Welcome to our 2022 team top prospect rankings series. Leading up to Minor League Opening Day, Eric Cross and Chris Clegg will go through all 30 Major League organizations, continuing today with their Kansas City Royals Top Prospects for dynasty leagues. In each installment of this series, you’ll find the top-20 rankings from both Eric Cross (AVG) and Chris Clegg (OBP) along with one prospect each that they’re targeting heavily in dynasty leagues right now. Hopefully, these rankings will help you in your dynasty leagues, and maybe give you some new trade targets to consider.
The Kansas City Royals are the definition of a small market team. They don’t have the financial means to spend like the big boys do, but they’ve developed prospects well over the years and that has led to spurts of success, including the 2015 World Series title over the Mets. Every several years they have a wave of talented prospect debut around the same time and it vaults this organization back into postseason contention. One of those waves is about to happen too. In addition to the arms that debuted in 2021, Kansas City will add three or four top-100 prospects to their lineup by the end of 2022, headlined by Bobby Witt Jr.
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Kansas City Royals Top Prospects
|Eric Cross (AVG)||Rank||Chris Clegg (OBP)|
|Bobby Witt Jr. (SS)||1||Bobby Witt Jr. (SS)|
|Vinnie Pasquantino (1B)||2||Vinnie Pasquantino (1B)|
|Nick Pratto (1B)||3||MJ Melendez (C)|
|MJ Melendez (C)||4||Nick Pratto (1B)|
|Asa Lacy (LHP)||5||Asa Lacy (LHP)|
|Junior Marin (OF)||6||Kyle Isbel (OF)|
|Erick Pena (OF)||7||Jackson Kowar (RHP)|
|Ben Kudrna (RHP)||8||Nick Loftin (SS)|
|Frank Mozzicato (LHP)||9||Frank Mozzicato (LHP)|
|Jackson Kowar (RHP)||10||Junior Marin (OF)|
|Daniel Vazquez (SS)||11||Ben Kudrna (RHP)|
|Michael Massey (2B)||12||Erick Pena (OF)|
|Nick Loftin (SS)||13||Jonathan Bowlan (RHP)|
|Kyle Isbel (OF)||14||Darryl Collins (OF)|
|Jonathan Bowlan (RHP)||15||Carter Jensen (C )|
|Tucker Bradley (OF)||16||Daniel Vazquez (SS)|
|Darryl Collins (OF)||17||Brady McConnell (MI)|
|Peyton Wilson (2B)||18||Angel Zerpa (RHP)|
|Alec Marsh (RHP)||19||Alec Marsh (RHP)|
|Angel Zerpa (RHP)||20||Ben Hernandez (RHP)|
Cross’ Prospect to Target: Kyle Isbel
There are a few prospects I could’ve spoken about here, including one of my favorite breakouts, Junior Marin, but I’ll be writing about him in an upcoming article, so I’ll shift gears and go with somewhat of a post hype guy in Kyle Isbel. Isbel never garnered a ton of prospect hype, but right now is a great time to try to strike in dynasty while his value appears to be fairly suppress. He’s a great late-round flier for redraft as well if he’s able to win a starting spot with Kansas City out of camp.
Isbel has always hit for a high average in the minors, gotten on base at a solid clip, and added some speed as well. For his minor league career, Isbel is a .277 hitter with a .352 OBP, and has 57 steals in 228 games with a promising 79.2% success rate. He’s never been much of a power hitter, but he could add 10+ homers annually over a full season in a starting role with a .270-.275 AVG and close to 20 steals thanks to his above-average hit tool and speed. In Triple-A last season, Isbel recorded a decent 76.9% contact rate along with 15 homers, 22 steals, and a .269/.357/.444 slash line in 451 plate appearances.
Clegg’s Prospect to Target: Vinnie Pasquantino
If you aren’t already on board the Vinnie Pasquantino train, you are going to miss the boat. Now is the time to buy in while your leaguemates have not caught up. Last season, between high-A and double-A, Pasquantino slashed .300/.394/.563 with 23 home runs. The more impressive thing in his profile is how good his contact skills are. He posted an 84 percent contact rate in high-A and improved to 87 percent in double-A.
The contact skills are what separates Pasquantino from Nick Pratto to me. Pratto has the edge in the power department, but he had a 63.8 percent contact rate in double-A and 65.6 percent in triple-A. Most still prefer Pratto to Pasquantino, but I see Pasquantino as the superior hitter for fantasy. Buy Vinnie Pasquantino now before he debuts and takes off.
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