Hot bats in Arkansas could make for a good future outfield for the KC Royals.
Northwest Arkansas is 14-13 in the Double-A Texas League. Thanks in great part to their bats, the Naturals are in third place in the North Division but only 2.5 games out of first place.
Leading the way has been infielder Michael Massey and his .320/.368/.544 line. Among qualified Texas League hitters over the last 15 days, he ranks first in RBIs, third in average, ninth in on-base percentage and seventh in slugging.
Outfielder Seuly Matias is slashing .259/.340/.469, but his .259 average would be the highest of his career should he sustain it for the entire season, and his .340 OBP would be his best since 2016.
Infielder Nick Loftin’s early-season struggles have disappeared. Less than a month into the season, Loftin was hitting just .250 but, over the last 15 days, he’s slashing .319/.353/.511. His OPS is up to .793.
KC Royals pitching prospects are having mixed results at Northwest Arkansas.
Alec Marsh and Asa Lacy have not been elite this season. On the surface, their ERA’s—5.95 for Marsh, 4.66 for Lacy—reflect a story of two struggling pitchers.
Marsh has given up his share of runs but his strikeout total, 30 in 19.1 innings, is promising.
Unfortunately, Lacy, 0-1 with a 4.66 ERA in two starts, is on the shelf with back tightness but, per mlb.com KC beat writer Anne Rogers, the Royals are optimistic he’ll return soon.
Although some top arms in the system have struggled, Drew Parrish hasn’t—he has a 2.61 ERA, including a microscopic 1.00 ERA over his last 18 innings, and is 3-1 in six starts. He might make the jump to the Royals before the season ends.