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. 1 — Blake Mitchell (Single-A Columbia)

Almost a year later, is there any Kansas City follower who doesn't know how much fan discontent the Royals triggered when they used their first 2023 draft pick on Blake Mitchell? That he was (and is) a catcher seemed to have little to do with the anger — instead, the fact Mitchell had no college experience behind the plate fueled the fire. High school catchers simply don't cut it often enough, said the detractors.

And he probably didn't win over any of the disgruntled when, after signing, he hit .147 (5-for-34) in the Arizona Complex League. Overlooked, however, was his eye at the plate — Mitchell walked 32.7% of the time (17 times in 54 plate appearances) and ended his short professional debut with a .423 OBP.

And in the middle of it all, before his first season had even ended, Mitchell found himself at the head of the class when MLB Pipeline shuffled its rankings and named him KC's No. 1 prospect.

He's still at the top of Pipeline's list, and slowly beginning to improve at the plate. Through Thursday, Mitchell is batting only .250 but slashed .275/.444/.507 in April, and his OBP is again high at .420. Among Columbia players, his three home runs are second only to Erick Peña's four.

Mitchell has a long journey ahead of him. Don't be surprised to see him really catch fire soon.

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