The KC Royals farm system may not be well-regarded nationally, but it has unquestionably improved since the season's start. Several pitching prospects, like Frank Mozzicato and Ben Kudrna, progressed at a respectable rate this season. The system lacks a bat ready for the everyday MLB lineup, but players like Javier Vaz and Cayden Wallace are both producing in the minors. Outfielder Tyler Gentry is ending the 2023 season stronger than most, though.
Tyler Gentry is a prospect KC Royals fans need to watch.
Gentry has been solid at the plate for most of the Triple-A season, but his past 13 games show a very hot bat. From Aug. 23 to Sept. 8, Gentry had 14 hits, 10 RBIs, and a .967 OPS. He also has 13 walks to nine strikeouts in that span, exhibiting the Memphis native's patient approach at the plate.
The Royals selected Gentry 76th overall in the 2020 MLB draft, and he has swiftly progressed through the farm system. He only played in 44 high-A games in 2021 due to a knee injury. But his 2022 season saw him post a season worthy of the organization's George Brett Award.
Gentry started last season in High-A again but spent most of it in Double-A. In 108 games across the two levels, Gentry posted a .326 batting average, a .965 OPS, and 21 home runs. It was a great season for the Alabama product and one that propelled him to a new level, according to MLB evaluators.
"No Royals prospect took a bigger step forward in 2022 than Gentry. He went from a fringe-prospect and likely fourth outfielder to someone who could hit his way into a starting outfield job in the big leagues by the end of 2023."- MLB Pipeline
Gentry's value does not stop at his bat. He primarily serves as a right fielder in Triple-A, logging 890 innings there so far this season. MLB Pipeline credits Gentry with "one of the strongest arms in the Royals system", as well as a solid glove overall. I have yet to see a reason to doubt his arm.
Impressions are not always about the first, but rather the last one. The Royals have several roster decisions and holes to address this offseason, and that includes the major league outfield rotation. Gentry is performing at the right time to make him a factor in the conversation, at least. His September performance, both on the field and at the plate, makes him a player to know ahead of next season.