Where Royals' top prospects will start season

April 29th, 2021

With the 2021 Minor League season about to get started, here's a look at where the Royals' Top 30 prospects are projected to start the season:

  1. Bobby Witt Jr. (MLB No. 7), SS -- Northwest Arkansas (Double-A)
  2. Daniel Lynch, LHP (MLB No. 25) -- Omaha (Triple-A)
  3. Asa Lacy, LHP (MLB No. 26) -- Quad Cities (High-A)
  4. Jackson Kowar, RHP -- Omaha (Triple-A)
  5. Kyle Isbel, OF -- Omaha (Triple-A)
  6. Erick Peña, OF -- Extended spring training
  7. Nick Loftin, SS -- Quad Cities (High-A)
  8. Jonathan Bowlan, RHP -- Northwest Arkansas (Double-A)
  9. Nick Pratto, 1B -- Northwest Arkansas (Double-A)
  10. Austin Cox, LHP -- Extended spring training
  11. Carlos Hernandez, RHP -- Omaha (Triple-A)
  12. Alec Marsh, RHP -- Northwest Arkansas (Double-A)
  13. Jon Heasley, RHP -- Northwest Arkansas (Double-A)
  14. MJ Melendez, C -- Northwest Arkansas (Double-A)
  15. Ben Hernandez, RHP -- Columbia (Low-A)
  16. Noah Murdock, RHP -- Extended spring training
  17. Seuly Matias, OF -- Quad Cities (High-A)
  18. Daniel Vasquez, SS -- Extended spring training
  19. Zach Haake, RHP -- Quad Cities (High-A)
  20. Brady McConnell, SS -- Columbia (Low-A)
  21. Daniel Tillo, LHP -- Injured (Tommy John surgery)
  22. Tyler Gentry, OF -- Quad Cities (High-A)
  23. Darryl Collins, OF -- Columbia (Low-A)
  24. Ronald Bolaños, RHP -- Omaha (Triple-A)
  25. Brewer Hicklen, OF -- Northwest Arkansas (Double-A)
  26. Lucius Fox, SS -- Omaha (Triple-A)
  27. Will Klein, RHP -- Quad Cities (High-A)
  28. Samuel Valerio, RHP -- Extended spring training
  29. Angel Zerpa, LHP -- Quad Cities (High-A)
  30. Yefri Del Rosario, RHP -- Northwest Arkansas (Double-A)

Team to watch
Two Kansas City infield prospects were the talk of Spring Training -- Bobby Witt Jr. and Nick Pratto -- and they will man the dirt at Double-A Northwest Arkansas to begin 2021. Given what both showed in the Cactus League, that should be a lot of pop in the middle of the Naturals lineup. In total, six of the Royals' top 14 prospects will open up the season in Double-A, including three right-handers in Jonathan Bowlan, Alec Marsh and Jon Heasley.

Teams on MiLB.TV
Triple-A Omaha
Double-A Northwest Arkansas
High-A Quad Cities
Low-A Columbia

New faces
Lucius Fox will make his long-awaited debut in the Royals system when he takes the field next Tuesday for Triple-A Omaha. The switch-hitting shortstop came over from the Rays last season in a swap for outfielder Brett Phillips and has yet to feature in an official regular-season game since. Fox is best known for his plus speed that has helped him steal at least 25 bases in each of his four Minor League seasons thus far as well as his solid infield defense. His hit and power tools are both below-average, but he has the potential to help off a Major League bench in time.

On the shelf
Daniel Tillo underwent Tommy John surgery last July after suffering an elbow injury in Summer Camp. The 6-foot-5 left-hander, who thrives on groundballs when healthy, is unlikely to see the Minors again until well into the second half at the earliest. (Note: Austin Cox and Noah Murdock are being held back at extended spring training but not due to current injuries. Both pitchers are being built up and are expected to join Minor League clubs by the middle of May.)