SURPRISE, Ariz. | Add another bouquet to the glowing compliments showered on the Royals for the deep collection of talent in their farm system.
Baseball America cited nine Royals among the game’s top 100 prospects, a record for any team, in rankings released Wednesday on its website. The Royals also received the highest class score in the rankings’ 22-year history.
“It’s fair to say that this year’s Royals prospect class is among the best we’ve seen,” managing editor J.J. Cooper said. “In the 22 years of Baseball America’s Top 100 Prospects list, we've never before had a team place nine players in the Top 100.
“We’ve also never had a team place five prospects in the Top 20.”
First baseman Eric Hosmer ranked eighth, followed by third baseman Mike Moustakas (No. 9), outfielder Wil Myers (No. 10), left-handed pitcher John Lamb (No. 18) and left-handed pitcher Mike Montgomery (No. 19).
Shortstop Christian Colon was No. 51; left-handed pitcher Danny Duffy was No. 68; right-handed pitcher Jake Odorizzi was No. 69; and left-handed pitcher Chris Dwyer was No. 83.
“Aaron Crow just missed making the list,” Cooper said, “and Jeremy Jeffress, Brett Eibner and Tim Collins all received mentions when we were putting together our Top 100.”
Baseball America declared the Royals’ current class to the best in the list’s history after assigning a point value to each pick over the 22 years — 100 points for a No. 1 prospect down to one point for a No. 100 prospect.
The Royals finished with 574 points, which topped the previous best of 541 points by the 2006 Arizona Diamondbacks, who had Justin Upton, Stephen Drew, Conor Jackson, Carlos Quentin, Chris Young and Carlos Gonzalez.
The 2000 Florida Marlins rank third with 472 points, followed by the 2008 Tampa Bay Rays at 466, and the 1999 Marlins at 441.
“It gives you a little energy boost,” assistant general manager J.J. Picollo said. “It’s a compliment to our scouts and our people in player development for the work they’ve put in over the last five years.
“We’re starting to see some positive signs.”