With the minor league season officially wrapped up, it’s time to look back at the each organization’s top tools. Note: only everyday players with 250+ plate appearances, starting pitchers with 80+ innings, and relievers with 40+ innings were considered. For more Top MiLB Tools click here.
Kansas City Royals Top Prospects for 2013
Hit Tool: Raul Mondesi, SS
Power: Bubba Starling, CF
Eye: Jorge Bonifacio, RF
Base Stealer: Terranco Gore, LF/CF
K-Ability: Yordano Ventura, RHP
Control: Mark Binford, RHP
Best Hit Tool: More projection than anything right now, but the 17-year-old Raul Mondesi was essentially a league average bat while playing against much older competition in the South Atlantic League.
Best Power: On the outset, this season looks like a disappointment for outfielder Bubba Starling, who batted .241/.329/.398. But the former first rounder showed some impressive developmental steps, though, including maintaining a strong walk rate, cutting his K-rate by nearly five percentage points, and showing solid-average pop (38 extra-base hits) with the potential to develop into above-average down the line.
Best Plate Discipline: An injury-shortened season for Jorge Bonifacio, but the 20-year-old still managed to hit .298/.372/.429 in 88 games. Bonifacio, who’s sporting a career BB-rate at just over 8.5%, walked in more than 10% of his plate appearances this season, a strong developmental step forward considering his age and level of competition.
Best Base Stealer: Through 224 career games, outfielder Terrance Gore has totaled 121 stolen bases in just 131 attempts, a 92.4% success rate. The problem, however, is he hit .215/.334/.242 with Lexington, an age-appropriate level of competition.
Best Ability to Miss Bats: Kansas City features a dynamic tandem of pitching prospects – Kyle Zimmer and Yordano Ventura – both of which have above-average to plus-ability to miss bats. The nod, however, goes to the diminutive Ventura, who punched out 155 of the 564 (27.5%) hitters he faced this season.
Best Control: A late round pick two years ago, the 6-foot-6 Mark Binford showed some promising ability as a 20-year-old in the South Atlantic League. Binford, a 30th round pick, struck out nearly a batter per inning and issued just 25 walks in 135 innings.
Photo of Raul Mondesi Courtesy of Mary Lay/Lexington Legends via MiLB.com.