KC Royals: Omaha club is bursting with good things

(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /
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KC Royals, Edward Olivares
(Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports) /

Check out MLB Pipeline’s rankings of Kansas City prospects and you’ll discover that nine of the KC Royals’ Top 30 prospects are assigned to its Double-A affiliate. The Northwest Arkansas Naturals’ roster includes Bobby Witt Jr. (No. 1), Jonathan Bowlan (No. 8 but awaiting Tommy John surgery), Nick Pratto (No. 9), Austin Cox (No. 10), Alec Marsh (No. 12), Jon Heasley (No. 13), MJ Melendez (No. 14), Brewer Hicklen (No. 25), and Yefri Del Rosario (No. 30).

This remarkable concentration of talent explains why the Naturals probably attract more attention than the Omaha Storm Chasers, Kansas City’s Triple-A team. The top two clubs in an organization usually get the bulk of media and fan focus, but that isn’t necessarily the case this season—it’s probably fair to say Northwest Arkansas is, at least for now, more in baseball’s spotlight than Omaha, and the Naturals have Witt and his colleagues to thank for it. Not a day goes by without outlets providing the latest Witt News and updates on the rest of the club’s uber-talented crew.

That seems to leave Omaha to toil less noticeably, at least until Witt et. al. earn their way to the Storm Chasers, or skip Omaha altogether on their ways to Kansas City. But some of what’s happening at Omaha deserves notice.

The KC Royals’ Triple-A club just swept Indy and is leading its division.

The Storm Chasers are good. They lead the Midwest Division of the Triple-A East. They beat Indianapolis Sunday to complete a six-game sweep of the Indians. They’ve won eight in a row and stand nine games above .500 at 16-7.

Such effort must be fueled by good players. Let’s look at some of them.