The KC Royals have plenty of young players getting a look at their alternate site, but there are still some top prospects working out on their own.
The 2020 season has provided a challenge for the KC Royals and teams all around baseball. With no minor league season, many prospects are not getting to workout with the team’s coaches and players and the organization is not able to keep a close eye on their progress and development.
For some, the season is being spent at the team’s alternate training site. For the Royals, young prospects like Bobby Witt Jr. are getting a long look with organization staff. Many of these prospects are likely those the Royals see making their way to Kansas City sooner rather than later.
Recently at MLB.com, Jim Callis, Jonathan Mayo, and Mike Rosenbaum put together an article focusing on each team’s top prospect that is not at the alternate site working with the team. For the Royals, Erick Pena is the top prospect on the list.
Pena is currently sitting as the Royals 5th ranked prospect at MLB.com. Pena was an international prospect, signed in July of 2019 by the Royals. Pena has not gotten a long look yet with no minor leagues this season, but that doesn’t stop the excitement surrounding his future potential.
Pena has been compared to Carlos Beltran, which could be a reason Kansas City thinks so highly of him. The Royals Rene Francisco, though, wasn’t sure about making comparisons right away at the time of the signing.
"“I would hesitate to put comparisons to someone like Carlos Beltran — we’re talking about someone who probably is going to the Hall of Fame,” Royals assistant general manager of international operations Rene Francisco said by phone. “But we’re very excited to have [Pena]. We have been following him for three years now, and he is a very skilled and athletic player.“He is very smart and from a great family. He speaks fluent English, and just a very bright young man who plays the game with intelligence.”"
Still, Pena has shown enough to be considered one of the Royal’s top 5 prospects. Pena, an outfielder, is said to have a high baseball IQ and good instincts to go along with solid defensive abilities, all things the Royals look for in a player.
Pena also knows how to handle a bat. According to his prospect page, his bat and power are currently his two best attributes. He is a left-handed hitter and has contact to all fields while adding some power and keeping his swing and miss rates low.
According to the list, Pena has been working in the Dominican Republic and is in excellent shape and is now even stronger than he was when the Royals signed him.
The Royals will surely be excited to see Pena finally get back to work once they can get him into some training and games. While it will still be a while before the 17-year-old finds his way to the majors, he is a bright spot of the future in Kansas City.
Erick Pena is the Royals top prospect not at the alternate site. It won’t be long before he starts to make his way through the minors and joins the other top prospects on the way to Kansas City.