Kansas City Royals: Profiling the nineteen 2019 Non-Roster Invitees

(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /
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Kansas City Royals
SURPRISE, AZ – FEBRUARY 22: Nicky Lopez /

Top Prospects on the List

Four of the Kansas City Royals’ Top 30 Prospects according to MLB Pipeline made the list of Non-Roster Invitees.

Foster Griffin

Foster Griffin was invited to Spring Training as a Non-Roster Invitee in the 2018 season as well. In the 2018 season, he was named a Mid-Season All-Star with the Northwest Arkansas Naturals.

In his minor league career, he has tallied an overall ERA of 4.66 through 577.1 innings. His 2018 season was spent in entirety with the Naturals where he had a 5.13 ERA in 26 starts, 28 appearances overall, yielded 197 hits, struck out 117, and walked 40.

Griffin is the 29th ranked prospect in the Royals organization according to MLB Pipeline.

Richard Lovelady

Richard Lovelady is another prospect in the Top 30 in the Royals organization. He was also invited to Spring Training before the 2018 season, like a few other guys on this list. Lovelady had a phenomenal 2017 and 2018.

In the 2017 season, he split time between Wilmington and Northwest Arkansas. where he combined for a 1.62 ERA in 66.2 innings of work. In 2018, he pitched 73.0 innings and tallied an ERA of 2.47. He yielded 53 hits with the Omaha Storm Chasers, striking out 71 and walking 21.

Though he likely will not start the season up with the Royals, he will see plenty of time at Kauffman throughout the 2019 season.

Lovelady is ranked as the 13th prospect within the organization on MLB Pipeline’s list.

Nicky Lopez

Nicky Lopez resides in the seventh spot on the Top 30 list. His 2018 season was split between the Northwest Arkansas Naturals and the Omaha Storm Chasers. Overall, he slashed .308/.382/.417 on the season.

With Omaha, he slashed .278/.364/.417. The middle infielder is a player to watch out for this season. It is very very likely that he will make his way to Kauffman Stadium this season for sure. Though he likely won’t get any time at short, he poses the potential to take over at second base for Whit Merrifield in the near future.

MJ Melendez

MJ Melendez is the youngest of the top prospects to be invited to Spring Training. The 20 year old was drafted in the second round of the 2017 draft.

The Lexington Legends catcher played in 111 games during the 2018 season. He slashed .254/.337/.470 in 2018. MLB Pipeline predicts the fifth ranked player in the Royals system will earn time in the majors by the 2021 season. But, he will get a taste of what Spring Training is like, which will be great experience for the young, talented catcher.