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  1. 1. Gavin Cross | OF
    Gavin Cross
    Born: Feb 13, 2001
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 210
    Signed By: Tim Bittner
    Minors: .312/.437/.633 | 8 HR | 4 SB | 109 AB

    BA Grade/Risk: 55/High

    Track Record: Cross broke out in his second year at Virginia Tech in 2021 to establish himself as a likely first-round pick in 2022. He was also one of the top hitters for USA Baseball's Collegiate National Team during the summer of 2021. Cross' draft stock was boosted further in 2022 when he showed that he could handle center field. He also improved at the plate by cutting his strikeout rate from 20% in 2021 to 14% in 2022 and boosting his walk rate from 7% to 11%. Cross finished his Hokies career with a trophy case full of awards, including All-Atlantic Coast Conference first team honors in both 2021 and 2022. The Royals drafted him ninth overall in 2022 and signed him for $5,200,400. Cross began his pro career with three games in the Rookie-level Arizona Complex League before reporting to Low-A Columbia, where he appeared in 26 games and posted an outstanding 1.019 OPS. He wrapped up his first season with additional playing time in instructional league.

    Scouting Report: Cross stands out for his above-average hit tool, knowledge of the strike zone and above-average power to all fields. He also has the ability to slow the game down at the plate. Cross hits with good balance and the ability to let the ball travel into the hitting zone, which allows him to consistently barrel balls and pepper line drives from gap to gap. There's enough lift in his lefthanded swing and easy pop to put balls over the fence, too. A 25% strikeout rate in Low-A shows that there's still work to be done with his approach, but the improvements he made in college and a willingness to learn demonstrate that he can continue to develop. An average runner, Cross reads balls well in the outfield and is athletic enough for center field, but his more likely home will be in right field, where his above-average to plus arm will be plenty for the position. Speed is not a separating tool for Cross, but he can steal the occasional base and go first to third on a single. Royals officials noted his solid demeanor and how quickly he fit in with his new teammates, indicating that he can be a leader both on the field and in the clubhouse.

    The Future: After getting enough time at Low-A to show his advanced ability at the plate and on the field, Cross is ready for the next level. He likely heads to High-A Quad Cities to start the 2023 season but should get to Double-A Northwest Arkansas before too long. Evaluators see him as a player who can move quickly through the system and in a best case scenario develop into an above-average regular. He's on track to be the Royals' right fielder by the middle of the decade.

    Scouting Grades: Hitting: 55. Power: 55. Speed: 50. Fielding: 50. Arm: 55

  2. 2. Cayden Wallace | 3B
    Cayden Wallace
    Born: Aug 7, 2001
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 205
    Minors: .293/.379/.466 | 2 HR | 8 SB | 116 AB

    BA Grade/Risk: 50/High

    Track Record: Wallace had a strong two-year career at Arkansas, hitting for both average and power. He was already a notable name upon arriving in Fayetteville because he was the top high school prospect in the state of Arkansas in 2020. He gained further exposure by playing in most of the major showcase events. Wallace comes from a sports-minded family. His father was a college quarterback and a brother played in the Angels organization and independent ball. The Royals drafted the righthanded-hitting Wallace in the second round in 2022 as an eligible sophomore. He began his pro career with three games in the Rookie-level Arizona Complex League before moving up to Low-A Columbia for 27 games and hitting a combined .293/.379/.466. He participated in the Royals instructional league program in the fall.

    Scouting Report: Wallace has strong wrists and a compact stroke at the plate, with good torque in his swing. Those qualities help him project to be an above-average hitter with above-average power. Wallace uses a traditional stance with a lower hand set just below his shoulder line, which helps him create plenty of power from an easy, efficient swing. Wallace's double-plus arm should help him stick at third base, where he is a potentially above-average defender. His arm strength is big enough that he can get plenty of zip on his throws even when he doesn't have time to set his feet. Wallace is no more than an average runner but steals bases on instincts.

    The Future: Wallace may be the regular third baseman the Royals have sought for much of the past decade, assuming Bobby Witt Jr. moves back to his natural shortstop position. Like 2022 first-rounder Gavin Cross, Wallace should move quickly through the system and will likely reach Double-A in 2023.

    Scouting Grades: Hitting: 55. Power: 50. Speed: 50. Fielding: 55. Arm: 70

  3. 3. Drew Waters | OF
    Drew Waters
    Born: Dec 30, 1998
    Bats: B Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 185
    Drafted/Signed: HS--Woodstock, Ga., 2017 (2nd round).
    Signed By: Dustin Evans.
    Minors: .269/.345/.460 | 13 HR | 18 SB | 324 AB

    BA Grade/Risk: 45/Medium

    Track Record: The Braves drafted Waters out of their backyard in the second round in 2017. The Woodstock, Ga., native signed for $1.5 million. He was the MVP of the Double-A Southern League in 2019, but the jump to Triple-A in 2021 gave Waters his first real speed bump. Waters again struggled in 49 games at Triple-A Gwinnett in 2022 before being one of three players traded to the Royals in July 2022 for a supplemental first-round pick in that year's draft. The change of scenery suited Waters, who hit .295/.399/.541 with Triple-A Omaha before being called up to Kansas City on Aug. 22. His walk rate grew from 7.6% with Gwinnett to 14% with Omaha and then 11% with Kansas City.

    Scouting Report: Waters didn't make any big mechanical swing changes when he joined the Royals organization. Instead, he became more confident and consistent with his decisions at the plate. A switch-hitter, Waters has a narrow setup with a high leg kick and a hand position right around shoulder level. He uses the setup from both sides of the plate, giving him a quick and powerful swing. Waters especially excels in center field, with potential Gold Glove-caliber defense earning him plus grades in both fielding and throwing. A plus runner, Waters stole 18 bases at Triple-A in 2022.

    The Future: Waters showed enough in his late-season time with Kansas City that he'll head to spring training with a chance to earn a big league roster spot and perhaps a starting outfield job. His speed, defense and ability to play all three outfield positions will be especially valuable in the spacious Kauffman Stadium outfield.

