10 Future Royals Stars to Watch in Northwest Arkansas this Year
March 14, 2022
The Royals haven’t been looking too regal lately. It’s been a rough couple of years at the K, but don’t worry. KC has one of the best prospects in all of baseball coming up to join Salvy, Whit and Mondesi. Bobby Witt Jr. is probably the best prospect the Roy boys have had since Mike Moustakas was a top 10 amateur back in 2011. It’s unlikely he’ll be back in a Naturals fit anytime soon, though. He’s already penciled in as the starting shortstop in the majors. But, the farm has more to offer, consistently ranked as a top 10 minors system for this season. Let’s take a look at some of the other future Royals stars that could play in NWA this year. If you can’t make it to the game, swing by Big Whiskey’s for some good mood food. If it’s televised, we’ll have it.
Current Level: A+
A big lefty from Texas, Lacy was one of the most feared pitchers in college baseball in 2020 before being drafted by KC at number 4 overall the following year. He already works his fastball up to 97 and has two nasty breaking pitches that miss the bat like a bad guy in Gotham. He could work his way up to Springdale if he can control the zone a bit better.
Frank Mozzicato does not sound like the name of a guy who was in high school last year. It sounds like the name of a guy who played Tony Soprano’s uncle in 2003 but hasn’t gotten too many breaks since. But in this case, it’s a pitcher who threw 4 consecutive no-hitters before he could vote. It’s ambitious to think he’d play in NWA this year, but, ma’donn, who knows.
Frank Mozzicato already has the best curveball in the Royals system 👀
Vinnie P may sound like another character from the Sopranos but this guy does a different kind of hits. He raked last year at .300 even across two levels last year and added 24 dingers to boot. He will be a fun one to watch in Springdale but it looks like he’ll be moving up fast.
Here we go. Vinnie Pasquantino is heating up. He’s 2-2 with a walk and this double today, raising his season average to .278 and season OPS to .771. More walks than strikeouts for him on the season. 🎥:@OMAStormChaserspic.twitter.com/rcjturRRVD
Loftin might have a secret identity as the Philadelphia Flyer mascot because this dude is gritty. He wasn’t drafted out of high school, but put on a show at Baylor and got picked up by the Royals in the first round after his freshman year. He can play tons of positions, he’s a tough out and he’s got a decent set of wheels too. Exactly the kind of grinder the Royals need.
When scouts start comparing someone to Carlos Beltran, you take notice. Peña is only 19 and hasn’t played in the US much thanks to the pandemic, but he’s the kind of player who could be the face of the franchise if he puts it all together. He may not be quite ready for AA this year, but let’s keep our fingers crossed.
We’re big fans of Hoover, Alabama. It’s a great community, it has a Big Whiskey’s, and it’s where Peyton Wilson is from. His older brothers both starred for Alabama in college too. Peyton, a switch-hitter, reminds some folks of current Cardinals shortstop Tommy Edman thanks to his speed, defense and versatility.
Marsh started a handful of games with the Naturals last year with some mixed results thanks to lingering injuries. The Royals think he could be a middle of the rotation starter someday due to his 4-pitch mix and a Betty White fastball that alllllmost gets to a 100, but not quite. If he doesn’t stick in the rotation, he could be Golden out of the pen in Kauffman.
Opposing hitters will always fear change when Hernandez is on the mound. He has one of the best changeups in all of minor league baseball. It sits in the low 80s and fades faster than a baby in a car seat. He pairs it well with a mid-90s fastball and a big slow, looping curve in the 70s. He has a chance to put the K in Kauffman for many years to come.
You will not miss it if Murdock plays for the Naturals this year. He’ll be the giant who walks out there. He’s an intimidating 6’8” on the mound and has an absolute hose for a right arm, regularly hitting the upper 90s. His other stuff is a work in progress, but the team loves his intelligence for pitching. Keep an eye out for this guy, though it won’t be hard to spot him.
If you love strikeouts, this is your guy. Klein has closer stuff and is likely to stick in the ‘pen thanks to a 100+ mph fastball with movement and a slurvy breaking ball to keep hitters off balance. There’s always a chance he adds a changeup and takes a few notches off the fastball to stick in the rotation as well.
Freaking hello Will Klein.
5 more K in 2 scoreless innings tonight for the Royals 2020 5th round pick. 29 pitches, 20 strikes, 15 CSW. pic.twitter.com/X7Eth3J46c