An 11th-round pick begins mashing the ball for the Idaho Falls Chukars in just his second minor league season.
Michael Emodi is probably not a name that rolls off the top of fans tongues when considering a possible future catcher for the KC Royals. Taken later in the draft just up the road from Creighton University and his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska, he should probably be someone to start paying attention to.
A brief stint with the Arizona Royals and then 27 games in Burlington led to a combined .196 average with 44 strikeouts in only 107 at-bats in 2018. Then, the Pioneer League was overwhelmed by hurricane Emodi.
A .331/.410/.663 slash is a great line to have regardless of the league. The improvement from the prior year makes it even more special. Emodi was named a midseason All-Star and Idaho Falls Player of the Year. He finished second in the league in slugging percentage, OPS and doubles. He also finished in the top 5 in average, home runs, runs batted in and OBP.
Hopefully we will get to witness Emodi participate with a full-season team this year and see how his development continues. We know the Royals could use catching depth, especially if Salvador Perez is easing out of his role as a catcher.
Who will step up and make a big jump for the KC Royals in 2020? History shows that while some names will not be a surprise, there could also be a player like Emodi who explodes out of seemingly nowhere. Watching the minor league players this season will be fun to watch.