    Scouting Grades: Hitting: 45. Power: 45. Speed: 60. Fielding: 60. Arm: 60

  4. 4. Ben Kudrna | RHP
    Ben Kudrna
    Born: Jan 30, 2003
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 215
    Signed By: Matt Price.
    Minors: 2-5 | 3.48 ERA | 61 SO | 32 BB | 73 IP

    BA Grade/Risk: 50/High

    Track Record: Kudrna was a known commodity to the Royals given that his high school career was spent just 30 miles south in the Kansas City suburb of Overland Park. The Royals drafted him in the second round in 2021 and signed him for just shy of $3 million, going more than $1.25 million over slot and handing out the largest bonus of the second round. Both Kudrna and fellow top pick Frank Mozzicato were brought along slowly, not making their official pro debuts until May 2022. Kudrna pitched his first game at Low-A Columbia on May 21 to begin a promising first season in which he posted a 3.48 ERA with a .239 opponent average.

    Scouting Report: Kudrna has a big 6-foot-3 frame that has added strength since he turned pro, and he projects to continue to get stronger as he grows into his body. He attacks hitters with a fastball that has generally been in the range of 92-95 mph but can touch a couple of ticks higher. The pitch has good vertical break and plays up in the zone. Kudrna's velocity dipped later in the season, which was unsurprising for a pitcher in his first full season. A developmental goal coming into the 2022 season was to improve his mid-80s changeup, and he used it so much that it was a better pitch for him than his slider. His changeup plays well off his fastball but needs more deception. Kudrna's gyro slider at 82-84 mph has late bite and depth but needs to get firmer to reach its ceiling as an above-average pitch. His delivery is clean and repeatable, which leads evaluators to project Kudrna to have average control, though at times he'll work across his body and spin open.

    The Future: Kudrna projects as a hard-throwing back-end starter, especially if his slider develops into more of a swing-and-miss pitch. The next step will be an assignment to High-A Quad Cities.

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

  5. 5. Frank Mozzicato | LHP
    Frank Mozzicato
    Born: Jun 19, 2003
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 190
    Signed By: Casey Fahy.
    Minors: 2-6 | 4.30 ERA | 89 SO | 51 BB | 69 IP

    BA Grade/Risk: 50/High

    Track Record: Mozzicato was best known at his Manchester, Conn., high school for throwing four straight no-hitters, fueled by one of the best curveballs in the prep ranks. The Royals surprised the industry by taking Mozzicato with the seventh overall pick in the 2021 draft and signing him for $3,547,500, nearly $2 million under slot. Like fellow Royals 2021 draftee Ben Kudrna, Mozzicato's game action was confined to extended spring training until he finally made his debut with Low-A Columbia in May. Mozzicato made 19 starts for the Fireflies, striking out 11.6 batters per nine innings but with a high walk rate of 6.7 per nine. In addition to having one of the highest strikeout rates in the Carolina League, he also generated a high groundball rate of 54%.

    Scouting Report: While he still has a lot of development ahead, Mozzicato has a promising repertoire. His above-average fastball sat between 89-92 mph with rise that allowed it to play up in the zone and get whiffs. His plus curveball at 78-80 mph is a downer with good glove-side break and 16 inches of vertical movement. Mozzicato's changeup is still in the developmental stage because he didn't need to use it much in high school. Even so, it projects as an above-average offering at 84-85 mph. His changeup plays well off his fastball because it has 11 inches of vertical break, and he sells it with solid arm speed. Mozzicato's high walk rate is fueled in part by inconsistency in the way he lands with his lead leg. If he can correct that issue, he could have average control. He also needs to get stronger.

    The Future: Mozzicato has the attributes of a major league starter, though some observers see a future bullpen arm. He'll head to High-A Quad Cities in 2023, likely moving one level per year as he matures physically.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 55 Curveball: 60 Changeup: 55 Control: 50

  6. 6. Maikel Garcia | SS
    Maikel Garcia
    Born: Mar 3, 2000
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 180
    Signed By: Richard Castro
    Minors: .285/.359/.427 | 11 HR | 39 SB | 487 AB

    BA Grade/Risk: 45/Medium

    Track Record: It's been a slow, steady progression through the Royals system for Garcia, who signed out of Venezuela in 2016 and is a cousin of Ronald and Luisangel AcuC1a. Garcia's prospect stock continued to rise during the 2022 season as he got stronger and developed a better approach at the plate. Those changes helped him move up the organization's depth chart and make his big league debut on July 15. He appeared in nine games and finished the year with Triple-A Omaha. Garcia's plate discipline has consistently improved as he has tackled every level of the full-season minors in 2021 and 2022. While he still needs to add strength, Garcia's 11 home runs in 2022 were more than double his combined amount from the previous four pro seasons.

    Scouting Report: Garcia is an instinctual player both at the plate and on the field. He is regarded as a throwback type of hitter who steps open at the plate and uses the entire field. He has very good hand-eye coordination and solid barrel control, with gap-to-gap power that helped him produce 34 doubles between Double-A and Triple-A. His above-average hit tool has jumped a full grade from last year. As impressive as Garcia's development has been at the plate, he's still better known for his defense at shortstop, where he shows quick hands, solid range and an above-average arm.

    The Future: Garcia will continue building strength, which observers regard as the difference between him being a good utility player or a starting middle infielder. He may get the chance to earn a bench role out of spring training, but it's more likely he returns to Triple-A. Regardless, he will be on the Royals' 26-man roster at some point in 2023.

    Scouting Grades: Hitting: 55. Power: 40. Speed: 50. Fielding: 60. Arm: 55

  7. 7. Tyler Gentry | OF
    Tyler Gentry
    Born: Feb 1, 1999
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 210
    Signed By: Travis Ezi
    Minors: .326/.422/.542 | 21 HR | 10 SB | 402 AB

    BA Grade/Risk: 50/High

    Track Record: Gentry started his collegiate career at junior college powerhouse Walters State in Tennessee, leading the team with 18 home runs as a freshman. He continued to hit during two seasons at Alabama and led the team in many key categories. The Royals drafted Gentry in the third round in 2020, signed him for $750,000, then got him on the field for instructional league. No Royals prospect took as big of a jump forward in 2022 as Gentry. Hampered by a knee injury that limited him to 44 games in his first pro season at High-A Quad Cities in 2021, Gentry returned to the level and hit .336/.434/.516 against Midwest League pitchers. Promoted to Double-A Northwest Arkansas on June 14, he took no time at all adjusting to Texas League pitchers and compiled a .972 OPS with 16 home runs in 73 games. Key to Gentry's breakout at Double-A were improvements to his strikeout rate--26% at High-A to 20% at Double-A--and a spike in power production that saw his isolated slugging percentage climb more than 50 points.

