3 hot prospects the KC Royals must check out before season's end

With the season lost, the Royals need to take the time to check out some prospects.
Lucas Boland/Caller Times / USA TODAY
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The KC Royals ought to bring up versatile Nick Loftin before this season ends

Omaha's Nick Loftin set Triple-A on fire in May. He slashed .341/.410/.582 with five home runs and 27 RBIs that month, good numbers even for the utility-type player MLB Pipeline rates as the third-best prospect in the Kansas City system. His torrid month gave him a .281/.332/.489 line headed into June. But a knee injury unfortunately intervened and sidelined him for the entire month.

The organization deemed Loftin healthy enough to return to action three weeks ago and he started the road back in the Arizona Complex League where he went 8-for-17. He's had no such luck since, though—in eight games after returning to Omaha, Loftin is 7-for-30 (.233) and searching for that hot stick he wielded in May.

Expect him to find it. Loftin, playing in just his third professional season, boasts a career .273 average and .350 OBP and last year hit 17 homers (he has 10 so far in 2023) between Double-A and Triple-A. So his bat isn't a problem. (Nor is his speed—he stole 29 bases last season).

His hitting alone makes auditioning Loftin in the big leagues worth Kansas City's while, especially if they do what they shouldn't do and trade Nicky Lopez, their most defensively-versatile infielder, before next week's MLB trade deadline.

Loftin, after all, can and has played many positions. As a pro, he's put in time at shortstop, second and third bases, center field, and left field, versatility for which he laid the groundwork in college and with Team USA by playing second, shortstop, left and right fields, and pitching a few times.

He needs to get an opportunity to display his wares in Kansas City this season.

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