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Yost impressed with next wave of hitters

Royals manager hypes young crop, including prospect Dozier
MLB.com @FlannyMLB

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- One of the many bright spots for Royals manager Ned Yost this camp has been the development of the organization's next wave of prospects.

Yost and Royals officials have watched with a curious eye as top position prospects Hunter Dozier, Bubba Starling, Jorge Bonifacio and Raul Mondesi have made an impact here in the first half of Spring Training.

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- One of the many bright spots for Royals manager Ned Yost this camp has been the development of the organization's next wave of prospects.

Yost and Royals officials have watched with a curious eye as top position prospects Hunter Dozier, Bubba Starling, Jorge Bonifacio and Raul Mondesi have made an impact here in the first half of Spring Training.

"They're getting better," Royals general manager Dayton Moore said. "You can see it."

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And it's not just those four.

"And you got [infielders] Ramon Torres and Humberto Arteaga," Yost said. "Don't forget [outfielder Alfredo] Escalera on the back end of that. He's having a great camp."

Dozier, a first-round pick in the 2013 Draft, is hitting .500 (6-for-12) with a double, triple and homer. He has played third base, right field and first base so far.

"We just want him to have options," Yost said of Dozier. "Get him comfortable at third, first and the outfield."

Starling, a first-round pick in 2011, is hitting .364 (4-for-11) and has been solid in the outfield.

Video: Starling discusses his expectations for 2017 season

"Bubba is getting better at the plate," Yost said. "Bubba has always been able to play the outfield."

Bonifacio is hitting .462 (6-for-13) with some rather loud outs as well.

And perhaps the biggest eye-catcher of the group so far has been Mondesi, who has been vying for the starting second-base job.

Mondesi is hitting .529 (9-for-17) with a homer and double. And Mondesi has been terrific defensively.

"I've been pleased with our next-wavers," Yost said. "I feel good about them."

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

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