Pratto, Massey win MiLB Gold Gloves

November 13th, 2021

As much as the focus lately on the Royals’ farm system has been about the offensive turnaround of its prospects, defense has been just as key to the success seen across the organization’s affiliates this past season.

On Friday, two players were recognized nationally for their defensive prowess.

First baseman Nick Pratto and second baseman Michael Massey won Minor League Gold Gloves at their respective positions in 2021, awarded by Rawlings during an awards show on Friday night.

One Minor League Gold Glove is awarded at each position across all levels, so Pratto and Massey were recognized as the best in the Minors -- not just at their level or in their league.

Pratto, the Royals’ No. 2 prospect and ranked No. 65 on MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 list, has long been known for his defense at first base. Evaluators typically give his glove a 65-70 grade on the 20-80 scouting scale, and Pratto’s athleticism translates well at first base -- while the plus arm that used to fire an upper-80s fastball as a prep is an underrated weapon.

The starting first baseman at the MLB Futures Game during All-Star week this year, Pratto split his 2021 season between Double-A Northwest Arkansas and Triple-A Omaha, playing 113 games and 955 2/3 innings at first base. He only made two errors in 879 chances between the two levels.

Massey, who entered the Royals’ Top 30 list mid-season this year at No. 28, spent the 2021 season at High-A Quad Cities and played a stellar second base. Evaluators note his good range at the position and consistent ability, which should allow him to be an asset there as he reaches the upper levels of the Minors and eventually Kansas City.

The 23-year-old played 680 2/3 innings at second base in 2021, with three errors in 394 chances for a .989 fielding percentage. Massey was the Royals’ fourth-round pick in the 2019 Draft out of Illinois, where he won the American Baseball Coaches Association/Rawlings Gold Glove at second base as a sophomore in ‘18.