    Scouting Report: Gentry shows plenty of pop from the right side with a low-maintenance swing that keeps him consistent at the plate. He's patient in the box with a good knowledge of the strike zone. Gentry bought into the Royals' revamped hitting program, becoming a patient hitter with the ability to pick the part of the zone in which to be aggressive. He's a capable defender at both corner outfield spots, with an above-average arm that is suited for right field. He stole 10 bases in 2022, but as an average runner who may slow down as he matures, speed isn't expected to be a big part of his game.

    The Future: Gentry has a chance to be a corner outfield regular with more experience, and he should be ready for Triple-A in 2023.

    Scouting Grades: Hitting: 55. Power: 55. Speed: 50. Fielding: 50. Arm: 55

  8. 8. Nick Loftin | OF/3B
    Nick Loftin
    Born: Sep 25, 1998
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 180
    Drafted/Signed: Baylor, 2020 (1st round supplemental).
    Signed By: Josh Hallgren
    Minors: .254/.333/.403 | 17 HR | 29 SB | 516 AB

    BA Grade/Risk: 50/High

    Track Record: Loftin was regarded as a solid all-around performer during his career at Baylor and was one of the top college shortstops in the 2020 draft class. The Royals selected him in the supplemental first round and signed him for $3 million. Since launching his pro career at High-A Quad Cities in 2021, Loftin has played all three infield positions and also center field and left field after playing primarily shortstop during his three-year college career. Loftin continued down the path to being a super-utility player by spending most of his time in center field in 2022 between Double-A Northwest Arkansas and Triple-A Omaha.

    Scouting Report: Loftin isn't regarded as a pure hitter, but rather as a quality ballplayer who provides good value. He's a gap-to-gap contact hitter with a cerebral approach at the plate. His potentially average hit tool is not a separator, but he's the type of player who will consistently find ways to get it done. His strikeout rates jumped from 13% in Double-A to 24% after moving to Triple-A, and his walk rates dropped from 10.6% to 6%, indicating there's improvement needed at the higher level. Loftin's athleticism will allow him to handle the super-utility role that the Royals envision. Now that he's proven to be an average outfielder in only one season, he will get back to playing the infield a little more regularly. Loftin is an above-average runner with an above-average arm, and in his time as a regular shortstop he showed good first-step quickness, good hands and solid range. The first-step quickness that helps him in the field also helped him steal 39 bases in 2022.

    The Future: Loftin will return to Triple-A looking to improve at the plate and get more experience around the field.

    Scouting Grades: Hitting: 50. Power: 45. Speed: 55. Fielding: 55. Arm: 55

  9. 9. Angel Zerpa | LHP
    Angel Zerpa
    Born: Sep 27, 1999
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 225
    Drafted/Signed: Venezuela, 2016.
    Signed By: Richard Castro/Joelvis Gonzalez/Orlando Estevez.
    Minors: 2-5 | 4.02 ERA | 69 SO | 25 BB | 72 IP

    BA Grade/Risk: 45/Medium

    Track Record: Zerpa signed with the Royals in July 2016 and debuted a year later in the Dominican Summer League. He spent three seasons working in various Rookie leagues, ranging from the DSL, Arizona League and Pioneer League. Then the pandemic wiped out the 2020 minor league season. So it was a bit surprising when Zerpa, a fifth-year pro with no full-season experience, was added to the Royals' 40-man roster in November 2020 to make him ineligible for the Rule 5 draft. The Royals were on to something about the Venezuelan lefthander, who has climbed steadily since then and has pitched for Kansas City in each of the past two seasons.

    Scouting Report: Long regarded as someone who relies more on pitchability than stuff, Zerpa now has a complete package of pitches and above-average control. He is competitive on the mound and does all the little things to be successful. Zerpa uses four- and two-seam fastballs--both of which average 94 mph. His four-seamer is thrown mostly to his glove side and shows sinking action to combat righthanded hitters. He throws both fastballs with good arm speed and sneaky life. Zerpa shows solid command of his 84 mph slider. The pitch is short and tight with downward bite and at times resembles a cutter. His changeup is a hard pitch at 87 mph, used mostly down and away to righthanded batters and is delivered with conviction.

    The Future: In the past, Zerpa has straddled the line between bulk reliever and back-end starter. Now, evaluators see him as more of a No. 4 starter. He'll head to spring training with a shot at earning a spot on the Royals' Opening Day roster.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 55. Slider: 55. Changeup: 50. Control: 55

  10. 10. Carter Jensen | C
    Carter Jensen
    Born: Jul 3, 2003
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 215
    Signed By: Matt Price
    Minors: .226/.363/.382 | 11 HR | 8 SB | 393 AB

    BA Grade/Risk: 50/High

    Track Record: Jensen and fellow Kansas City-area high school product Ben Kudrna were both set to head off to Louisiana State in 2021. Instead, they began their pro careers with the Royals. After being drafted in the third round in 2021 and signing with his hometown team for an over-slot $1,097,500, Jensen got into 19 games in the Arizona Complex League. Despite not turning 19 until midway through the 2022 season, Jensen was challenged with an assignment to Low-A Columbia right out of spring training. He struggled in the first half before heating up in the second half. From July 1 onward, he hit .286/.440/.429 with 51 walks and 38 strikeouts in 52 games.

    Scouting Report: Jensen has feel for the barrel, with quick hands and a compact swing. He uses an upright stance, with his swing getting some carry forward as he tries to get to a position to fire. He gets loft from his swing and uses a path that produces gap-to-gap line drives. If Jensen adds strength, those line drives could start going over the fence. He was passive at times early in 2022 but stuck with the process and stayed committed to pitches he could drive. He also improved his two-strike approach, which should correlate with a lower whiff rate. Jensen has only been catching for about five years, and his relative inexperience shows at times. He needs to continue to improve his blocking and receiving. Projected as an average defender or better, he has the athleticism and strong hands to stay behind the plate along with an above-average arm.

    The Future: Lefthanded-hitting catchers with power are a valuable commodity, so Jensen will be given every opportunity to stay behind the plate. He'll move to High-A in 2023, where he'll again be young for the level.

