Less than a year after dispatching outfielder Wil Myers, the consensus 2012 minor-league player of the year, to Tampa Bay in a franchise-altering trade, the Royals still possess one of the game’s top farm systems.
According to Baseball America, anyway.
The magazine annually ranks the top 20 prospects in each league throughout the minors. It then crunches its own numbers by assigning weights to those rankings to compile an overall organizational strength.
The Royals finished tied for fifth in those rankings with the Chicago Cubs. Interestingly, the Boston Red Sox, who stand one victory away from a World Series title, ranked No. 1.
Houston, San Diego and Texas ranked second through fourth. Minnesota was the second-highest-rated club in the American League Central Division at No. 7. Milwaukee ranked last.
Baseball America, in these rankings, labeled right-handed pitcher Kyle Zimmer as the Royals’ top prospect, followed by right-hander Yordano Ventura, shortstop Raul Adalberto Mondesi and right-handers Jason Adam and Miguel Almonte.
The Star also recently ranked Zimmer, Ventura and Mondesi as the system’s three best prospects.
Overall, Baseball America cited 14 Royals prospects in its various Top 20 rankings for each minor league. Ventura was cited in two leagues:
• One player from Omaha in the Class AAA Pacific Coast League: Ventura at No. 10.
• Four players from Northwest Arkansas in the Class AA Texas League: No. 3 Ventura, No. 8 Adam, No. 18 shortstop Orlando Calixte and No. 20 third baseman Cheslor Cuthbert.
• Two players from Wilmington in the Hi-A Carolina League: No. 2 Zimmer and No. 11 outfielder Jorge Bonifacio.
• Three players from Lexington in the Lo-A South Atlantic League: No. 4 Mondesi, No. 6 Almonte and No. 19 outfielder Bubba Starling.
• Four players from Idaho Falls in the short-season Pioneer League: No. 1 third baseman Hunter Dozier, No. 11 outfielder Elier Hernandez, No. 13 catcher Zane Evans and No. 14 left-handed pitcher Cody Reed.
• One player from Surprise in the Arizona Rookie League: No. 16 first baseman Samir Duenez.