Here's where the Royals' Top 30 prospects are starting the season

April 3rd, 2024

With the Minor League season opening this week, here's where the Royals’ Top 30 prospects are projected to start:

1. Blake Mitchell (MLB No. 90), C -- Columbia (Single-A)
2. Nick Loftin, UTIL -- Kansas City (MLB)
3. Cayden Wallace, 3B -- Northwest Arkansas (Double-A)
4. Ben Kudrna, RHP -- Quad Cities (High-A)
5. Frank Mozzicato, LHP -- Quad Cities (High-A)
6. Mason Barnett, RHP -- Northwest Arkansas (Double-A)
7. Blake Wolters, RHP -- Columbia (Single-A)
8. Gavin Cross, OF -- Northwest Arkansas (Double-A)
9. Yandel Ricardo, SS -- Extended spring training
10. Tyler Gentry, OF -- Omaha (Triple-A)
11. Carter Jensen, C -- Quad Cities (High-A)
12. Chandler Champlain, RHP -- Northwest Arkansas (Double-A)
13. Austin Charles, 3B/SS -- Columbia (Single-A)
14. Anthony Veneziano, LHP -- Omaha (Triple-A)
15. Ramon Ramirez, C -- Extended spring training
16. Javier Vaz, 2B/OF -- Northwest Arkansas (Double-A)
17. Carson Roccaforte, OF -- Quad Cities (High-A)
18. John McMillon, RHP -- Omaha (Triple-A)
19. Will Klein, RHP -- Omaha (Triple-A)
20. Trevor Werner, 3B -- Quad Cities (High-A)
21. Noah Cameron, LHP -- Northwest Arkansas (Double-A)
22. Matt Sauer, RHP -- Kansas City (MLB)
23. Hunter Owen, LHP -- Quad Cities (High-A)
24. Peyton Wilson, 2B -- Northwest Arkansas (Double-A)
25. Steven Zobac, RHP -- Quad Cities (High-A)
26. Hiro Wyatt, RHP -- Extended spring training
27. Eric Cerantola, RHP -- Northwest Arkansas (Double-A)
28. Daniel Vazquez, SS -- Columbia (Single-A)
29. Henry Williams, RHP -- Quad Cities (High-A)
30. Tyson Guerrero, LHP -- Northwest Arkansas (Double-A)

Team to watch
The talent is pretty well spread out across the Kansas City organization, but High-A Quad Cities stands out for having a pretty interesting mix of player types. Starting pitchers Kudrna and Mozzicato return to the Midwest League to begin their third full seasons, and this should be a season where projection truly turns into performance for both. Fellow 2021 pick Jensen rejoins their battery as well as a high-walk catcher with above-average arm strength. The 2023 Draft class contributes Roccaforte, Werner and Owen from the college ranks, and the trio is advanced enough to make an instant impact with the River Bandits.

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

Players we could see in 2024
Loftin and Rule 5 pick Sauer made the Major League club straight out of the gate. Gentry is knocking on the door after hitting .284/.420/.488 line with 10 homers and a 49/46 K/BB ratio over 59 games after July 1 for Triple-A Omaha last season. His power and plus arm strength would be a natural fit in right field, should free-agent addition Hunter Renfroe struggle early on. Veneziano should play a role in KC’s starting depth, while the hard-throwing McMillon and Klein are bullpen options in waiting.

New faces
The Royals signed second-rounder Wolters for $2.8 million last summer, using some of the savings from Mitchell’s first-round bonus to bring in the Illinois prep right-hander. Wolters didn’t pitch in pro ball after joining the organization, but he was the talk of Spring Training with his fastball that can touch upper-90s, above-average slider and improving changeup. Kansas City tends to let its high-school arms work out in extended spring training first – it’s doing that with Hiro Wyatt this spring, for example – but the organization thinks highly enough of Wolters to move him out of the complex now. The 6-foot-4 hurler could be KC’s top pitching prospect by season’s end if he maintains this momentum in the Carolina League.