Kansas City Royals Top 20 Prospects

Photo Credit: Mike Janes/Four Seam Images

Photo Credit: Mike Janes/Four Seam Images

10. Nolan Watson – RHP

Date of Birth: January 25, 1997

Height/Weight: 6’2”/195

Bats/Throws: Right/Right

Acquired: Drafted 1st round (33rd overall) in 2015

Watson and Ashe Russell grew up in the same town in Indiana and attended rival high schools. Both happened to be drafted by the same organization in the first round of the 2015 draft. While Russell has more electric stuff, scouts feel that Watson has an advanced feel for pitching with the potential to have four average or better offerings. His mechanics are good and he throws strikes, making the 18-year old and former Vanderbilt commit one to watch as he enters full season ball in 2016. ETA: 2019

9. Scott Blewett – RHP

Date of Birth: April 10, 1996

Height/Weight: 6’6”/210

Bats/Throws: Right/Right

Acquired: Drafted 2nd round in 2014

Blewett comes from the New York high school ranks and was considered a first round talent in the 2014 draft, but he slid after a shoulder strain during his senior year and Kansas City selected him in the second round. The Royals gave him the largest second round signing bonus at $1.8 million, which shows how highly they think of him. At 6’6” 210, Blewett certainly looks the part of a frontline starter and has plenty of potential, but is raw given his cold weather background. He has a clean delivery and generally sits in the mid-90s and has a good feel for a curveball but, like most young pitchers, he needs to refine his changeup. After trading Sean Manaea and Cody Reed at the deadline, the Royals are counting on their next wave of starters to develop. Blewett has as much upside as any of them. ETA: 2018

8. Josh Staumont – RHP

Date of Birth: December 21, 1993

Height/Weight: 6’2”/190

Bats/Throws: Right/Right

Acquired: Drafted 2nd round in 2015

The Royals selected Staumont in the second round of the 2015 Draft out of DII Azusa Pacific University. The right hander was the hardest thrower in the draft class, bringing triple digit heat consistently when used in shorter roles and constant in the upper 90s. He uses a deceptively free and easy arm action that one would not expect so much velocity from. He also throws a curveball that shows flashes of being a wipe-out pitch when he is throwing it well, but he does have command issues and is not consistent in throwing strikes. If he can figure out how to locate the ball with more consistently, he could become yet another power arm to come out of the Royals’ bullpen. ETA: 2018

7. Matthew Strahm – LHP

Date of Birth: November 12, 1991

Height/Weight: 6’4”/180

Bats/Throws: Right/Left

Acquired: Drafted 21st round in 2012

Perhaps the biggest riser among Royals prospects, Strahm, a former JUCO pitcher out of Kansas and 21st round pick in 2012, was not on the prospect radar entering 2015. He underwent Tommy John surgery in 2013 and missed 2014 recovering, but returned to the mound with authority. Strahm’s fastball is sitting in the low to mid-90s more consistently now than it was prior to the surgery and his curveball has shown the potential to be an above average offering. The southpaw has always missed plenty of bats as shown by his career 11.9 K/9 rate. A reliever to begin his pro career, the Royals began to transition Strahm into the rotation after a promotion to the Carolina League, and the early results seem positive. This is a left-hander to keep an eye on moving forward. ETA: 2017

6. Bubba Starling – OF

Date of Birth: August 3, 1992

Height/Weight: 6’4”/210

Bats/Throws: Right/Right

Acquired: Drafted 1st round (5th overall) in 2011

Starling’s story has been well documented. The fifth overall pick in 2011 turned down an offer to play baseball and football at the University of Nebraska to sign with the team he grew up rooting for. The Royals knew he was going to take time to develop and he began to show positive signs in 2015. He tore up the Carolina League in his brief return there and had a solid season in the Texas League. Starling played in the Arizona Fall League for the second straight year and he has seen major improvements the second time around. He fits the Royals as far as outfield defense is concerned, but not so much in terms in making contact and not striking out; something he improved on but will need to continue to do to reach his potential. ETA: 2016

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