    Scouting Grades: Hitting: 45. Power: 55. Speed: 40. Fielding: 50. Arm: 55

  11. 11. Jonathan Bowlan | RHP
    Jonathan Bowlan
    Born: Dec 1, 1996
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'6" Wt.: 248
    Drafted/Signed: Memphis, 2018 (2nd round).
    Signed By: Travis Ezi.
    Minors: 1-4 | 5.92 ERA | 62 SO | 22 BB | 63 IP

    BA Grade/Risk: 45/High

    Track Record: Kansas City's second round pick in 2018, Bowlan was on target to make his major debut during the 2021 season until he suffered an elbow injury requiring Tommy John surgery, with the injury coming after he had gotten into the best shape of his career. With a successful rehab period behind him Bowlan was back on the mound just a little more than a year after surgery. He pitched in seven games in the Arizona Complex League, one game at High-A Quad Cities and finished the season with nine starts at Double-A Northwest Arkansas.

    Scouting Report: Bowlan's four-seam fastball has averaged 93 mph since his return, just a tick lower than before surgery, and was a bit more cutter-ish. His gyro slider at 85 mph got swings-and-misses at Double-A, and an 87-mph changeup is a little too firm but has action to it. Bowlan's low-80s curveball with downward break was his newest pitch pre-surgery, and he needs to get to the front of it and rebuild his trust in the pitch. The biggest issue is that the fastball command wasn't completely back but that should happen as he moves further from the surgery. Bowlan's 9.3% walk rate in Double-A is high for him, another issue that should clear up in time.

    The Future: His most likely landing spot to start 2023 is Triple-A Omaha. While inconsistent in his first partial year back from surgery, Bowlan has a strong history and had enough good outings to be placed on the 40-man in October.

    Scouting Grades Fastball: 60. Curveball: 55. Slider: 55. Changeup: 50. Control: 60

  12. 12. Asa Lacy | LHP
    Asa Lacy
    Born: Jun 2, 1999
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'4" Wt.: 215
    Drafted/Signed: Texas A&M, 2020 (1st round).
    Signed By: Josh Hallgren.
    Minors: 2-2 | 10.61 ERA | 35 SO | 42 BB | 28 IP

    BA Grade/Risk: 50/Extreme

    Track Record: Lacy exploded on the scene at Texas A&M where he starred for three years, posting a combined 2.07 ERA and striking out 224 hitters in 152 innings. Drafted with the fourth overall pick in 2020 and signing for a $6.67 million bonus, the Royals keep waiting for that pitcher with exhilarating pure stuff who was expected to move quickly through the system. Lacy's progress has been impeded by delivery issues caused by shoulder problems in 2021 and ongoing back spasms in 2022, resulting in another lost season despite the presence of elite level stuff.

    Scouting Report: When he's right, Lacy delivers his plus-plus fastball in the upper 90s with sharp downward angle and a wipeout slider that gets swings-and-misses in the strike zone. At times this year Lacy experimented with a cutter to get more horizontal movement and shape to the pitch instead of just simplifying his mechanics and using what has worked for him in the past. His changeup has late life, projecting as a plus pitch when he commands it, and his curveball has late bite as well. Lacy's biggest issue is the recurring back issue that caused problems in getting extension and release of the ball, affecting how he was landing and thus causing erratic pitches.

    The Future: Lacy will head to spring training hopefully fresh and with no health issues, looking for another shot at Double-A to prove that he's back to being the pitcher the Royals drafted. He not only needs to stay healthy but also become more consistent with his mechanics. If the pitcher that everyone saw at Texas A&M returns, it's top-of-the-rotation potential--but that's a big if.

    Scouting Grades Fastball: 70. Curveball: 50. Slider: 55. Changeup: 60. Control: 30

  13. 13. Beck Way | RHP
    Beck Way
    Born: Aug 6, 1999
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'4" Wt.: 200
    Drafted/Signed: Northwest Florida State JC, 2020 (4th round).
    Signed By: Chuck Bartlett.
    Minors: 8-8 | 3.75 ERA | 127 SO | 43 BB | 108 IP

    BA Grade/Risk: 45/High

    Track Record: Way began his college career with one season at Division II Belmont-Abbey (N.C.) before transferring to Northwest Florida State JC for his draft year. He ranked nationally in several categories in the abbreviated 2020 junior college season, including an impressive 13.05 strikeouts per 9 innings, after which he was picked by the Yankees in the fourth round. Way was included in a trade that sent outfielder Andrew Benintendi to the Yankees. He finished the season at High-A Quad Cities where he struck out nearly a third of the batters he faced, posted a 30.7% strikeout rate and held opposing hitters to a .185 average in seven starts.

    Scouting Report: Way's fastball is a two-seamer that sits 93-95 mph with heavy sink and good life. He pairs that pitch with an 83-mph sweepy slider with potential elite horizontal break that he used more than 50 percent of the time. Way rounds out his repertoire with an 87-mph changeup that he uses infrequently. That pitch will be more effective when he gets more separation from the fastball. Way has added strength since being drafted, which has led to the quality of his pitches ticking up, and he shows a competitive edge on the mound.

    The Future: Way will head to Double-A in 2023. With the fastball and slider both above-average pitches, he may be suited for a bullpen role as he gets closer to the big leagues. If the changeup develops and he improves the command of his pitches, he's got the frame to be a durable back-end starter.

    Scouting Grades Fastball: 55. Slider: 55. Changeup: 45. Control: 50

  14. 14. Alec Marsh | RHP
    Alec Marsh
    Born: May 14, 1998
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 220
    Drafted/Signed: Arizona State, 2019 (2nd round supplemental).
    Signed By: Kenny Munoz.
    Minors: 2-16 | 6.88 ERA | 156 SO | 59 BB | 125 IP

    BA Grade/Risk: 45/High

    Track Record: The 2022 season was a strange trip for Marsh, one of Kansas City's second round picks in 2019 after a career at Arizona State. At times he flashed some of the best stuff in the system, but inconsistency and the inability to command the ball in the zone led to a season of ugly stats (6.88 ERA, 28 home runs in 124.1 innings) albeit with 11.3 strikeouts per 9 innings.

    Scouting Report: Marsh's issues primarily stem from lack of fastball command. The pitch sits around 94 mph and ticks up a bit more in shorter outings, but he missed with it too much in the middle of the plate and it also cut on him. Essentially, he was throwing too many strikes instead of not enough and not self-correcting problems. He gets swings-and-misses from both the 85-mph slider and 87-mph changeup, although scouts noted that his breaking balls were sharper in previous years. The 79-mph curveball is his fourth pitch, used as a change-of-pace breaking ball he mixes in occasionally. Improving the repeatability of his delivery is another area for improvement.

