Sunday, March 3, 2019

Wilmington Blue Rocks 2019 Prospect Season Preview





The Royals affiliate will be the most exciting team in the Carolina League for prospect watchers.  The Royals had four of the first forty picks in the 2018 draft in part from losing Eric Hosmer and Lorenzo Cain to free agency and used all four picks on college pitchers from big time programs.  These pitchers could move up quickly.  The Royals affiliate in the South Atlantic league, Lexington Legends won their league championship in 2018 and have a number of good prospects that should move up to Wilmington for 2019. 


Name
Brady Singer
Age 
8-4-96 (22)
Height and Weight
6'5" 210 lbs
Acquired
1st round 2018
Pre-Season Prospect Ranking 
54 overall by MLB
Prospectslive.com Org Ranking
2
MLB Org Ranking
1
Chances of being in the Carolina League
May get his feet wet in Lexington but will likely be in Wilmington in 2019.

Pitching in the SEC at the University of Florida is as high profile as it gets in college baseball.  Every year it seems the Gators have at least one pitcher that goes high in the draft and in 2018 the Royals took two of them.  Singer did not pitch for the Royals after being the 18th overall pick in the draft.  He has all the size and skills that you look for in a pitcher.





Name
MJ Melendez
Age
11/29/98 (20)
Height and Weight
6' 1" 185 lbs
Acquired
2nd round 2017
Pre Season Prospect Ranking
62 overall by propectslive.com
Prospectslive.com Org Ranking
1
MLB Org Ranking
3
Chances of being in the Carolina League
99%

Melendez and Miguel Amaya for the Cubs are two of the best catching prospects in baseball.  They will both be in the Carolina League in 2019.  Melendez is reportedly above average defensively with good power. Will be looking to cut down on strikeouts.





Name
Nick Pratto
Age
10/6/98
Height and Weight
6'1' 195
Acquired
1st round 2017
Pre Season Prospect Ranking
67 overall by rotowire.com 
Prospectslive.com Org Ranking
5
MLB Org Ranking
5
Chances of being in the Carolina League
95%

Pratto is a good athlete for a 1st baseman.  He is strong defensively and stole 22 bases.  Pratto is supposed to have a good hit tool but struck out 150 times in 2018. His power is still developing.  Pratto is one of the prospects this year that I am most anxious to see first hand and form my own opinion on.




Name
Jackson Kowar
Age
10/4/96 (22)
Height and Weight
6'5" 180 lbs
Acquired
1st round 2018 (Compensatory Round)
Pre Season Prospect Ranking
181 overall by fantrax.com
Prospectslive.com Org Ranking
4
MLB Org Ranking
7
Chances of being in the Carolina League
Very likely

Kowar was the 33rd overall pick in the 2018 draft.  Unlike his college teammate Brady Singer, Kowar pitched for the Royals in 2018 helping Lexington to the league championship. He was outstanding in the playoffs.The Blue Rocks should have a very formidable starting rotation. 



Name
Daniel Lynch 
Age
11/17/96 (22)
Height and Weight
6'6" 190 lbs
Acquired
1st round 2018 (Compensatory Round)
Pre Season Prospect Ranking
53 overall by ESPN
Prospectslive.com Org Ranking
7
MLB Org Ranking
4
Chances of being in the Carolina League
90%

Lynch was the 34th overall selection in the 2018 draft out of UVA.  Lynch was very impressive in Lexington and reportedly increased his velocity as a pro.  In 40 innings in Lexington, Lynch had 47 strikeouts and only six walks.




Name
 Kyle Isbel
Age
 3/3/97 (22)
Height and Weight
 5'11" 183 lbs
Acquired
 3rd round 2018 
Pre Season Prospect Ranking
81 overall by faketeams.com.  .
Prospectslive.com Org Ranking
8
MLB Org Ranking
10
Chances of being in the Carolina League
 Excellent

Isbel played 25 game in the Pioneer and clearly was too good for the level. He was promoted to Lexington and was still very good.  Isbel has a nice combination of power and speed.  He was a trendy pick in dynasty league first year drafts.




Name
Seuly Matias
Age
9/4/98 (20)
Height and Weight
6' 3" 200 lbs
Acquired
2015 International signing
Pre Season Prospect Ranking
52 overall by baseballprospectus.com
Prospectslive.com Org Ranking
9
MLB Org Ranking
6
Chances of being in the Carolina League
Likely

The Royals paid $2.25 million to sign Matias. The good news was that Matias hit 31 homers in just 94 games in Lexington. The bad news was that he struck out 131 times versus 24 walks. Matias may need to sacrifice some power to improve his contact skills.





