Credit:	Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Minor Happenings

Relief Corps Coming

With the likelihood of losing Luke Hochevar this offseason combined by the possibility of trading Wade Davis the Royals will suddenly have spots open in their bullpen. With that knowledge who are the guys that could fill those spots as soon as next year? Well obviously they don’t have a closer in the minors as Kelvin Herrera would fill that spot but they do have a few talented arms to work in the earlier innings. The first name to check out is Andrew Edwards. The big righty who the Royals drafted out of Western Kentucky in the ’13 draft has been up to 99 mph with his fastball lately and combined with a hard slider has the stuff to be effective in one inning stints. The slider needs a little refinement combined with better control, but he can miss bats at big levels.

Top 10 Prospects

After seeing a few NW Arkansas prospects this past weekend I feel I have the information needed to make a new Top 10 list with a bigger list coming later. I have excluded Raul Mondesi from this list with the likely chance he will graduate from the list prior to the end of the season.

#1. Matt Strahm – Lefty working 93-96 mph with a plus curve and a change in the works.
#2 Hunter Dozier – The power has come finally with a cut down swing.
#3 Josh Staumont – 96-99 mph with ease along with a hammer curve. The control still needs plenty of work.
#4 Jorge Bonifacio – He’s hit with power and improved his movement in the outfield
#5 Chase Vallot – Big power with a good arm behind the dish
#6 Jake Junis – 92-94 mph fastball with solid curve, slider combined with feel for change up.
#7 Miguel Almonte – The pitches are loud and could be the best three pitch repertoire in the system but the control just hasn’t come.
#8 Ryan O’Hearn – He hasn’t carried the power to Double-A as much as hoped
#9 Scott Blewett – It’s been an up and down ride for Blewett but the makings are still there and he’s just 20 years old.
#10 Alec Mills – Mills stuff is average but the control and intelligence allows him to play up.

The Package

With the possibility of the Royals trading Wade Davis and a couple others during this trade deadline, then what could or should the Royals expect in return? Those discussions were muddied up a tad with the package that the Yankees received from the Cubs. In a normal trade season, the possibility of a closer returning four players including a prospect that was recently ranked as the #26 overall prospect in the game would be laughable at best. Should the Royals expect more? Yes they should, considering Wade’s track record of the success being greater than that of Chapman’s and the fact that the Cyborg comes with an extra year of control. That said, though, the Royals aren’t likely to get that in a trade, but it doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t trade him. They could still add a competent package with slightly less return from a few teams with the thing that they need most, starting pitching:

Texas RangersYohander Mendez, a 21 year old left-handed starter with two possible plus pitches in this fastball and change up to go with a breaking ball that is developing and helped push from High A to AAA this season. On top of Mendez, the Rangers have a number of other upside prospects that are ranked lower but would be great additions to a two or three player package. The Royals could go with Michael Matuella as a former possible 1st round pick that ran into injury problems or a Dillon Tate as a 1st round pick who is struggling.

Washington Nationals – The Nats also have plenty of pitching to acquire, and while the Royals are rumored to be coveting Lucas Giolito, they shouldn’t pass on a Reynaldo Lopez if they can snag him. A top 50 prospect with a system that also features a Top 100 prospect in Erick Fedde, that could make for a great 1-2 combo in a deal. If not Fedde the Royals could possibly snag a Koda Glover whose stock is ballooning.

Los Angeles Dodgers – The Dodgers have a stacked system and a player in Jose De Leon who would be a near instant impact in the major leagues. In addition to De Leon, the Royals could add a potential upside or bullpen piece in Frankie Montas or Jharel Cotton or go after a second baseman on the rise in Willie Calhoun.

All three of these packages represent a starting point with a player that should be ready to start in the big leagues next season with upside. In addition the Royals could add one or two solid types on the back end with the depth of each team’s system. Would these beat the return the Yankees got? Possibly not, but the the Royals need impact starting pitching and they shouldn’t pass on it now when the market is as high on relievers as it has ever been.

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5 comments on “Minor Happenings”


I’m anxious to see where you rank Meibrys Viloria and Ricky Aracena, who I saw last weekend. Viloria hit a towering home run and has a nice pull-side power stroke. Aracena didn’t hit the ball with a lot of authority, but did spray it to all fields pretty good wheels.

Clint Scoles

I’m really high on Viloria but it is a highly octane league so knowing that I left him off the Top 10. Currently he’s in that 11-15 range for me with Aracena in the 20-30 range.

Big Lee

Is Wade Davis healthy? That may be cooling teams interest in him. Love your work on kids in the minors.

Clint Scoles

There are questions I’m sure

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