    The Future: Marsh was added to the 40-man roster and will head to big league camp looking for a spot on the opening day roster. He will most likely return to Triple-A Omaha for more refinement of his repertoire. He finished 2022 with his two best outings of the year--something to build on if he can continue to improve his consistency and pitch mix. Overall, it was a good learning year coming off the 2021 season when he got only six starts due to biceps soreness and arm fatigue.

    Scouting Grades Fastball: 55. Curveball: 40. Slider: 55. Changeup: 55. Control: 45

  15. 15. Andrew Hoffmann | RHP
    Andrew Hoffmann
    Born: Feb 2, 2000
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'5" Wt.: 210
    Minors: 9-6 | 3.77 ERA | 120 SO | 41 BB | 120 IP

    BA Grade/Risk: 45/High

    Track Record: Hoffman was a somewhat unheralded pick by The Braves in 2021. He was selected in the 12th round in 2021 and signed for $125,000 after pitching at Illinois--his third school in as many years. He was the Illini team leader in ERA and WHIP, with a 64-to-15 strikeout to walk rate. He jumped onto the radar with strong showings in the Atlanta system at Low-A in 2021 and High-A in 2022. Hoffmann was one of three players sent to the Royals in exchange for a 2022 supplemental first round draft pick and he finished the year with nine starts at Double-A Northwest Arkansas.

    Scouting Report: Hoffman delivers a four-seamer into lefthanded batters and a two-seamer into righties. Both fastballs sit around 91 mph and touch the mid-90s and he has shown command of both variants to both sides of the plate. His money pitch is a plus, sweeping slider around 82 mph that has rather unique pitch shape with plenty of horizontal movement. He's got good feel for the pitch and used it 44% of the time in Double-A. He rounds out his arsenal with a fading changeup that averages 84 mph. Hoffmann's pitches play up from the deception he gets from a funky delivery that starts with a leg pump and a pause before releasing the ball.

    The Future: Hoffman will head back to Double-A in 2023. The key to his future is how well his fastball will play at higher levels and whether he'll fit better as a starter or reliever. He has a tall, lean starter's frame but with the stuff to potentially excel out of the bullpen.

    Scouting Grades Fastball: 45. Slider: 60. Changeup: 50. Control: 50

  16. 16. T.J. Sikkema | LHP
    T.J. Sikkema
    Born: Jul 25, 1998
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 221
    Drafted/Signed: Missouri, 2019 (1st round supplemental).
    Signed By: Steve Lemke.
    Minors: 1-6 | 4.83 ERA | 83 SO | 24 BB | 69 IP

    BA Grade/Risk: 45/High

    Track Record: Sikkema made a name for himself early in his college career at Missouri, where he led the staff in wins in both his freshman and junior seasons. That pedigree got him drafted by the Yankees with the 38th overall pick, starting his pro career with four effective starts at Short-season Staten Island. Sikkema went two years without pitching in an official game due to the canceled season in 2020 and lat and shoulder issues in 2021. He returned in 2022 with a productive year at High-A Hudson Valley, where he struck out 13.4 batters per nine and walked 2.2 per nine. He was swapped to Kansas City at the trade deadline and finished the year at Double-A Northwest Arkansas, followed by an assignment to the Arizona Fall League.

    Scouting Report: Primarily a two-seam/slider lefty, Sikkema delivers an average fastball in the 88-91 mph range, which plays up thanks to the deception he gets from the various arm angles he uses in his delivery. He drops his arm down to the side and then later climbs to create a different angle and create a different break from his slider and fastball. His above-average slider averages 79 mph with plenty of spin and comes from behind his back--which makes it tough for lefthanded hitters to pick up. His 83-mph changeup with sink is an effective pitch against righthanders. Sikkema is athletic and throws strikes but needs to improve his command.

    The Future: Sikkema is not yet on the 40-man roster but will likely get an invitation to big league camp. Opinions are still mixed as to whether he's a starter or reliever long term.

    Scouting Grades Fastball: 50. Slider: 55. Changeup: 50. Control: 55

  17. 17. Jackson Kowar | RHP
    Jackson Kowar
    Born: Oct 4, 1996
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'5" Wt.: 180
    Drafted/Signed: Florida, 2018 (1st round).
    Signed By: Jim Buckley.
    Minors: 4-10 | 6.16 ERA | 88 SO | 43 BB | 84 IP

    BA Grade/Risk: 45/High

    Track Record: The 2022 season was one of ups and downs--but more downs--for Kowar, one of two Royals first round picks in 2018 after a stellar career for the Florida Gators. He got another chance in major league games, but just like in 2021 he was pummeled by big league hitters. While he had flashes of his old stuff in Triple-A, Kowar wasn't the same pitcher that he's been in the past.

    Scouting Report: Kowar's problems stem from the command and life of his mid-90s fastball, which was a tick or two down from the past. The pitch is very hittable when he tries to stay behind the pitch and get armside run, and later in games the tilt and vertical break would drop. He still gets swings-and-misses when the fastball is true with carry. The 86-mph changeup is a double-plus pitch that dives down in the zone and can get ugly swings-and-misses, but at times he didn't command the pitch and left it up and out over the plate. Compounding his issues, he also struggled to throw his breaking balls for strikes. The 78-mph curveball was developing nicely prior to this year and has potential to be an above-average pitch, but he's been using an 83-mph slider more often and needs to find more consistency with it.

    The Future: Past versions of Kowar profiled as a No. 3 starter, but talent evaluators believe he'd be best suited to a bullpen role where he can work with his fastball/changeup combo. Getting Kowar back on track in 2023 will be one of many challenges for the new Royals pitching development team.

    Scouting Grades Fastball: 50. Curveball: 55. Slider: 45. Changeup: 70. Control: 40

  18. 18. Maximo Castillo | RHP
    Maximo Castillo
    Born: May 4, 1999
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 256
    Minors: 6-2 | 3.71 ERA | 86 SO | 33 BB | 78 IP

    BA Grade/Risk: 40/Medium

    Track Record: It was a long, slow trek through the Blue Jays farm system for Castillo. His career started as a 17-year-old in 2016 and he finally made it to Toronto for nine games in 2022. The Venezuelan native was included as part of the package to acquire Whit Merrifield at the trade deadline, and he split the rest of the season with five games in Kansas City and seven games at Triple-A Omaha.

