A lot of prospects and future stars are moving into the Royals right now, making this, and I'm guessing, next season a very transitional period for the team. As much as the Royals have rested on the laurels of Salvador Perez, Zack Greinke and Michael Taylor, it's the rookies who are making the most noise, and forming what could be the next stage of the team.
Right now, the Royals have, up in the majors, all of Bobby Witt, Nate Eaton, Nick Pratto, Michael Massey and Drew Waters up in the majors. And they have Max Castillo, one of the prospects they got in the Whit Merrifield deal, starting games. So that's a chunk of their best prospects, and a few people, like Castillo and Waters, who were top prospects in other systems [Waters came over for Jorge Soler]. And they're all up and performing pretty well.
Now, granted, not all of them took to the majors as quickly as Bobby Witt, who's been making excellent plays all week because that's just what he does. Pratto, despite his 7 homers and 19 RBIs, is only hitting .200, but he's been a spark of energy since coming in during the trip to Toronto. Hell, Vinny Pasquantino, who's injured now, makes for, along with Pratto, a surprisingly awesome rookie 1B/DH platoon.
Then you have Eaton, who's already accumulated 1.0 WAR in 22 games, thanks to 5 RBIs and a homer as well as great defensive ball. Eaton could be another foundational piece of this Royals team, along with Witt and Brady Singer, that could stretch this team into the next stage. Meanwhile, Michael Massey is taking starts at 2nd base away from Nicky Lopez, who last year was looking like the 2B for the foreseeable future. Massey's hitting .265 in 32 games, which isn't bad at all. And Waters, while still accumulating himself to the league at only 13 games in, still has 5 RBIs and 9 hits, and still has some of the promise that made him so highly sought-after in Atlanta.
And then you still have a lot of second year guys, like Jonathan Heasley, Dylan Coleman and tall, lanky fireballer Daniel Lynch, who's come into his own this year with 101 Ks in 22 starts, even if his W/L ratio does track knowing the Royals' record. Lynch, Singer, Heasley and Castillo do pave a nice path for the next stage of this rotation. I think they'd all do well given a fuller Royals team, and that may come soon.
It is very cool seeing all the rookies taking over this team and making a care for themselves. It felt like this in late 2011 as well, and we all know how that turned out.
Coming Tomorrow- One of the smoothest rookie relievers of the season, succeeding as his brother has his best season in years.