4 standout KC Royals prospects from first Omaha Storm Chasers series

Triple-A action started this past weekend and some prospects really performed well.

Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA
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1B Nick Pratto

The Royals surprised some fans when they optioned first baseman Nick Pratto to Triple-A after a red-hot spring training. He posted a 1.292 OPS in 42 plate appearances, striking out eight times with four home runs to boot. It was a very strong spring from the former first-round pick, after a roller coaster 2023 campaign.

“Nick had a phenomenal spring,” Royals manager Matt Quatraro said after the demotion. “It was just a little bit of a logjam. He can do other things and play in the outfield, but right now, that opportunity is not there. He did everything he could possibly do this spring, and we just need him to continue that in Omaha. When the opportunity presents itself or he forces our hand, we’ll call him up.”

Well, Pratto did everything he could to force Kansas City's hand in the opening trio of games. He started each game against the Cubs, with at least one hit in each game. He leads the Storm Chasers with a 1.083 OPS and 195 wRC+ through three games as well. One of PRatto's biggest issues in MLB action has been his plate approach, but he made strides this spring in that department. That continued in Omaha, with two walks and two strikeouts in three games so far.

A .417 batting average will play, if a bit unsustainable. Two of his five hits against the Cubs were doubles, so Pratto isn't just dinking and dunking the ball around Werner Park. Royals fans need to watch his strikeouts in Omaha, as those were still an issue before he came back to the majors last season. If he continues this pace, there will certainly be a roster battle before May comes to Kansas City.