With the Arizona Fall League having wrapped up, it’s time for a final recap of the Royals prospects playing for the Peoria Javelinas. Unfortunately, most of the Royals prospects in the AFL struggled this season. Hopefully, these struggles do not carry over into the 2014 season.
Jorge Bonifacio: Bonifacio did not end the season well, going 0-4 in his final two games. However, he did walk three times, giving him six walks over his last eight games while striking out eight times. While Bonifacio has improved his strikeout to walk rate over his minor league career, the patience and strike zone awareness he showed over the past couple of weeks is certainly encouraging that he can continue to progress.
Cheslor Cuthbert: Cuthbert did not play over the past week, and ended his time in Peoria with a .182/.240/.295 batting line. Considering how Cuthbert struggled once being promoted to the Northwest Arkansas Naturals, these problems in the AFL may be concerning. However, Cuthbert is still only going to be 21 years old heading into the 2014 season, and has plenty of time to put everything together.
Orlando Calixte: Calixte did not do much either during his time in the AFL, but he made sure to go out with a bang. Although he was only 2-9 in his last two games, he hit a double and a home run, driving in three. While that little surge was encouraging, those two extra base hits doubled the total that Calixte had during his time in the AFL. Calixte also walked only once, striking out fifteen times in 55 at bats. Calixte has had problems with plate discipline throughout most of his career, striking out in 24.4% of his minor league at bats. He is likely to need to improve his ability to make contact in order to truly become a part of the Royals future.
Lane Adams: Adams, the oldest of the Royals hitting prospects in Peoria, also struggled the most. In his only game this week, Adams was 0-4 with three strikeouts, as he finished the AFL season with a .146/.255/.167 batting line, with only one extra base hit. Adams is going to be 24 heading into 2014, and with only 44 games of experience above A ball, his time to make an impact may be starting to pass by.
Now, for the pitchers:
Jason Adam: Adam was one of the few bright spots for the Royals in the AFL. Although his final overall numbers, 2-2 with a 4.03 ERA, may not be overly impressive, Adam did lead Peoria in innings pitched. In his final start, he fired four shutout innings, giving up two hits while striking out three. Adam struggled as well during the 2013 season, with an 8-11 record and a 5.19 ERA. However, Adam only gave up three runs in his last 14 innings. Perhaps he can use that stretch as a springboard into 2014.
Angel Baez: The control issues that plagued Baez through his 2013 season were present in the AFL, as he walked nine batters in 12.2 innings of work. However, Baez also displayed his live arm, striking out 19 batters. Yet, that was the highlight for Baez, who got roughed up to the tune of a 7.82 ERA and gave up four home runs. If Baez can fix his control issues, he could turn into an impressive relief prospect.
Malcom Culver: Culver gave up one home run in his time in the AFL, and it happened to be in his final outing. Overall, he was 0-1 with a 4.26 ERA, not terrible, not not overly inspiring. Yet, when looking at Culver’s minor league numbers for 2013, he appears as though he may be turning into a potential relief prospect, despite having only two innings of work above A ball.
Noel Arguelles: Arguelles struggled during the regular season in 2013, and he was even worse in the AFL. While his final numbers, 0-1 with an 8.76 ERA were bad enough, Arguelles finished with a thud, giving up nine runs and seven walks in his final 4.2 innings of work. At this point, it may be fair to wonder if this former top prospect is ever going to pan out. In fact, it may even be possible that Arguelles has performed badly enough to be released.