A Yankee castoff just might make his big league debut in 2024
Few believed Anthony Benintendi was a long-term addition to the Royals when they traded for him and the two seasons remaining on his Boston contract just before spring camp opened in 2021. And sure enough, the club shipped Benintendi to the Yankees at the following season's trade deadline; in return, the Royals received minor league pitchers T.J. Sikkema, Beck Way, and Chandler Champlain.
Today, Sikkema is gone after Cincinnati snatched him up in the minor league version of the Rule 5 Draft earlier this month. Way, still with the KC organization, is 5-12 with a 5.77 ERA in 35 games (24 starts) split between High-A and Double-A.
Champlain, however, is progressing nicely along the path to Kauffman Stadium, a venue that with luck he may reach in 2024. Currently considered the Royals' 11th-best prospect by MLB Pipeline, he went a disappointing 1-3, 9.84 at High-A Quad Cities after coming over in the Benintendi deal, but after improving to 6-3, 2.74 in 11 starts for the River Bandits to begin the 2023 campaign, moved up to Double-A Northwest Arkansas, started 14 times, and went 5-5, 3.82 to finish the campaign 11-8, 3.33.
A righthander, Champlain is on Northwest Arkansas' roster but should make it to Triple-A Omaha before much of the 2024 season passes. If he continues to pitch well, don't be surprised if he winds up in Kansas City before the season ends.