Name
 Carlos Hernandez
Age
 3/11/97 (22)
Height and Weight
 6'4"  175 lbs
Acquired
 2016 International signing 
Pre Season Prospect Ranking
273 overall by dynastyguru.com
Prospectslive.com Org Ranking
10
MLB Org Ranking
11
Chances of being in the Carolina League
 The starting rotation is crowded but Hernandez is likely in Wilmington's rotation assuming he is healthy.

Hernandez did not sign with the Royals under he was nineteen in 2016.  He only received a $15,000 signing bonus   Hernandez debuted in the Appalachian in 2017 and showed a lot of improvement with Lexington last year. The scouting reports mention that Hernandez has a pitcher's body.




Name
 Brewer Hicklen
Age
 2/9/96
Height and Weight
 6'2" 208 lbs
Acquired
7th round 2017
Pre Season Prospect Ranking
410 overall by dynastyguru.com
Prospectslive.com Org Ranking
11
MLB Org Ranking
17
Chances of being in the Carolina League
 95%

Hicklen had a really nice year for Lexington.  He was promoted to Wilmington in July and struggled, but should get a second chance this year.  Like Isbel, Hicklen has a nice combination of power and speed.  The Wilmington outfield of Hicklen, Isbel and Matias should be a good one. 



Name
Yefri Del Rosario
Age
9/23/99 (19)
Height and Weight
6'2" 180 lbs
Acquired
2017 free agency signing
Pre Season Prospect Ranking
250 overall by rotowire.com 
Prospectslive.com Org Ranking
14
MLB Org Ranking
12
Chances of being in the Carolina League
Potentially could begin year in Wilmington, Lexington or extended spring training.  He should be in Wilmington at some point in 2019.


Del Rosario was a Braves international signing who was declared a free agent as part of the Braves cheating scandal.  He signed with the Royals for $650,000.  The Royals kept him in extended spring training until June when he was assigned to Lexington.  Del Rosario got better as the year went on.  From August on Del Rosario pitched 42 innings and gave up 3 earned runs on only 23 hits. Given his age, it is surprising that Del Rosario does not receive more prospect love.  The Padres, Luis Pitino is the only other pitcher that had success in full season ball as an eighteen year old the entire season.



Name
Kris Bubic
Age
8/19/97 (21)
Height and Weight
6'3" 220 lbs
Acquired
1st round 2018 (Competitive Balance Round)
Pre Season Prospect Ranking
61 overall by Juicy Jensen of baseball-farm.com 
Prospectslive.com Org Ranking
13
MLB Org Ranking
9
Chances of being in the Carolina League
Will likely start in Lexington but should reach Wilmington in 2019 

Bubic was the fourth of the college quartet that the Royals drafted in 2018.  Bubic may have been worn out from the college season at Stanford.  The Royals assigned Bubic to Idaho Falls in the Pioneer League and he struggled with his control walking 19 in 38 innings. 



Name
Michael Gigliotti
Age
2/14/96 (23)
Height and Weight
6'1" 180
Acquired
4th round 2017
Pre Season Prospect Ranking

Prospectslive.com Org Ranking
12
MLB Org Ranking
13
Chances of being in the Carolina League
Likely to start the season in Lexington but should be in Wilmington once he gets the rust off and the Blue Rocks have an opening in the outfield.

Gigliotti had a promising start to his professional career in 2017, but lost virtually all of 2018 to an ACL injury. According to his twitter account, he has been cleared from rehab and is ready to go for 2019. 



Name
Jeison Guzman
Age
10/8/98 (20)
Height and Weight
6'2" 180 lbs
Acquired
2015 International signing
Overall Pre-Season Prospect Ranking

Prospectslive.com Org Ranking
29
MLB Org Ranking
25
Chances of being in the Carolina League
 Could begin the year in Lexington or Wilmington. Guzman should eventually make it up to Wilmington in 2019. 

Guzman and Seuly Matias were the Royals big international signings in 2015.  Guzman got a  $1.5 million signing bonus.  He is a strong defensive shortstop with good speed.  The hitting is still developing.

No comments:

Post a Comment