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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No. 4 — Frank Mozzicato (High-A Quad Cities)

Many were surprised, if not shocked, when the Royals passed on Kumar Rocker and other big names and instead grabbed prep pitcher Mozzicato with their first pick in the 2021 draft. Only draft insiders seemed to know who he was, where he'd pitched, and that he'd thrown four consecutive no-hitters in high school. And his rocky first two professional seasons — he went 2-6 with a 4.30 ERA at Single-A Columbia two years ago, and 2-9, 4.65 while splitting last season between Columbia and High-A Quad Cities — left some still questioning why the Royals chose him.

This year, however, Mozzicato is doing his best to defy the skeptics. He hasn't given up a run yet, and in three starts and 14 innings for the River Bandits he's fanned 17 and surrendered only three hits; his six walks are acceptable, and his 3.86 BB/9 is a vast improvement over the 6.65 and 6.48 marks of his first two campaigns.

Double-A will be Mozzicato's next minor league stop and, after making nine starts at Quad Cities last year and three so far this season, look for the Royals to consider bumping him to the Naturals by midseason.

Moving on to No. 3...