Evaluating the KC Royals shallow pool of first base prospects

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1. Devin Mann
Born: 2/11/1997 in Columbus, IN

This feels like cheating, but if the Royals had to promote a prospect to play first base tomorrow, Mann is the best man for the job. The Royals acquired him in the Ryan Yarborough trade from the Los Angeles Dodgers, and both teams could still benefit from that trade.

MLB.com ranks Mann as the Royals' 27th overall prospect, right behind Arizona Fall League standout Peyton Wilson and 2023 Futures Game representative Will Klein. Mann was likely the best prospect available in Triple-A as the season wound down, after the lackluster September callups.

MLB.com succinctly put Mann's MLB outlook, saying "he doesn't have a huge ceiling but could fill a utility role at the big league level." I understand that Royals fans are tired of hearing about toolsy, glove-first middle infielders with defensive versatility. Watch Mann and see that he has defensive versatility but is different from those prospects. He has solid power, posting a .226 ISO in 2023. He can get on base and walk at a great 17.7% clip in Omaha. Sure, the strikeouts rose as well, but his overall offensive potential is still worth noting.

Devin Mann may not be flashy, but he is a high-floor KC Royals prospect.

Mann has played all over the infield and some in left field as well. His twitch and arm strength limit him on the left infield, but his size and steady glove make him a good fit at first or second base. Mann will likely play a utility role in any MLB opportunities, a la Nick Loftin in 2023. 

Is Mann a hot prospect, one that is pushing top-100 lists across the land? No. But he has shown enough potential to earn consideration for a call-up in the future. The floor is high for Mann, and the Royals could need him down the line.

2023 stats: 460 AB, 276/.387/.502, 20 HR, 86 RBI, 79 BB, 149 SO

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