Kansas City Royals Prospects: Who’s Hot, Who’s Not

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Wilmington Blue Rocks: Pitching

Hot: Eric Skoglund

After pitching nine games in the Pioneer League last season, Eric Skoglund made the leap to Wilmington for the 2015 season. Considering he had a 5.09 ERA and a 1.696 WHiP last season, this was quite a jump in competition. It may only be one start, but he appears to be rewarding the Kansas City Royals faith already.

In his first outing of the year, Skoglund pitched 5.2 shutout innings of ball, allowing three hits while striking out three batters. A third round draft pick of the Royals last year, Skoglund is likely to rely more upon control and movement to keep hitters off balance, as his fastball sits in the upper 80’s. It will be interesting to see how this draft pick progresses this season.

Cold: Matt Alvarez

On the other side of the control coin, there is Matt Alvarez. He has struggled with his command during his time in the Kansas City Royals system, averaging 6.3 walks per nine innings over his first two seasons in the minors. Those control issues were evident in his first outing for the Blue Rocks as he allowed three runs on a hit and three walks while recording one out.

Alvarez has displayed a live arm, striking out 75 batters during his 78.2 minor league innings, but he truly needs to refine that control in order to take the next step. Hopefully, Wilmington pitching coach Steve Luebber will be able to harness that arm.

Next: OchoCinco can hit? Wait....