Northwest Arkansas, the KC Royals’ Double-A farm club, resumes play tonight against San Antonio after Monday’s scheduled off day. Hopefully, the short time away from the game didn’t cool off three hot Kansas City prospects.
The trio—first baseman Nick Pratto, shortstop Bobby Witt Jr., and catcher MJ Melendez—were at the center of the home run barrage the Naturals put on last Friday night against Springfield. Pratto slugged three homers, Witt and Melendez had one apiece, and Brewer Hicklen added another to power Northwest Arkansas’ thorough 15-5 thrashing of the Cardinals.
As it turns out, Friday was just another link in a hot chain of games for Pratto, Witt and Melendez, all of whom MLB Pipeline ranks in the top 15 of its Top 30 Royals’ prospects. Witt, of course, is the No. 1 organization prospect; Pratto is No. 9, Melendez is No. 14
Now, after terribly slow starts, each are on fire in their last five games.
Catcher MJ Melendez leads the three KC Royals prospects’ recent charge.
With a .473 average in his last five contests, a torrid clip that shot his young season average up 133 points (.138 to .271), Melendez is the hottest of the three. His performance over that span includes a three-hit game and a pair of two-hit appearances. He had a double (his only one of the season so far), eight of his 15 RBIs, and three home runs that put him on pace to restore the organization’s faith in his power.
Only a call-up to Kansas City would likely excite Melendez more than a promotion to Triple-A Omaha. But he may have to bide his time to join even the Storm Chasers—Meibrys Viloria is doing most of the backstop work in Omaha and is slashing .351/.455/.541 with a pair of homers and seven RBIs in 11 games, and Sebastian Rivero, who’s spent some time with the big club this season, is 5-for-12.
How about Pratto and Witt?