    Scouting Report: Castillo isn't flashy. He's more of a yeoman capable of fulfilling various roles on a pitching staff. His 93-mph fastball plays up because of how well he locates it, and induces weak contact with armside run. A key to his development in 2022 was switching from a two-seamer to a four-seamer--which helped the rest of his pitches play up thanks to the different shape. Castillo's best secondary offering is an above-average, 87-88 mph changeup that he commands well. It is firm and lacks a lot of separation from the fastball, but the above-average vertical separation allows it to play solidly. Castillo's best bat-missing pitch is an 83-mph slider with short shape that has paired well with his fastball and changeup. While there's nothing plus in his repertoire, Castillo succeeds with his pitching smarts and by mixing and matching.

    The Future: Castillo will head to spring training with his versatility giving him a leg up on a roster spot. Starting pitcher? Long reliever? Swingman? Castillo could fill any or all of these roles for the Royals depending on the team need.

    Scouting Grades Fastball: 55. Slider: 50. Changeup: 55. Control: 50

  19. 19. Diego Hernandez | OF
    Diego Hernandez
    Born: Nov 21, 2000
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 150
    Minors: .284/.347/.407 | 9 HR | 40 SB | 454 AB

    BA Grade/Risk: 45/High

    Track Record: It's been a slow, steady climb through the Royals system for Hernandez, with his most recent season--split between High-A Quad Cities and Double-A Northwest Arkansas--being his biggest step forward yet. He was remarkably consistent between the two levels and finished with a combined .284/.347/.408 batting line. His 40 stolen bases ranked third among all Royals minor leaguers.

    Scouting Report: Prior to the 2022 season Hernandez made changes to his swing mechanics. He developed more of a line drive stroke in order to make more contact. While he's added nearly 40 pounds since originally joining the organization in 2017, he'll need to continue adding strength to his still-lanky frame in order to be able to handle major league pitching. A gap-to-gap hitter with plus speed, he projects to have more doubles power than over-the-fence pop, but a positive sign in 2022 was the nine home runs he hit--surpassing his combined total of two from his previous three seasons. Hernandez is a plus defender who can stay in center field, with an average arm that would allow him to play all three positions in a fourth outfielder role. He's aggressive on the field and a hard worker who has adapted well to new hitting philosophies introduced by the Royals hitting development team.

    The Future: Hernandez's development is not going to be rushed, with a return to Double-A in 2023 his most likely destination. He's been added to the 40-man roster and will head to spring training with the major league squad.

    Scouting Grades Hit: 50. Power: 40. Speed: 60. Fielding: 60. Arm: 50.

  20. 20. Mason Barnett | RHP
    Mason Barnett
    Born: Nov 7, 2000
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 218
    Minors: 1-0 | 0.00 ERA | 12 SO | 1 BB | 8 IP

    BA Grade/Risk: 45/High

    Track Record: Barnett pitched three seasons at Auburn, but it wasn't until his junior year that he saw significant action when he pitched in 19 games and struck out 83 in 63.2 innings. Part of his improvement during his college years was thanks to working with former big league ace Tim Hudson--a volunteer assistant pitching coach at his alma mater. Barnett saved one of his best college outings for the NCAA regional tournament, when he pitched 5.1 scoreless innings with 10 strikeouts to beat a tough UCLA team. The Royals selected him in the third round in 2022 (87th overall), and signed him for $697,500.

    Scouting Report: Barnett delivers an above-average fastball that sits 95 mph and is up to 98 from a flat approach angle. His best secondary pitch is an average or better mid-80s slider with bite that he locates well. Rounding out the repertoire, Barnett has feel for an average changeup at 85 mph that is best against lefthanded hitters. He could use the changeup more often, and also has a fringy 76-mph curveball with depth that needs more refinement. He projects to have average command and control, which will be the determining factor as to whether he's a starter or a reliever long-term.

    The Future: Despite getting into just four games after signing, look for Barnett to start 2023 at High-A Quad Cities considering his previous SEC experience. After rarely throwing more than 80 pitches per game in college, he'll need to be built up for a starter role, though his fastball/slider combo could also be effective in a bullpen.

    Scouting Grades Fastball: 55. Curveball: 45. Slider: 50. Changeup: 50. Control: 50

  21. 21. Austin Charles | SS
    Austin Charles
    Born: Nov 13, 2003
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'6" Wt.: 215
    Minors: .273/.273/.273 | 0 HR | 0 SB | 11 AB

    BA Grade/Risk: 50/Extreme

    Track Record: One of the top two-way players in the 2022 draft, Charles popped onto the radar with a promising showing during the 2021 WWBA World Championships. After expecting to be taken on Day 2 of the draft, Charles had to wait until the final round to hear his name called--with his commitment to UC Santa Barbara looking more likely. The Royals brought him in for a visit to their complex in Surprise, Ariz., just before the signing deadline, after which he agreed to a well above-slot bonus of $429,500.

    Scouting Report: Charles will move slowly through the system to fully develop his impressive set of tools. Because of the long levers from his 6-foot-6 frame, Charles is susceptible to breaking balls away from the plate, but he has the strength to hit balls far when he connects. Right now, his best swings come in batting practice, but he's a hard worker and shows the ability to take instruction to turn that into in-game production. Charles will continually face questions whether he can stay at shortstop, but for now he has the athleticism, the feel, the instincts and the internal clock for the position. He gets good first step reads and creates good angles to the ball. Charles sports a plus arm and is an average runner.

    The Future: With a return to rookie ball likely, there's a lot to dream on with this kind of size and athleticism, but it will take time to see just what kind of ballplayer Charles turns into.

    Scouting Grades Hit: 45. Power: 60. Speed: 50. Fielding: 55. Arm: 60.

  22. 22. Luca Tresh | C
    Luca Tresh
    Born: Jan 11, 2000
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 193
    Minors: .269/.360/.468 | 19 HR | 4 SB | 391 AB

    BA Grade/Risk: 45/High

    Track Record: Tresh was on target in his junior year at North Carolina State to be the second straight Wolfpack catcher to be drafted in the first round until a second half slump raised questions as to just how much he'd hit as a pro. The Royals selected Tresh in the 17th round in 2021, and signed him to an overslot $423,000 bonus. Finally ready to tackle a full season in 2022, Tresh put up nearly identical numbers at both High-A Quad Cities and Double-Northwest Arkansas, with a combined OPS of .828 and 19 home runs.

