Now that star shortstop Bobby Witt Jr has officially graduated prospect status and entered the big leagues, let's take a look at the Top 10 Prospects for the Kansas City Royals entering 2023, and what you can expect from them this season.
1. Gavin Cross, outfielder
Cross is the 2022 first round pick of the Royals, and can play at all three outfield spots. He is most likely a corner outfielder that has good speed and power, and will climb to the upper levels of the minor leagues in 2023.
2. Tyler Gentry, outfielder
Gentry is incredibly athletic, and coming off a spectacular season where he mashed .326 with 21 home runs. He has also developed his vision, walking at a higher rate, and cutting down on swing and misses. He will be a player to watch closely in spring training, and should make his MLB debut in Kansas City this season.
3. Maikel Garcia, shortstop
Garcia signed with the Royals when he was just 16 years old back in 2016, and he has developed nicely in the six years since. He appeared in nine games for the Royals last year, and is a strong defender with good speed, that makes up for his lackluster power. Garcia is the cousin of former Royals SS Alcides Escobar, and should play a role in the Royals infield this season.
4. Nick Loftin, outfielder/utility
Loftin is a very interesting player, because he has a nice hitting approach and above average speed, but does not necessarily have a permanent position. Drafted as a shortstop, Loftin has played second base and the outfield as well in his career so far. Loftin should get playing time this spring, and could be another MLB debut watch for the Royals.
5. Cayden Wallace, third baseman
Wallace was the second round pick in last season's draft, and made a nice first impression in rookie ball with a 130 wRC+. He has impressive vision and power for his age, being just 21, and showed signs he could be sound enough to play third base long term. Wallace will be continuing his development at the High-A potentially Double-A levels this season.
6. Frank Mozzicato, left handed pitcher
Mozzicato, the seventh overall pick in 2021, was drafted because of what he can be, not necessarily what he is right now. His athletic build and pitching motion shows potential of a future big game ace, however his velocity and control haven't caught up quite yet. Still just 19 years old, Mozzicato will look to take a leap forward in High-A this season.
7. Beck Way, right handed pitcher
Way is one of the most intriguing arms in the Royals system with inticing pitches and an unconventional low arm angle. Acquired in the Andrew Benintendi trade last year, Way throws a fastball in the upper 90s with a punishing slider and changeup combo. The slider is MLB ready, and if the changeup can develop as well, Way will be an interesting player to watch in Double and Triple A this season.
8. Ben Kudrna, right handed pitcher
A second round pick in 2021, Kudrna is a local product from Shawnee Mission Kansas. A tad more polished than Mozzicato, Kudrna has a strong fastball and changeup combination. The next step for him will be getting more swings and misses, as his strikeout rate is below average. He will also be in High-A this season.
9. Carter Jensen, catcher
Jensen has the smallest sample size of anyone on this list, being just a 19 year old that spend most of his career in the organization complex. However, his numbers are eye catching, with a high walk rate and 148 wRC+. Jensen is a statistical monster, with his swing and results consistently ranking in the top 5 of Royals minor leaguers.
10. Angel Zerpa, left handed pitcher
Zerpa spent a good portion of last season with the big league club, and had mixed results much like many young arms on the Royals. His strikeout numbers look sensational and his walk rate isn't a concern, however an ERA approaching 7 and 28 home runs allowed put a dark cloud over his first big league summer. Zerpa has great stuff, with two fastballs, a slider, and a changeup, and will look to crack the Opening Day roster in KC.