While the Royals stumble as the season winds down, writers and scouts continue to fawn over the progress the team is making at the minor league levels. Baseball America, one of the top news outlets covering the minor leagues, released its final Prospect Hot Sheet of the season last week, a "who's who" of the top 15 prospects in the game.
Five players listed are from the Royals' farm system, four of whom were drafted by the team since Dayton Moore arrived in Kansas City shortly in 2006 (though his regime was not in place for that year's draft).
Mike Moustakas and Eric Hosmer have garnered plenty of attention, but two of the Royals' best arms are also in the mix. Pitcher John Lamb started the season in low Class A Burlington, but pitched well enough to get promoted to high A Wilmington, where he continued to excel. He is currently with the AA Northwest Arkansas Naturals as they face their St. Louis Cardinals counterpart in the Texas League playoffs.
Tim Collins, acquired in July as part of the deal that sent Rick Ankiel and Kyle Farnsworth to the Atlanta Braves, is the only reliever to crack the list. He tallied just 20.1 innings with Omaha, but fanned 21 batters and didn't surrender a single home run. In 2010, he has 108 strikeouts in just 71.1 innings of work, an unusually high rate.
Behind the plate, 19-year-old catcher Wil Myers' stock continues to skyrocket. In his first full season with the organization, he rose quickly from low A Burlington and, like Lamb, was promoted to high A Wilmington. Myers had success right away, and on the season, hit 14 home runs and walked a combined 85 times in 126 games between the two levels. That patience at the plate and sharp eye is something that's been tough for the Royals to come by. For reference, Billy Butler leads the big-league club with 58 walks in 138 games.
Most of these players are still a couple years away from making their presence known in Kansas City, but keep an eye on Moustakas, as talent evaluators believe he'll be at Kauffman Stadium sometime in May of 2011.