    Scouting Report: Tresh handled the demands of catching in 72 games without that workload affecting his bat. He stayed efficient with his swing, made good swing decisions, and adapted to velocity and high-usage spin. He's cut his strikeout rate at each level since turning pro and projects more as a high contact, line drive gap-to-gap hitter. His power is mostly to the pull side and will result more in extra-base hits than balls over the fence. A solid defender, Tresh has shown the ability to lead a staff, and is athletic behind the plate with at least an average arm.

    The Future: Tresh will likely return to Double-A after spring training. It's still to be determined whether he will profile as a frontline regular or a backup catcher, but he's showing that he can be at least a solid major leaguer.

    Scouting Grades Hit: 45. Power: 40. Speed: 30. Fielding: 50. Arm: 55.

  23. 23. Noah Cameron | LHP
    Noah Cameron
    Born: Jul 17, 1999
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 220
    Minors: 2-3 | 3.56 ERA | 99 SO | 16 BB | 66 IP

    BA Grade/Risk: 45/High

    Track Record: Cameron got only 18 starts during his college career at Central Arkansas after losing his junior year to Tommy John surgery. The Royals grabbed him in the seventh round in 2021 and signed him to a below-slot $197,500 bonus. Cameron got back on the mound in 2022 with 19 starts split between three levels--with excellent results at each stop. Most notable was an eye-popping 13.6 strikeouts per 9 innings while walking just 2.2 per nine.

    Scouting Report: A touch-and-feel southpaw, Cameron commands all three of his pitches. His tick below-average fastball sits 88-91 mph and touches 94, with good carry and movement. His best secondary pitch is a plus changeup at 79-81 mph with tumbling action and deception thanks to the lower speed--which also helps his fastball play up. Cameron has good feel for a 77-80 mph above-average curveball with 11-to-5 shape and tight break that he throws for strikes and tunnels well with the fastball. He also mixes in a cutter that flashes plus. Cameron's arm action and repeatable delivery work and he's recognized as having the best control in the organization.

    The Future: Now that he's more than two years removed from surgery, Cameron is ready for a full season of work and will get that chance in 2023 with a move to Double-A. He's an intriguing pop-up prospect with a high floor because he throws strikes and knows how to pitch but needs to prove himself against more advanced hitters.

    Scouting Grades Fastball: 45. Curveball: 50. Changeup: 60. Cutter: 55. Control: 55

  24. 24. Samad Taylor | 2B/OF
    Samad Taylor
    Born: Jul 11, 1998
    Bats: B Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'10" Wt.: 160
    Signed By: Mike Bradford (Cleveland)
    Minors: .258/.337/.426 | 9 HR | 23 SB | 244 AB

    BA Grade/Risk: 40/Medium

    Track Record: Taylor is now with his third organization after being drafted in the 10th round by Cleveland in 2016, traded a year later to Toronto, and finally received by Kansas City as part of the trade for Whit Merrifield. He didn't play in the regular season after mid-July due to an oblique injury, and didn't make his Royals debut until the Arizona Fall League. Despite playing just 70 games with Triple-A Buffalo, he was named both the best baserunner and the fastest baserunner in the International League in 2022.

    Scouting Report: Taylor is aggressive at the plate--a free swinger who likes to hit to his pull side. He has the bat-to-ball skills to get to the power that he does have, and homered nine times in his half-season in Buffalo, but that power has also come with holes in his swing--resulting in a 22% strikeout rate. He needs to change his approach to put more balls in play so that he can take advantage of his plus speed. Taylor has the tools to be a better defender at second base and has also seen time in the outfield but is more fringe-average wherever he plays. He'll be an adequate defender in a utility role, playing multiple infield and outfield positions.

    The Future: The Royals added Taylor to the 40-man roster to keep him out of the Rule 5 draft, and he'll likely spend most of 2023 with Triple-A Omaha.

    Scouting Grades Hit: 45. Power: 45. Speed: 70. Fielding: 45. Arm: 45.

  25. 25. Peyton Wilson | 2B/OF
    Peyton Wilson
    Born: Nov 1, 1999
    Bats: B Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'9" Wt.: 180
    Minors: .268/.359/.456 | 14 HR | 23 SB | 340 AB

    BA Grade/Risk: 40/High

    Track Record: The Wilson family has Crimson Tide blood running through it, with one of Peyton's brothers playing football at Alabama and another on the baseball team. He played two years at Alabama, and was selected in 2021 in the supplemental second round as a draft-eligible sophomore--signing for a bonus just over $1 million. After struggling at the plate in his limited pro debut, Wilson broke out in 2022 with a batting line of .268/.359/.456 at High-A Quad Cities. He came on especially strong in the second half after a hamstring issue delayed the start of his season.

    Scouting Report: Wilson just oozes twitchy athleticism and is a fundamentally sound player. He has good bat speed from both sides of the plate, and even when struggling he stayed consistent with his routine and the process. Wilson is slight of build and needs to continue gaining strength, but his 14 home runs show there's close to average power in the tank. An average defender with an above-average arm, he saw time at both second base and center field in 2022 and could handle the left side of the infield in a utility role. A plus runner, Wilson stole 23 bases in 25 attempts at Quad Cities.

    The Future: With Double-A being his next step, Wilson has the tools for a super utility role and just needs to gain strength and continue to develop the hit tool.

    Scouting Grades Hit: 45. Power: 45. Speed: 60. Fielding: 50. Arm: 55.

  26. 26. Chandler Champlain | RHP
    Chandler Champlain
    Born: Jul 23, 1999
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'5" Wt.: 220
    Minors: 3-8 | 5.98 ERA | 116 SO | 30 BB | 106 IP

    BA Grade/Risk: 40/High

    Track Record: Champlain was one of the top high school pitching prospects in California in his senior year but stuck to his strong commitment to Southern California. His three-year career there didn't go as expected but was still drafted by the Yankees in the ninth round in 2021. Champlain didn't pitch that summer, with the Yankees instead working with him to improve his selection of pitches. He got into 16 games at Low-A Tampa, with an impressive 11.5 strikeouts per 9 innings and just 2.3 walks per nine. Champlain was part of the package of prospects acquired by the Royals for outfielder Andrew Benintendi and he got into eight games at High-A Quad Cities.

