HR, 32 RBI, 24 SB

I really like Isbel’s overall profile. The UNLV product has a great approach at the plate and while he won’t lead the league in walks, the left handed swinger has a knack for putting the ball in play. The swing developed well in college and he has tapped into more power during his development. Above average athleticism allows Isbel to be a threat both on the bases and in the field.

#8 – OF Seuly Matias

2019 Opening Day Age: 20              ETA: 2021          Top Future Tool: Power

2018 Stats (Single-A): .231/.303/.550, 31 HR, 63 RBI, 6 SB

No doubt I like my prospects to have big power potential, but Matias will find himself way higher on this list when he can cut down on the strikeouts. At 6’3, 200 pounds with a lightning fast bat, Matias has the best power swing in the system. You know the old saying “always bet on the athlete”, that applies to Matias as he has showcased above average speed that benefits him in the field. While the future is bright in terms of power, his best tool at present is the throwing arm. If he can figure out how to get the barrel to the ball on a more consistent basis, the 2015 J2 signee will be a force to be reckoned with down the road.

#7 – SS Nicky Lopez

2019 Opening Day Age: 24           ETA: 2019             Top Future Tool: Arm

2018 Stats (Double-A/Triple-A): .308/.382/.417, 9 HR, 53 RBI, 15 SB

Somewhat of a sleeper prospect here, Lopez is a defense first middle infielder… or so we thought. A former fifth round pick out of Creighton, the left handed hitter had an exceptional season at the plate at the highest levels of the minors in 2018. Over 581 plate appearances between Double-A and Triple-A, Lopez struck out just 52 times to 60 walks. A line drive approach at the dish, there is no power projectability to his game, but Lopez could very well be a 10/20 guy with a high batting average in the bigs. Of course, we can’t talk about Lopez without mentioning he is an exceptional defender up the middle with a plus arm.

#6 – 1B Nick Pratto

2019 Opening Day Age: 20             ETA: 2021             Top Future Tool: Hit

2018 Stats (Single-A): .280/.343/.443, 14 HR, 62 RBI, 22 SB

Pratto is a guy for me that was higher on this list this time last year. He has dropped due to no fault of his own, it is mainly because I loved the Royals 2018 draft (and the number one guy snuck up on me, I will admit). The former two way player profiles differently from a lot of first basemen in today’s game. He is an exceptional defender at the position, he has great foot speed with the ability to steal double digit bases, and his hit tool is extremely advanced. As he matures physically, Pratto will grow into more power and in turn will start showing up on a lot more people’s radars. Now might be the time to buy him for a pretty good value in fantasy leagues.

#5 – RHP Jackson Kowar

2019 Opening Day Age: 22           ETA: 2021              Top Future Pitch: CH

2018 Stats (Single-A): 26.1 IP, 3.42 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 22 SO, 12 BB

Kowar was one of three Royals first round picks in 2018 and one of two pitchers they selected from the University of Florida in the opening round. He has that two pitch mix I love so much with a plus fastball and fading changeup. The righty is able to command both of those pitches well and the curveball is continuing to develop. Kowar was another big piece in the Legends run to an SAL title.

#4 – OF Khalil Lee

2019 Opening Day Age: 20               ETA: 2020           Top Future Tool: Run

2018 Stats (High-A/Double-A): .263/.382/.390, 6 HR, 51 RBI, 16 SB

Lee is an interesting prospect and another one that was higher on this list prior to the draft. I won’t say “five tool Player” because everyone will think I am calling him Mike Trout, but what I will say is Lee doesn’t have a ton of weak points to his game. He moves well both in the field and on the bases, he has a plus arm, and has proven there is a lot of pop in the left handed swing. He may be one of the more complete players in the system and at just 20 years old, could very well blossom into a 15/25 guy that gets on base at a high clip. It is also worth mentioning that he drastically reduced his K rate and improved his walk rate in 2018 while facing much tougher pitching than in 2017.

#3 – LHP Daniel Lynch

2019 Opening Day Age: 22              ETA: 2021           Top Future Pitch: CH

2018 Stats (Rookie/Single-A): 51.1 IP, 1.58 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 61 SO, 8 BB

I got to see Lynch in person in a start against Rome and I couldn’t take my eyes off of him. He was commanding a running fastball well that I got to see from a couple of different angles and would keep hitters off balance with a slider that was producing a lot of weak contact. From what I can gather, it sounds like that was a pretty consistent theme for the lefty all year. The 6’6 frame doesn’t get the greatest extension in the world, but it does play the fastball up a little bit more. He takes a no nonsense approach to the mound and is not afraid to come right at hitters.

#2 – RHP Brady Singer

2019 Opening Day Age: 22             ETA: 2021             Top Future Pitch: FB

2018 Stats: DNP 

The other Florida pitcher drafted by the Royals last year, Singer didn’t make his pro debut during the 2018 campaign as the organization opted to rest him after a heavy workload in college. The movement on the 6’5 right handers pitches are what really makes his stuff border line elite. The two seam lives in the mid 90’s with arm side run/sink and he makes hitters look silly when he mixes that pitch with his tight slider. He also possesses a four seamer that ramps up the velo slightly. I’m excited to watch Singer make his pro debut in 2019 and the Royals, after giving him a break in 2018, may be aggressive with his level in this year’s campaign.

#1 – C MJ Melendez

2019 Opening Day Age: 20               ETA: 2021           Top Future Tool: Power

2018 Stats (Single-A): .251/.322/.492, 19 HR, 73 RBI, 4 SB

I’ll admit I was late to the Melendez bandwagon, but now I may be driving it. The Royals took him 52nd overall in the 2017 draft to pull him away from playing for his father at FIU. An advanced defensive profile highlights his game, but the bat has really shown up in his first two seasons. I have Melendez as a top five catching prospect in all of baseball. The 20 year old backstop, along with some of his battery mates above, will more than likely make the core of the next competitive Royals team.

Jake resides in Carrollton, GA and loves everything baseball. He is a lifelong Atlanta Braves fan and enjoys traveling to watch their Minor League teams. He graduated from the University of West Georgia with a Bachelor's Degree in Sport Management. Jake is also a certified personal trainer and has a passion for fitness and weight lifting. You can find his personal site at You can also reach out to Jake at

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