Three KC Royals prospects bear watching at the plate at Low-A Columbia.
Three key hitters—Erick Pena, Carter Jensen and Darryl Collins—headline Low-A Columbia’s 2022 lineup.
Catching prospect Jensen has been on a partial tear. He’s hitting just .194 but is second on the Fireflies with an .840 OPS and currently leads the team in home runs, RBIs, runs scored and walks. He is slashing .194/.324/.516 in his first go at Low-A.
Darryl Collins has earned attention. The Royals signed Collins, now 20, as a 16-year old free agent out of the Netherlands and all he’s done is dominate. He began by slashing .320/.401/.437 in the Arizona Rookie League, played in the Netherlands for a year, then slashed .246/.368/.338 for the Fireflies last season.
Collins has been even more dominant this year. So far in eight games, Collins has slashed .345/.406/.517. Look for him to earn a call-up to High-A sooner rather than later.
The combination of hit tool and patience at the plate will carry Collins far in the system. He has good speed (15 stolen bases last season) and plays above-average defense in left field.
Outfielder Erick Pena has struggled so far. He’s slashing .156/.206/.375 but is still working through a new stance and approach at the plate. His front foot is almost a foot more open, which should allow him to see the ball better and improve his hit tool. On the positive side, Pena walked off Augusta Opening Day with a three-run homer.