KC Royals Prospects: Minor league clubs set to go

(Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images) /
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KC Royals, Nick Pratto
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Bobby Witt Jr. is just one hot prospect playing at Double-A for the KC Royals.

A year ago found first baseman Nick Pratto on a mission when he reported to Kansas City’s spring camp. Pratto was Pipeline’s No. 10 KC prospect the season before, but a .191/.278/.310 2019 campaign at High-A Wilmington gave the organization considerable pause. Cactus League play didn’t help his cause; although he hit.500, it was a result built only on a 1-for-2 performance.

The Royals, choosing to work on Pratto’s hitting instead of leaving him on his own during last summer’s minor league shut down, assigned him to the Alternate Training Site. Something changed there, and he was sizzling along with a .364 average this spring when the Royals included him in their camp’s first roster cuts.

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Those roster “cuts” didn’t matter much, especially for Pratto—with no formal minor league camp in session, he continued to play in big league games and finished the spring with a .345/.406/.862 line and four home runs.

Now, Pratto is back on Kansas City’s radar and, probably owing to his inexperience, will open at Springdale with the Naturals. Expect a fairly timely promotion to Omaha if his good plate work continues.

Among other top Pipeline prospects joining Pratto (9th) in Arkansas are pitchers Jonathan Bowlan (8th), Alec Marsh (12th) Jonathan Heasley (13th) and Yefri Del Rosario (30th), catcher MJ Melendez (14th), and outfielder Brewer Hicklen (25th).

The Royals also assigned pitcher Stephen A. Woods Jr., their 2019 Rule 5 selection, to Double-A. Fellow hurlers Peyton Gray and Carlos Sanabria, both acquired over the winter, will also be Naturals.

Scott Thorman will manage the team.