    Scouting Report: Champlain has a tall, sturdy pitcher's frame. The extra work that the Yankees did with him after being drafted resulted in a more dynamic fastball, which now averages 93 mph and touches as high as 99 with added riding life through the zone. He's known for the quality of his breaking balls. Both a curveball and slider have above-average spin: the curve is a 79-mph breaker with 12-to-6 shape and the slider checks in a few ticks higher at 82. He also tinkered with a changeup with some sink as an occasional weapon against lefthanded batters, but it's mostly the fastball and breaking balls coming out of his quick-paced, smooth delivery.

    The Future: He'll head to Double-A to start 2023. Unless he develops a more useful changeup, Champlain will probably wind up in the bullpen, but with a nice three-pitch mix to thrive in that role.

    Scouting Grades Fastball: 55. Curveball: 55. Slider: 55. Changeup: 40. Control: 50

  27. 27. Tony Ruiz | OF
    Tony Ruiz
    Born: Dec 8, 2005
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 175

    BA Grade/Risk: 45/Extreme

    Track Record: Ruiz stood out early on in the scouting process, though a broken leg that required surgery in 2022 slowed him down. He ended up signing with the Royals for a $1.2 million bonus out of the Dominican Republic.

    Scouting Report: Ruiz has premium bat speed and power for his age from a fluid swing. Ruiz can punish a fastball and has a chance to grow into at least plus or better raw power with more strength projection left in his broad-shouldered frame. He's likely a corner outfielder who should have the arm strength for right field.

    The Future: Ruiz will make his pro debut in the Dominican Summer League.

    Scouting Grades: Hit: 45. Power: 60. Speed: 45. Fielding: 45. Arm: 55.

  28. 28. Ben Hernandez | RHP
    Ben Hernandez
    Born: Jul 1, 2001
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 205
    Drafted/Signed: HS--Chicago, 2020 (2nd round).
    Signed By: Scott Melvin.
    Minors: 1-7 | 5.38 ERA | 71 SO | 40 BB | 77 IP

    BA Grade/Risk: 45/Extreme

    Track Record: Hernandez was known for having the best changeup among 2020 high school pitchers, and the Royals took the Chicago-area product in the second round and signed him for a $1.45 million bonus. He got only nine starts at Low-A Columbia in 2021 due to arm fatigue, and returned there for the entire 2022 season with subpar results.

    Scouting Report: Hernandez pounds the zone with his 92 mph fringe-average fastball, although earlier in the year he was sitting 94-96 mph before a late-season drop in velocity. The fastball plays up because of the sink he gets on it, but he uses it too much thanks to a lack of confidence in his offspeed pitches. He needs to be more aggressive with his fringy, 76-mph curveball and throw it harder. The 83-mph plus changeup is better when he stays through it and gets shorter movement down over the plate, but it also needs to be a harder pitch. The issue with both off-speed pitches is that he struggles to throw them for strikes, so batters wait for the fringy fastball and punish it for hard contact. Hernandez gets deception in his delivery from a lower arm slot.

    The Future: He'll get the chance to regain his previous form at High-A in 2023. With his step back in 2022, Hernandez faces questions as to whether he would be better pitching out of the bullpen where his stuff could potentially tick up in shorter outings.

    Scouting Grades Fastball: 45. Curveball: 45. Changeup: 60. Control: 40

  29. 29. Steven Zobac | RHP
    Steven Zobac
    Born: Oct 14, 2000
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 185

    BA Grade/Risk: 45/Extreme

    Track Record: The Zobac family had their version of double trouble at California the last three years, as Steven pitched for the baseball team while twin sister Casey played on the Golden Bears softball team. After moving between the mound and the outfield for his first two college seasons, Zobac focused strictly on pitching in 2022--that move allowed his stuff to jump up. He saw his first Royals mound action during the fall instructional league.

    Scouting Report: Zobac has an exciting arm with a lot of upside, especially now that he's no longer a two-way player and will get more pitching experience. The fastball is a potential plus pitch, sitting 95 mph and touching 97. It doesn't have much side-to-side movement but has solid carry. It's easy velocity as the ball comes out clean without a lot of effort in his high, three-quarter delivery, which he repeats well thanks to his athleticism. His best secondary pitch is an above-average slider, delivered in the mid-80s with bite at the strike zone. His 83-84 mph changeup is still very much a work-in-progress, but he shows some feel for it.

    The Future: . He'll start his official Royals career in 2023 with an assignment to one of the Class A teams. There's still plenty of development needed to improve his repertoire, but Zobac is looking like good value for a fourth-round pick.

    Scouting Grades Fastball: 55. Slider: 55. Changeup: 40. Control: 50

  30. 30. Lizandro Rodriguez | 1B
    Lizandro Rodriguez
    Born: Nov 16, 2002
    Bats: S Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'11" Wt.: 180
    Minors: .306/.395/.514 | 6 HR | 6 SB | 144 AB

    BA Grade/Risk: 45/Extreme

    Track Record: Perhaps the least-known but most-notable prospect in the Royals system is Rodriguez, a switch-hitting infielder who started the season in the Arizona Complex League before moving up to Low-A Columbia, where he showed advanced baseball instincts and high energy playstyle at both levels. After posting a .317/.400/.573 line in the ACL, the 19-year-old Dominican Republic native had no trouble adjusting to full season ball, with a .290/.389/.436 line at Columbia. He has an innate ability to make contact and draws a fair share of walks, with a 10.2% walk rate.

    Scouting Report: Rodriguez takes high-aptitude at-bats, with quick hands and an efficient swing. A gap-to-gap hitter, he's better from the left side but should improve from the right side with more reps. His power is currently a tick below average power but should increase as he gets stronger. He's an above-average defender in the infield, but his average arm likely makes him a better fit for second base. His arm might be stretched at third base and he could be able to handle shortstop in a pinch. He's an above-average runner.

    The Future: Considering how productive Rodriguez was in his late-season trial at Low-A, it wouldn't be a push to get him to High-A Quad Cities to start the 2023 season. He's got a high floor as a utility infielder, perhaps with the chance to also play some outfield, but there's plenty more growth envisioned from this exciting young ballplayer.

    Scouting Grades Hit: 55. Power: 45. Speed: 55. Fielding: 55. Arm: 50.

View Players 11-30

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