3 KC Royals prospects who need a change of scenery

(Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images) /
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KC Royals, Chase Vallot
Chase Vallot (Photo by Rob Tringali/Getty Images) /

The Royals are definitely not catcher-rich in their system, but keeping a player who strikes out at nearly 50 percent rate is not advisable.

Technically drafted in the first round of the 2014 draft, Chase Vallot was the 40th pick in the CBA portion. Normally I would advocate for giving a player of the caliber who is only 23 years old more of a chance…especially a catcher.  But the last two years have been brutal.

Vallot peaked at No. 12 in the 2017 MLB Prospects list for the KC Royals.  That is understandable after the best season of his pro career in 2016.  There he slashed .246/.367/.463 with 13 home runs for the Lexington Legends and was named a mid-season All-Star.

He raised his OBP by 24 points the next year, even with his average dipping by four points. In 2018 though, the wheels starting coming off.

An injury rehab assignment that sent him back to Idaho Falls that season was a nice 37 games respite from the .108/.281/.277 slash he produced in 47 games at Wilmington in 2018.  He also managed to strike out 151 times in just 293 at-bats with the Advanced-A club.

Hopefully a healthy season would see a dramatic turn in results for 2019.  Back at Single-A Lexington, Vallot did crush another 14 bombs but batted just .190 and was punched out 155 times in 279 at-bats.  He still has a good eye, able to muster a .303 OBP despite that batting average.

Next. Projecting prospect No. 13, MJ Melendez. dark

Vallot should still see plenty of opportunities to succeed in pro baseball but would probably be best suited with another franchise.  The Royals need to develop hitters with a focus on contact, and that is not his strong suit.