Every year the Royals name a player and pitcher of the year for every minor league affiliate. In a year where Kansas City started by being annointed as the top farm system in the game, then saw many of those top prospects reach the big leagues, the system has to be replenished by new names who step up and perform.
Pay attention to some of these names as they may be tomorrow’s top Royals prospects:
- Omaha (AAA) – Johnny Giavotella (2B) and Luis Mendoza (RHP) – both were named as Pacific Coast League All-Stars for the full 2011 season.
- Northwest Arkansas (AA) – Anthony Seratelli (IF) and Will Smith (LHP)
- Wilmington (High A) – Rey Navarro (IF) and Jake Odorizzi (RHP)
- Kane County (Low A) – Brian Fletcher (OF) and Greg Billo (RHP)
- Idaho Falls (Advanced Rookie) – Runey Davis (OF) and Edwin Carl (RHP)
- Burlington (Rookie) – Jorge Bonifacio (OF) and Nick Graffeo (RHP)
- Surprise (Arizona Rookie) – Nick DelGuidice (SS) and Andrew Stueve (RHP)
- Dominican Rookie League – Ramon Torres (IF) and Yender Caramo (RHP)
There may be minor discouragement that some players with a higher profile didn’t get selected, but the flip side is the encouragement about another crop of players performing at a high level. Odorizzi is a top-five prospect in the system now and Bonofacio and Fletcher should be in top-30 lists next season.
The Cheslor Cuthberts, Wil Myers and Christian Colons have time to contribute, and their tools make them standout prospects without the recognition (though, of course, a .300/.400/.50o season from Myers would have gotten him the distinction in Double A).