Mar 31, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Kansas City Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer (35) during the singing of God Bless America in seventh inning stretch of an opening day baseball game against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Detroit won 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Academy – Prospecting Gold

Where’s the tools at?

Besides Terrance Gore’s 80 grade speed what are some of the other impressive tools in the Royals system? Bringing the wood to the field are Ryan O’Hearn and Chase Vallot (60-65 power) who carry the biggest power sticks in the system. Following the power off the bat, there is power on the mound, and no pitchers have more power coming out of their hands than Josh Staumont and Aroni Nina who both bring 80 grade fastballs off the hill. The Royals continue to love their speed and plenty of prospects besides Gore take it to the diamond everyday with them. One of the fastest players in the system includes international signee Marten Gasparini, Bubba Starling can still pick them up and put’em down as can Don Andre Clark.

Smooth Operators

Tools are fun to watch, but nothing quite beats taking in a player who has the ability to get somewhere quickly without rushing. A few of the most entertaining players and smooth players in the field to watch in the organization are Ramon Torres, Humberto Arteaga and Brandon Downes. All three have decent speed but mostly they get to balls with a combination of instincts and speed that allow them to glide to the ball instead of rush.

On the offensive side, it’s entertaining to watch a big mammoth home run fly 400 feet or farther, but to me I get just as entertained by watching a nice swing from a player who understands his hands. One of the best in the system at that is the Royals third base prospect Wander Franco, who despite having a pretty slight frame has one of the smoothest swings in the organization.

Greatest Farm System Ever?

Many laughed it off at that time, but now five years later the Royals system that was named #1 by pretty much every baseball service around isn’t looking too bad. And it’s not just the back-to-back World Series appearances and a World Championship that state that but the sheer number of players that they have put in the bigs is evidence that it actually may have been the best system ever.

1. Eric Hosmer – WS Champ
2. Wil Myers – SD Padres
3. Mike Moustakas – WS Champ
4. John Lamb – Cin Reds
5. Mike Montgomery – Seattle M’s
6. Christian Colon – WS Champ
7. Danny Duffy – WS Champ
8. Chris Dwyer – 2013 debut
9. Aaron Crow – Miami Marlins
10. Brett Eibner
11. Jason Adam
12. Yordano Ventura – WS Champ
13. Tim Collins – WS Champ
14. Tim Melville – Cin Reds
15. Cheslor Cuthbert – WS Champ
16. Robinson Yambati
17. Sal Perez – WS MVP
18. Johnny Giavotella – Anaheim Angels
19. Louis Coleman – 2011 debut
20. Jarrod Dyson – WS Champ
21. Jeff Bianchi – 2012 debut
22. Patrick Keating
23. Humberto Arteaga
24. Orlando Calixte – 2015 debut
25. David Lough – 2012 debut
26. Derrick Robinson – 2013 debut
27. Henry Barrera
28. Clint Robinson – Washington Nationals
29. Elisaul Pimentel
30. Kelvin Herera – WS Champ
Members but not included due to the trade not being in place
Jake Odorizzi – Tampa Bay Rays
Jeremy Jeffress – Milwaukee Brewers

Depending on how the chips fall for a few players, that 2011 class could have as many as 18 current major league players on different team’s rosters this season. The Reds move to add Tim Melville to their rotation has given the Royals scouting staff and front office a total of 25 players in this group to make the major leagues at some point in their career. The only thing really missing is a superstar among the group but there is still time for Yordano Ventura, Eric Hosmer or Salvador Perez to become mega stars.

Every team has scouts, but what we’ve learned over the past couple of seasons with the World Series appearances, the championship, the resurrection of Ryan Madson’s career and maybe Chien-Ming Wang this season is that the Royals scouts may be the best.

Give me a follow on Twitter @ClintScoles

Cover Photo – Rick Osentoski USA Today Sports

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