Kansas City Royals Top 20 Prospects

Photo Credit: Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Photo Credit: Jamie Squire/Getty Images

20. Anderson Miller – OF

Date of Birth: May 6, 1994

Height/Weight: 6’3”/208

Bats/Throws: Left/Left

Acquired: Drafted 3rd round in 2015

The Royals were excited to land Miller in the third round of the 2015 draft. A Western Kentucky product, the 6’3” outfielder is very athletic and brings many tools to the table. He can run, play good defense and has a strong arm, which fits what the Royals look for in their outfielders. He has a chance to stick in center field but he is capable of playing the corners as well. He has solid power potential but does have some holes in his swing. He will strike out, but he will also draw his share of walks and get on base. Miller hit .276/.326/.395 with 14 walks and 35 strikeouts in 210 at-bats and reached the South Atlantic League in his pro debut. He is arguably one of the more advanced bats in the system already, and it will be interesting to see how he handles his first full season. ETA: 2018

19. Cheslor Cuthbert – 3B

Date of Birth: November 17, 1992

Height/Weight: 6’1”/190

Bats/Throws: Right/Right

Acquired: International free agency in 2009

The Royals signed Cuthbert out of Nicaragua for $1.35 million in 2009 and has been up and down on the prospect radar ever since. He got to the big leagues in 2015 after hitting .277/.339/.421 with 11 home runs in Triple-A. His bat has been inconsistent throughout the minors and that has been what scouts felt would land him an everyday job at the big league level. He played some first base in the minors but he improved his defense at the hot corner this season. He has a strong arm and has the ability to drive the ball, but Cuthbert needs to cut down on his aggressiveness on pitches outside the strike zone and recognize pitches better in order to maximize his potential. ETA: 2016

18. Pedro Fernandez – RHP

Date of Birth: May 25, 1994

Height/Weight: 6’0/175

Bats/Throws: Right/Right

Acquired: International free agency in 2011

Following in the footsteps of Salvador Perez, Kelvin Herrera and Yordano Ventura, the Royals signed Fernandez for $45,000 out of the Dominican Republic in 2011. Fernandez, 21, made strides in Low-A ball where he posted a 3.12 ERA in 78 innings but struggled when he was promoted to the Carolina League (0-6, 8.82 ERA). His fastball sits in the mid-90s and has touched 97 at times while his slider and changeup have shown improvement. If he is unable to remain a starter, the Royals would love to have another power arm coming out of their bullpen. ETA: 2018

17. Ryan O’Hearn – 1B

Date of Birth: July 26, 1993

Height/Weight: 6’3”/200

Bats/Throws: Left/Left

Acquired: Drafted 8th round in 2014

The prospect with the most power in this system, the Royals found O’Hearn in the eighth round of the 2014 Draft out of Sam Houston State, where he hit a total of 11 home runs in three seasons. The Royals told O’Hearn to just be himself, and the power came naturally once he entered pro ball. The first baseman was named MVP of the Pioneer League in 2014 when he hit 13 home runs in 64 games. He then combined to hit 27 home runs and drive in 77 runs between two levels of A ball in 2015. He has a steady eye at the plate and will draw a good number of walks, but he will also strike out more often as a result of focusing on driving the ball. O’Hearn’s bat is what will get him to the big leagues and there just may be a spot opening up for him at first base in 2018. ETA: 2017

16. Alfredo Escalera-Maldonado – OF

Date of Birth: February 17, 1995

Height/Weight: 6’1”/186

Bats/Throws: Right/Right

Acquired: Drafted 8th round in 2012

Escalera became the youngest player ever selected in the First Year Player Draft when Kansas City made him their eighth round pick in 2012. He reached High-A ball and struggled there (.206/.285/.291 in 547 games) after performing well in a repeat of the South Atlantic League (.313/.356/.477 in 64 games). He draws raves for his makeup and he can handle any spot in the outfield. Still just 20 years old, Escalera still has time to develop his many raw tools. ETA: 2018

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