KC Royals prospect Samir Duenez has the front office buzzing about his rapid ascent through the system. The 20-year-old international signee from Venezuela has played at three levels this season.
After two mostly forgettable seasons following a solid rookie league debut in 2013, Samir Duenez fell off most people’s prospect radar. But the Kansas City Royals farmhand has zoomed from Class A Lexington to AA NW Arkansas this season.
First baseman Duenez signed with Kansas City for a $425,000 bonus as a 16-year-old. He hit a solid .272/.312/.419 in 265 at bats at Class A Lexington to earn a mid-season promotion to High A Wilmington.
Despite jumping a level to a home park with a notoriously difficult hitting background, Duenez’s game continued to develop. He slashed .300/.363/.479 with 7 home runs in 213 at bats for the Blue Rocks. That performance earned him another promotion, this time to AA NW Arkansas.
Through his first four games at AA, Duenez is smashing the Texas League for a .375/.412/.624 line.
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Sure, that’s only a few at bats. With the minor league season ending soon, Duenez won’t get an extensive trial this season in AA. But, he might get some additional at bats in the Texas League playoffs. The Naturals are in first place in the North Division.
I also expect that the Kansas City Royals will invite him to play in the Arizona Fall League because they will want to see him get more at bats against high quality competition.
Duenez’s Future Excites KC Front Office
Ex-KC Royals All-Star, and current front office executive, Mike Sweeney told 610 AM that the front office is excited by Duenez’s future. He mostly plays first base, but also played in left with Lexington in 2015. Duenez shows decent pop with total 13 home runs this season. He possesses surprising speed for a first sacker with 24 stolen bases.
Overall, he’s hit .287/.338/.451 across three levels in 2016, with 32 doubles, 5 triples, 13 home runs, and 96 RBIs with 24 stolen bases. Duenez, apparently, has a bright future with the Kansas City Royals.
Top prospects Kyle Zimmer and Bubba Starling have pretty much suffered through lost seasons that make you wonder about their futures. But, guys that looked stuck like Cheslor Cuthbert, Hunter Dozier, Jorge Bonifacio, Matt Strahm. and Duenez have provided surprising hope for the future.