Are the Top 5 KC Royals prospects showing progress?

Checking in on Kansas City's best prospects.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
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Just 32 games into a new season, and as they prepare for this weekend's three-game visit from World Series champion Texas, one thing is perfectly clear about the 2024 KC Royals.

They are, to be sure, much better than last season, when they thoroughly embarrassed themselves by losing 106 games, an astonishingly bad total that tied the franchise single-season record.

But today, the Royals are to be reckoned with, winners of 19 games who'll begin tonight's series opener in sole possession of second place in the American League Central. Beating Texas tonight would give Kansas City its 20th win, a milestone the club didn't reach last season until June 20.

The refreshing early success speaks for itself. But what of the organization's top prospects toiling in the minors? How are they doing?

Let's check in on the five minor leaguers at the top of MLB Pipeline's Top 30 Kansas City prospects.

No. 5 — Mason Barnett (Double-A Northwest Arkansas)

Barnett, a righthanded starter the Royals chose in the third round of the 2022 amateur draft, pitched well enough to win for Northwest Arkansas Wednesday night. He struck out seven, walked one, gave Wichita only two runs, and left after five innings with a three-run lead. Unfortunately, the Naturals eventually lost, but Barnett's latest performance proved once again he's a KC up-and-comer.

That he's performed well at every level explains why the Royals invited Barnett to spring training this year. He pitched only twice, yielding four runs in 2.1 innings, but is 1-0 with a 3.38 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP in four regular season starts for the Naturals. It's a good bet he'll wind up pitching at Triple-A Omaha before long.

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