Kansas City Royals Prospects: 2024 Midseason Top 30 Update


The Royals farm system is headed in the right direction after struggling for the past couple of seasons. That coincides nicely with a step forward at the big league level, which has been powered by Bobby Witt Jr. becoming a star, as well as some astute free agent pitching acquisitions.

Baseball America subscribers can see the full updated Royals Top 30 here. Notable risers, fallers, new additions and injury updates are below.

Notable Risers 

Carter Jensen, C

Jensen became a more aggressive hitter in his return to High-A Quad Cities. He’s slowing down the game and improving behind the plate, as well.

Gavin Cross, OF

Cross has shown that last year’s massive struggles were partly because he battled illness. He’s looked like a different player this year, hitting for better average and more power while jumping to Double-A Northwest Arkansas.

Chandler Champlain, RHP 

Champlain took a step forward in his return to Double-A Northwest Arkansas, primarily with the improvement of his now plus curveball that misses bats in the zone. 

Felix Arronde, RHP

The Cuban native got a taste of full-season ball last year after nearly three seasons on the complexes. He returned to Low-A Columbia this year and has blossomed into one of the Royals’ better pitching prospects at that level. He thrives with an above-average fastball and a plus bat-missing changeup.

Notable Fallers

Frank Mozzicato, LHP

Mozzicato has had a solid season at High-A Quad Cities, but his velocity has disappeared. Mozzicato sits 88-89 mph nowadays and rarely tops 90 mph. He knows how to pitch but doesn’t really have an offering with which to generate swings and misses.

Tyler Gentry, C

Now 25 years old, the Royals’ third-round pick in 2020 has struggled to hit in his second year with Triple-A Omaha.

John McMillon, RHP

The Texas Tech product got a taste of big league ball last season, but injuries and inconsistency have kept him from building off that breakthrough.

Notable New additions

18. Felix Arronde, RHP

BA Grade/Risk: 45/High

Track Record: Arronde signed with the Royals in 2021. He has gone from sitting 91 mph and touching 93 in 2023 to sitting 93 and touching 96 this year. With that velocity jump, he’s become a reliable starter for Low-A Columbia.

Scouting Report: Arronde had already shown he could pitch before he added to his velocity. Previously able to succeed with a less-than-impressive fastball thanks to his plus changeup, now he can attack hitters with both, as well as a low-80s slider.

The Future: Arronde has taken a big step forward in 2024. If he can keep this up, he projects as a back-of-the-rotation starter, with a reliever role a fallback option.

Scouting Grades: Fastball: 55 | Slider: 40 | Changeup: 60 | Control: 50

20. Yeri Perez, RHP

BA Grade/Risk: 50/Extreme

Track Record: Perez signed with the Royals in 2022 and needed two years in the Dominican Summer League before making it to the Arizona Complex League. He’s been a pleasant surprise this year, flashing big stuff.

Scouting Report: The 19-year-old Perez has a big arm with a fastball that sits at 95 mph and has been clocked up to 97 this year. He also has a hard 85-87 mph slider. As a long, lean teenage righthander, Perez isn’t always consistent, but he shows potential to be at least a power reliever. His control is well below-average and will have to improve significantly.

The Future: Perez has miles to go to reach his potential, but there are the makings of a promising pitcher.

Scouting Grades: Fastball: 60 | Slider: 50 | Changeup: 40 | Control: 40

27. Asbel Gonzalez, OF

BA Grade/Risk: 45/Extreme

Track Record: Gonzalez has been the center fielder for the Royals’ Arizona Complex League team all season. He harkens back to the “That What Speed Do” Royals of the early 2010s as a speedster who runs down balls in the gaps.

Scouting Report: Gonzalez is a plus runner and a future plus defender in center field. His above-average arm is an asset, as well. The question will be how well can his bat catch up to his glove and speed. He’s a slap-hitting contact hitter all the way, with well-below-average power.

The Future: There’s hope that Gonzalez will add physical strength as he fills out, but he’s doing a good job of maximizing his baseball strengths already. He works counts, gets on base and steals bases at a highly successful rate.

Scouting Grades: Hitting: 50 | Power: 30 | Speed: 60 | Fielding: 60 | Arm: 55

28. Hyungchan Um, C

BA Grade/Risk: 45/Extreme

Track Record: Um signed with the Royals in 2022, following in the professional footsteps of his father, who played in the Braves’ farm system for one season in 2001. Um quickly learned English to better connect with his teammates, and he’s now working on Spanish to further improve his ability to work with his pitchers.

Scouting Report: Um earned a promotion to Low-A Columbia by impressing at the plate, behind the dish and in the dugout. The Royals rave about his makeup. He is a well-rounded catcher who is fringe-average or average in everything except for speed.

The Future: The jump to Low-A is a big one for Um, but his drive is what teams look for in catchers.

Scouting Grades: Hitting: 45 | Power: 50 | Speed: 30 | Fielding: 50 | Arm: 50

29. Hunter Patteson, LHP

BA Grade/Risk: 40/High

Track Record: Patteson was the Royals’ fifth-round pick in 2022 even though he was recovering from Tommy John surgery that cost him the second half of his final season at Central Florida. He’s made a solid recovery and has been one of Low-A Columbia’s best pitchers.

Scouting Report: Patteson doesn’t ‘wow’ with his stuff, but he’s an efficient strike-thrower with plus command and control. His 91-93 mph fastball has solid life, and he knows how to locate his average slider. He also has a below-average changeup. All play up because of plus control.

The Future: Patteson’s already shown he knows how to pitch. If he can add a few ticks to his stuff, he could be a big leaguer starter. If he doesn’t, he projects more as an up-and-down arm.Scouting Grades: Fastball: 45 | Slider: 50 | Changeup: 40 | Control: 60

Significant injuries

Asa Lacy, LHP

It’s been a litany of injuries for the 2020 fourth-overall pick who has yet to remain on the mound enough to further develop his tantalizing stuff. After missing most of 2022 and all of 2023 to a back injury, Lacy flashed his stuff in a very brief fall instructional league outing last year. He didn’t make it through spring training in 2024, having Tommy John surgery in March.

Cayden Wallace, 3B

Wallace missed more than a month with a right oblique strain, returning to action in late June with a rehab stint in the Arizona Complex League.

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