As we passed on earlier, Baseball America has been naming their top 20 prospects for each league in the minors. Royals prospects from the Pioneer, Midwest and Carolina leagues were named previously.
On Thursday, Baseball America named its top 20 Texas League prospects.
Like last year, the Royals are well-represented. At this time in 2010, the Northwest Arkansas Naturals were celebrating a Texas League championship en route to being named BA’s Team of the Year after Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Danny Duffy, Clint Robinson, Mike Montgomery and others contributed to the championship run.
This year, it’s a bit different, as none of the above players spent a minute in the Texas League. Still, the Royals landed five names on the list.
RHP Jake Odorizzi
Curiously, Odorizzi was named the seventh overall prospect in the Carolina League, but came in fifth in the Texas League rankings. More on his Carolina League ranking here.
OF Wil Myers
The first two seasons of Myers professional career were pretty easy. Take a walk here, hit .300 there. In his first year as an outfielder after moving out from behind home plate, Myers spent the entire year in Springdale. As a 20-year-old, he was playing against guys nearing their mid-20s in many cases but held his own batting .254/.353/.393/.745 in 416 plate appearances. Myers also fought against a knee infection for the first half of the season. He’s likely to repeat the level next year, but with a full season’s experience under his belt, look for Myers to rebound with a big year. He’ll likely be the top Royals prospect in most lists this offseason.
LHP Chris Dwyer
The talent and “stuff” is there for Dwyer. He has a nasty curveball that some scouts say is major league ready right now and throws hard enough to be a very good starter … if he can put it together. That’s the key word with Dwyer – if. He struck out eight batters per nine innings, but walked five per nine. He’s struggled with command for a while now, and had some rough starts in 2011. Towards the end of the year, he showed signs of figuring it out. Coming into 2011, he was mentioned in the same breath as John Lamb, Montgomery and Duffy among Royals lefty prospects, and there have been hints that he has a chance to compete for a rotation spot as early as this spring. That’s unlikely, as he has a lot of things to work on yet, but the talent is there.
The first prospect on these lists that we’ve seen in Kansas City and he impressed with the bat and the glove. In Northwest Arkansas he hit .283/.329/.427/.756 and threw out 48% of would-be basestealers. After a two week stay in Triple A, he reached the majors and looked more seasoned than most 21-year-olds. He looked more seasoned than a lot of 30-year-olds too, hitting .331/.361/.473/.834 in 39 major league games as the first Royal born in the 1990s to debut in the big leagues. Perez is on his way to turning into a folk hero in Kansas City as he becomes a fixture behind the plate.
RHP Kelvin Herrera
Herrera could have been on a number of prospect lists, after jumping from Wilmington to Northwest Arkansas to Omaha and finally, ending up as a September callup to Kansas City where he made two appearances. He played in the All-Star Futures Game, carried a 70/15 K/BB ratio through the year and should end up back in Kansas City next year, either after a stop in Omaha or right out of spring training.
The rankings for the Pacific Coast League are scheduled to be announced on October 10.