This past weekend, I had the pleasure of attending a Northwest Arkansas Naturals game. I was very eager to see several Royals prospects – but especially Hunter Dozier - and the opposing pitcher that night, Jon Gray, is the Rockies’ top prospect, so I had high hopes. Dozier collected two hits, including a double he smashed to right-center field, and Gray missed a ton of bats, but there was another prospect who caught my eye, though not for great reasons.
Lane Adams struck out twice on Friday night, and he generally looked uncomfortable at the plate. His swing seemed too long, as he wasn’t able to catch up to Gray’s heat. Despite that rough night, Adams has been on fire in the last two weeks, hitting .286/.328/.536 with 6 multi-hit games and 4 home runs in 62 plate appearances. I just so happened to catch him on a bad night, because in the three games prior to that one, Adams had 6 hits, including all 4 of the aforementioned dingers.
I’m a big fan of Adams, because he’s a big, strong outfielder who has shown solid defense and great speed. In the field Friday night, he nearly made an incredible catch while leaping at the center field wall, but the ball just barely missed his glove. Adams seemed to get good reads on most fly balls, and his speed allowed him to range to both gaps. He has shown the ability to draw a walk, so if he can cut down on his strikeouts just a bit (14 in the last two weeks), his offensive profile should be more than enough to be a capable fourth outfielder.
Who’s Hot: Jonathan Dziedzic (Wilmington, LHP)
The man his teammates refer to as “Eye Chart” has put up some eye-popping numbers recently, striking out 13 batters in just 10 innings of work, while allowing only 1 earned run. I’m sure the Royals would like to see the 20-year old working deeper in games, but he’s showing good command with enough swing-and-miss ability to succeed.
Who’s Not: Cody Stubbs (Wilmington, 1B)
It’s been a regrettable two weeks for Stubbs, who’s collected a .133/.156/.167 batting line in 32 plate appearances. He’s also struck out 7 times in that span and walked just once. As a 23-year old in High-A, Stubbs will need to pick things up soon if he hopes to not be passed by younger prospects coming through the system.
Here are a few other notable stat lines from some Royals prospects in the last couple of weeks.
Elier Hernandez (OF, Lexington): 35 PA, .344/.400/.594, 2 HR, 2 2B
Matt Tenuta (LHP, Lexington): 9 IP, 10 H, 11 R, 10 ER, 5 BB, 5 K
Bubba Starling (OF, Wilmington): 41 PA, .308/.317/.538, 6 XBH, 1 HR
Jorge Bonifacio (OF, Northwest Arkansas): 53 PA, .149/.245/.255
Jason Adam (RHP, Northwest Arkansas): 3 GS, 19.2 IP, 7 R, 7 ER, 2 BB, 24 K
J.C. Sulbaran (RHP, Northwest Arkansas): 3 GS, 18 IP, 4 R, 4 ER, 5 BB, 20 K, 2.00 ERA
Christian Colon (UIF, Omaha): 57 PA, .340/.436/.468, 4 XBH, 1 HR, 8 BB, 1 K
Brett Eibner (OF, Omaha): 57 PA, .321/.351/.491, 5 XBH, 2 HR
Aaron Brooks (RHP, Omaha): 3 GS, 17 IP, 24 H, 15 R, 8 ER, 2 BB, 14 K