Blue Rocks shortstop Raul Mondesi at the plate on April 13, 2014 against W-S (Jen Nevius).

Royals Prospects in Review: Raul Mondesi, Alec Mills, Jake Junis

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When I was 19 years old, I was just a regular college student. I woke up, went to class, ate far too much food, and generally lived a pretty nondescript life. Raul Mondesi is slightly less boring. At 19 years old, he is in the midst of a stretch of making a mockery of Carolina League pitching, giving a glimpse as to why the Royals and scouts alike love what they see from this young shortstop. And I do mean young. Mondesi just turned 19 at the end of July, and he’s almost 5 years younger than the average age of his league.

On the season, Mondesi has had some struggles, particularly in May and June, when his on-base percentage barely eclipsed the .200 mark. But he’s bounced back nicely since then, with an OPS of .733 since July 1. At 6’1″, 165 pounds, Mondesi doesn’t appear to be a powerful hitter, but that small frame hasn’t seemed to bother him in the last two weeks, as he’s hit .295/.340/.795(!) with 10 extra-base hits and 5 home runs in his last 47 plate appearances. Again, that’s in a pitcher’s league, and a pitcher’s park.

There’s certainly work to be done in regards to his plate discipline, but what Mondesi is doing this year should bode well for his future in the Royals’ organization.

Who’s Hot: Alec Mills (Lexington, RHP)

Mills was drafted in the 22nd round back in 2012, and was having a nice season in 2013, mostly as a closer, until injury struck and he needed Tommy John surgery. Since returning to action, Mills has made 13 appearances, including 12 starts, and has been fantastic. In his last three starts for the Legends, he’s thrown 17 innings, allowed 1 earned run, walked 2, and struck out 18. That 0.53 ERA is fairly decent.

Who’s Not: Jake Junis (Lexington, RHP)

Mills’ teammate, on the other hand, has had some issues recently. Junis has pitched 13.1 innings in his last three starts, allowing 17 hits and 11 earned runs, which comes out to a 7.43 ERA. He does have strong peripherals, with 16 strikeouts and only 4 walks, but when the ball’s been put in play, it hasn’t been pretty, shown by the 1.041 OPS allowed.

Here are some other notable stat lines from Royals prospects in the last two weeks.

Brandon Downes (Idaho Falls, OF): 40 PA, .290/.425/.613, 3 HR, 6 BB, 7 K

Samir Duenez (Idaho Falls, 1B/DH): 42 PA, .359/.381/.487, 5 2B

Ryan O’Hearn (Idaho Falls, 1B/RF): 55 PA, .333/.418/.578, 5 2B, 2 HR, 8 BB, 9 K

Dominique Taylor (Lexington, OF): 58 PA, .340/.375/.453, 2 HR

Alfredo Escalera-Maldonado (Lexington, OF): 44 PA, .116/.116/.186, 18 K

Bubba Starling (Wilmington, OF): 48 PA, .143/.375/.171, 11 BB, 13 K

Sean Manaea (Wilmington, LHP): 2 GS, 12.2 IP, 1 ER, 3 BB, 12 K, 0.71 ERA, .409 OPS allowed

Glenn Sparkman (Wilmington, RHP): 2 GS, 12.2 IP, 1 ER, 3 BB, 17 K, 0.71 ERA, .428 OPS allowed

Lane Adams (Northwest Arkansas, OF): 59 PA, .314/.407/.490, 6 XBH

Andy Ferguson (Northwest Arkansas, RHP): 2 GS, 15 IP, 3 ER, 3 BB, 15 K, 1.80 ERA, .452 OPS allowed

Whit Merrifield (Omaha, OF): 55 PA, .360/.389/.480, 6 2B

Carlos Peguero (Omaha, OF): 52 PA, .318/.404/.773, 8 XBH, 6 HR

John Lamb (Omaha, LHP): 3 GS, 15.1 IP, 11 H, 7 ER, 14 BB, 10 K, 4.11 ERA

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Tags: Alec Mills Jake Junis Kansas City Royals Raul Mondesi

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