The Royals should have a big crowd on April 2nd. And not just for the Royals-Angels game scheduled that afternoon:
According to team spokesman Toby Cook, the Royals are planning to hold a minor league exhibition game between its top two minor league affiliates, Class AAA Omaha and Class AA Northwest Arkansas, on April 2 at Kauffman Stadium. The showdown will take place approximately 30 minutes after the Royals conclude their game against the Los Angeles Angles of Anaheim, which is scheduled to start at 12:10 p.m.
With Mike Moustakas, Eric Hosmer, Mike Montgomery and all of the other studs in the Royals system, the question has to be asked whether it wouldn’t be better to start a combined roster of the AAA and AA teams against the Angels that afternoon and let Jeff Francoeur, Melky Cabrera and the current major leaguers play a game that doesn’t count.
ESPN’s Keith Law has released his annual top-100 prospects list. According to Law, Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna is the number one prospect in baseball.
After blazing through High-A and Double-A ball last season, Acuna was the youngest player in Triple-A in 2017. He was 19 years-old all season long and put up a fantastic line of .335/.384/.534 in 486 plate appearances at Double and Triple-A. He then went on to star in the Arizona Fall League, leading that circuit in homers. Law, who is not one to throw hyperbolic comps around, says, “if Acuna stays in center and maxes out his power, he’s going to be among the best players in baseball, with a Mike Trout-ish profile.”
Acuna, who is 20 now, is likely play the bulk of the season in Atlanta, even if he’s kept down at Triple-A for the first couple of weeks of the season to manipulate his service time, er, I mean to allow him to develop his skills more fully. Or something. Given the presence of reigning Gold Glove center fielder Ender Inciarte, Acuna is not likely to man center for the Braves this year, but Law says he’d be a plus right field defender, which could make the Braves outfield Death to Flying Things in 2018. At least when Nick Markakis is not playing.
Number two on the list: Blue Jays third base prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. As law notes, the name may be familiar but he’s not very much like his old man. Mostly because young Vlad can take a walk. Which is better, even if it’s nowhere near as fun as swinging at balls that bounce in the dirt first.
For the other 98, you’ll have to click through.