The KC Royals have plenty of young pitching prospects. While injury may have pushed this pitcher back a bit, he still has a lot to prove.
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 pitcher Yefri Del Rosario.
Yefri Del Rosario is one pitching prospect that Royals fans may not be well aware of, falling in place behind the other top prospects and having to start working his way back up after seeing his 2019 season slip away from him.
Del Rosario has still managed to keep himself in the top 30 prospects, coming in at number 20 for the 2020 rankings. Del Rosario started his minor league career with decent numbers, doing well in the Braves organization rookie league, and then holding an ERA of 3.19 over 79.0 innings pitched for the Royals single A organization in 2018.
Del Rosario was on track to likely continue his move in 2019 but he struggled with some nerve issues in his elbow that caused him to miss the entire 2019 regular season. He was able to throw some simulated games in the fall, but he will have to work back into regular games once the 2020 season gets back on track.
MLB prospect rankings list plenty of positives to look forward to, stating that Del Rosario has hit 97 MPH with his fastball, and could improve his velocity with time. Pairing that with a strong breaking ball and a changeup that can still developed, Del Rosario could be a force for the future Royals rotation.
Best case scenario
The best case scenario for Del Rosario in 2020 would be for him to see time and compete at AA. If he can pick up where he left off, Del Rosario has every chance to compete at each level and quickly move through the ranks with the other Royals pitching prospects.
Worst case scenario
Del Rosario has already been pushed back due to injury in 2019 and continued setbacks, either injury or struggle getting back into the game, will be the worst for him. He has a chance to put himself in the group of rising pitching prospects, but proving that he still has what caught the Royals eye will be vital.
Most Likely Scenario
Del Rosario will most likely spend some of the season at single A, and then move onto advanced A ball as long as he shows consistency. There is always a chance that he proves enough and sees a bit of time higher, but the chances are slim.
With the nerve issues he suffered in 2019, the Royals will likely want to take things very slow with Del Rosario to ensure that there are no issues going forward and that he can pull the same inning load that he was pulling before any issues arose.
Del Rosario is a name that Royals fans should remember. While there is always a chance with prospects that they are unable to translate to higher levels of baseball, the upside with Del Rosario is high and he could be a future star in Kansas City.
Continue checking back as we work through the top 30 KC Royals prospects.