A new name appeared at No.1 when MLB Pipeline revealed its latest KC Royals Top 30 prospects list a few days ago. But when the time arrived to rank the 30 major league clubs' farm systems, Kansas City finished as close to the bottom as an organization can without finishing dead last.
In its latest ratings dated yesterday, Pipeline ranks KC's system 29th, better than only Houston.
Next to last is an unsurprising spot for the Royals — It's hard, after all, for a system to escape that depth when none of its minor leaguers can crack Pipeline's Top 100. The tumble has been monumental because the Royals were ranked as high as fifth just two seasons ago.
Pipeline gave the No. 1 organizational spot to Baltimore.
A recently-traded former KC Royals infielder is making himself quite at home
Almost three weeks have passed since Kansas City traded versatile infielder Nicky Lopez to Atlanta for reliever Taylor Hearn. And while Hearn has pitched only three times for the Royals, Lopez seems to be finding the pennant-chasing Braves much to his liking.
Lopez didn't see action with his new team until Aug. 8 when he pinch-ran against the Pirates. But in four games since then, he's driven in eight runs and is 7-for-14 with a home run and a double, and punished the Mets by going 4-for-6 with five RBIs Aug. 12 and 3-for-4 against them two days later.
Lopez's defense is certainly good enough to make the Braves consider keeping him past this season. Hitting half as well as he has since arriving in Atlanta will strengthen his case. He's arbitration-eligible after this campaign and won't be a free agent until after the 2025 season.
The future of another former KC Royals player continues to be uncertain
Danny Duffy's prospects to return to the majors for the first time since 2021 and pitch for Texas down the stretch is something we wrote about in this space late last month after Rangers manager Bruce Bochy appeared to recognize the possibility.
Now, half-way through August, Duffy may or may not be in the club's big league plans. In fact, it looks like he's headed in the wrong direction.
The Rangers promoted the former KC lefty, who's trying to work his way back from the injury issues that struck him in 2021, from Double-A Frisco to Triple-A Round Rock July 25. But now, after giving up five runs in 4.1 innings over four games, Duffy is back in Frisco, where in 12 games he went 2-1 with a 3.31 ERA before the bump-up to Round Rock. The Express sent him to the RoughRiders Tuesday.