Projecting KC Royals prospects: No. 12 Nick Pratto

This KC Royals prospect saw some struggles during the 2019 season, and will hopefully be able to turn things around in 2020.

Welcome back to the Kings of Kauffman “Projecting the Prospects” series for 2020. We’ll be reviewing each of the KC Royals organization’s top 30 prospects and projecting the best, worst, and most likely scenarios for the upcoming season. Today, we are looking at the first baseman, Nick Pratto.

Pratto was drafted by the Royals in the first round of the 2017 Amateur draft, from Huntington Beach High School. Pratto has continued to put in the work in the minors and earned the number 12 spot in the Royals top 30 prospects.

Pratto showed good potential in his first few years with the Royals, batting for decent averages, getting on base, and displaying some pop in his hits. Unfortunately for Pratto, his offense took a sharp decline in 2019 when he slashed just .191/.278/.310.

Luckily for him, he at least showed improvement in his defense. While he has been serviceable as a first baseman, every year sees some improvement in his fielding numbers, which at least shows he is working to continue his progress. Pratto is still young and has time to round himself out, but hopefully, 2020 will be a better season for him.

Worst case scenario 

The worst case for Pratto would be that his downslide continues. In 2018, he slashed .280/.33/.443, a huge difference from his 2019 numbers. If he continues to struggle at the plate as he moves through the minors, it will be a huge setback for him.

He was at single A+ in 2019 and if he doesn’t show any progress, he will likely not move much further. An inability to adapt will result in other prospects passing him by, and the Royals will have to move on.

Best case scenario

The best case for Pratto will be that he completely turns around his offense and has a successful year at AA and, if he blows it out of the park, could even see a few games at AAA. With his struggles in 2019 though, the Royals will likely want to make sure he can maintain success at each level before moving him on.

Continuing with the best case, Pratto could be ready for the majors as early as 2022 if he can show improvement. What may stand in his way, though, is whether or not he can compete with other’s who may be fighting over the first past spot at that time.

Most likely scenario

Pratto will likely get his footing and show that 2019 was a fluke. He may not have a successful year like 2018, but it’s likely to be progress none the less. Pratto has shown improvement every year in his fielding, and 2020 is likely to be no different, showing one reason why the Royals likely picked up on him.

While it’s unlikely Pratto will see any time in the majors over the next couple of seasons, he will likely finish the 2020 season playing AA ball, giving him a chance to prove that he can continue through the minors and one day make his way to Kansas City.

Next: Projecting KC Royals prospects: No. 16, Brewer Hicklen

Continue to follow along as we work through the top 30 prospects for the best, worst, and most likely outcomes.