Most Anticipated Royals 2017 Minor League Seasons

I am completely on-board with Dayton Moore’s off-season re-tool. Trading the last year of Wade Davis and Jarrod Dyson for eight years of Nate Karns and Jorge Soler is exactly what the Royals needed. Swapping Kendrys Morales and Edinson Volquez for Brandon Moss and Jason Hammel while saving payroll $$$ looks to be a great pair of moves. The Royals seem well-positioned to head back to the post-season with their tragic ‘Ace 30’ black patches.  Here the the five minor league seasons I look the most forward to in 2017 in determining their continued success in 2018.

5. Kyle Zimmer

Hamstring and elbow chips in 2012, right shoulder soreness in 2013 and 2014 that led to surgery in 2015, and now thoracic outlet surgery in 2016. Zimmer has thrown 75 IP 2014-2016, total. Jaime Garcia and Chris Young are the most recent big leaguers to recover from TOS, and they were… average, maybe. A full season from Zimmer would go far to restoring his prospect-y shine, it would be his first since 2013. If he lasts a month in AAA the Royals will probably promote him to the pen in Kauffman.

4. Meibrys Viloria

Viloria is headed to LoA, and needs to continue to hit after his Pioneer League MVP performance. If he continues his Pioneer League success, he could be this year’s Francisco Mejia. Just needs a 50-game hitting streak…

2 & 3. Khalil Lee/Seuly Matias

Lee 182 49 9 6 6 33/57 : 23.5 .269 .396 .484
Matias 172 43 11 2 8 22/73 : 37.6 .250 .348 .477

Lee is about two months older than Matias, stats are from the Arizona Rookie league last year. They should be teammates at Burlington in the Appy League after extended spring training. It will be interesting to see who the Royals have play CF, with the other likely sliding over to RF. Matias’s K rate is too high to make it, and will have to improve. I think Matias is in RF and Lee CF.

1. Samir Duenez

Eric Hosmer is going to be a free agent after 2017, leaving an opening at 1B. ALCOA presents: you make the call!

Player AB H 2B 3B HR BB/K : K% AVG OBP SLG
A 532 151 33 5 13 39/86: 15.1 .284 .386 .438
B 502 138 32 2 22 56/158: 28.3 .275 .351 .478

Player A was 20 years old last year, and played across LoA/HiA/AA, Player B was 22 and played across HiA/AA. Player A stole 26 bases in 30 attempts. Player B has more present power. B is Ryan O’Hearn, and many are already appointing him Hosmer’s successor. A is Samir Duenez, who has the makings of a much better player. Both may start the year in AA in a good old fashion prospect duel to the death. My money is on Duenez having a much greater chance of being a dynasty league impact player.

KC Shankland lives in Maple Valley, Washington. His Royals fandom runs from the Royals/Yankees blood feud of the ‘70s to Hosmer’s mad dash home.

‘People ask me what I do in winter when there’s no baseball. I’ll tell you what I do. Obsess over prospects.’

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