KC Royals Prospects: An early look at the farm system

(Photo by Kelsey Grant/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kelsey Grant/Getty Images) /
5 of 9
KC Royals
(Photo by Rob Leiter/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /

Will some KC Royals pitching prospects take a step forward in Double-A?

The 2022 season will be crucial for some Double-A arms. Alec Marsh and Asa Lacy both have top-of-the-rotation-potential but haven’t logged many innings over the past two seasons. Marsh has pitched just 63.1 minor league innings since being drafted in the second round of the 2019 amateur draft, while 2020 first round pick Lacy has thrown 61.2. This season could be a huge step forward for both if they can post some successful innings.

Results have been mixed for Lacy in two starts for Northwest Arkansas. Over 9.2 innings his ERA is 4.66. However, opponents are hitting just .167 off him this season and he’s struck out 13. But his five walks mean he’s still struggling with his control.

Marsh lasted 4.2 innings and allowed two hits, two earned runs and two walks in his only start. But he also struck out nine.

Then there’s Angel Zerpa, who made his major league debut last season for the Royals. He was optioned to Double-A to start this season and had a rough first outing, surrendering seven runs in only two innings. But he improved in his second start—he pitched four scoreless frames, struck out four and didn’t issue a walk.

Drew Parrish and Zach Haake round out the notable Double-A pitching prospects. Parrish has pitched eight innings with a 6.75 ERA, six strikeouts and four walks. He’s also hit two batters.

Haake has been hit hard in his two appearances—in five innings, he’s allowed seven runs, eight hits and two walks, and opponents are hitting .348 against him.