Everyone is abuzz with the Kansas City Royals talent-laden farm system. The names should be familiar by now: Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Mike Montgomery, Christian Colon. But what about the rest? Who are the unheralded prospects not receiving their due? If you look under the hype of the major players, you'll find there are some other names who should eventually find their way onto the Royals roster -- or some ML team at least.
Here are our Top Five unheralded Royals prospects to keep an eye on as the attention continually turns to the Royals future rather than the disappointing present:
1. Henry Moreno, 1B - Age: 21 - AZL Royals
Guess who's second in slugging percentage for the Royals entire minor league system? You won't guess without looking so I'll go ahead and tell you: Henry Moreno. Sure he's 21 years old and playing in Rookie ball. This is also his second go-around in the league after 30 games in the league last season. But the undrafted free agent had a fine first look in the Dominican Summer League in 2008, and apparently he's adjusting to rookie ball just fine. With a .359 batting average and a .621 slugging clip, Moreno should move up the ladder soon.
2. Louis Coleman, P - Age: 24 - Omaha Royals
The LSU product was listed as a prospect to watch by John Sickels and projected as a fast-rising reliever. That's certainly come true, as he's moved four levels in two seasons. Currently, last year's fifth round pick sits at AAA and has impressed there in his first seven games after dominating in 50+ innings at AA. He should team with Joakim Soria as early as next spring to form a dynamic combo out of the Royals pen.
3. Edgar Osuna, SP - Age: 22 - Northwest Arkansas
No one is talking about Osuna this season, but they should be. The former Rule 5 pick didn't make the Royals and was offered back to the Braves, his original team, but they wouldn't take him. Good thing for Kansas City. The former reliever is now comfortable starting games and is enjoying a nice run at AA with a 2.66 ERA in 16 starts. His SO numbers won't blow you away, but it's his ability to avoid walks that grabs your attention -- averaging 1.1 BB/9.
4. John Lamb, SP - Age: 19 - Wilmington Blue Rocks
The 2008 fifth rounder has received some mentions in the past but is mostly overlooked due to the names around him. This season, Lamb should receive his due after the analysts comb over his 2010 results. With 85 Ks in 70 IP at High A, Lamb is dominating the competition around him. He has a 1.40 ERA in 12 starts and has only allowed one home run in the process. Given his age, he won't see AA until next season, but Lamb should arrive sometime in 2012 given his current rate of ascension.
5. Johnny Giavotella, 2B - Age: 22 - Northwest Arkansas
Taken in the second round in 2008, Giavotella has high hopes from the organization as their second baseman of the future -- even after last year's frustrating season. The speedy second baseman hasn't dominated any level thus far, but that hasn't stopped the Royals from moving him up the ladder. So far, he's handled himself decently at each stop, hitting .296 at AA this season with 13 steals and a .373 OBP. Scouts praise his make-up and he has a "baseball body," if that even means anything. Most are still waiting for the breakout, but Giavotella seems a slow, steady burn.