Look for prospect Vinnie Pasquantino to make his KC Royals debut in June.
Just a year ago, first baseman Vinnie Pasquantino was hitting .183 for Quad Cities, Kansas City’s new High-A affiliate. The minor league season wasn’t a full month old, so panicking about a prospect with a long way to go wasn’t necessary.
Nor did it ever become so. Pasquantino righted himself and was by late July hitting .291 with a .384 OBP and .949 OPS; together with 13 homers and 42 RBIs, those numbers earned him a promotion to Double-A Northwest Arkansas, where in 55 games he clubbed another 11 homers, drove in 42 runs, and slashed .310/.405/.560.
Then he hit .391 with a 1.179 OPS for the Royals in 13 spring training games and was deemed ready for Triple-A, where he’s homered 15 times with 52 RBIs and a .298 average, .392 OBP and 1.059 OPS.
All this, while Carlos Santana plays first base in Kansas City with a .161 average and two homers in 36 games.
Why? General Manager J.J. Picollo suggests, per Kansas City Star Royals beat writer Lynn Worthy, that the Royals don’t want to force the player MLB Pipeline ranks as KC’s fourth-best prospect into a position where he feels too much pressure to fuel the club’s weak offense, and prefer to see him get more at-bats at Omaha.
Add those reasons to the notion that the Royals are still trying to squeeze out of Santana what trade value he might have left, and why Santana plays in the majors and Pasquantino in the minors becomes more clear.
Expect that to change, and change soon. The Royals are a bad team getting worse, which means attendance, and consequently revenues, are sure to soon decrease, and Santana isn’t doing anything to help matters. Despite Picollo’s concerns, Pasquantino forcing his hand is inevitable. He’ll likely arrive in Kansas City in the coming days.
Just in time to help make June better than May around Kauffman Stadium.