Nick Pratto could be the answer at first base for the KC Royals next season.
MJ Melendez wasn’t the only Kansas City prospect who had a pivotal turnaround after a poor 2019 season. First baseman Nick Pratto also managed to get back on track in 2021.
The No.2-ranked KC Royals prospect per MLB Pipeline, Pratto slashed .191/.278/.310 with a meager .588 OPS two seasons ago at the High-A level. But this season, he turned those numbers around and slashed .265/.385/.602 with a .988 OPS and a .315 BABIP across stints with the Naturals and Storm Chasers.
Pratto also drove in 98 runs and walked 83 times. And although Melendez led the minors in home runs, Pratto was a close second with 36.
Defensively, Pratto recorded a combined .998 fielding percentage, had 64 assists, and turned 76 double plays at first baseman at the Double-A and Triple-A levels.
Pratto also joined Witt in the 2021 All-Star Futures Game—a highly-regarded competition pitting the top minor leaguers against each other.
Although Carlos Santana currently serves as the Royals’ first baseman going into the final season of his two-year contract, Pratto could force the club’s hand if Santana doesn’t improve upon his 2021 downward trend.
Top KC Royals prospects Bobby Witt Jr., MJ Melendez and Nick Pratto are primed to make their big league debuts in 2022.