July 14, 2024

Top Royals Prospects Shining In Quad City 

Top Royals Prospects Shining In Quad City 

The Minor League System is one of many ups and downs for the organizations and their players. Every team has a list of top prospects in their respective systems that will move up or down as they make their climb to the MLB. When you look down the list of the top talent in the Kansas City Royals there are many that stand out. Let’s take a look at what talent is played well in this system. 

 In Quad City, the double-A affiliate, there are seven of the top 30 players on the field for the River Bandits. These prospects start at the top of the list and end at the number 30 prospect. Players such as Mason Barnett {18th}, Noah Cameron {22nd}, Chandler Chaplain {26th}, Luinder Avila {30th}, and more are on this roster. In this piece, we will discuss three who are playing incredible baseball for the Quad City. We are sure you have a few questions. We have a few as well.  Who are these players? What have they done so far this season? When are they projected to be in Kansas City? We will answer these questions and more. 

Who Are The Top Prospects In Quad City?

 

Gavin Cross

Center Field – #1 Prospect

Gavin Cross comes to the Royals from Virginia Tech. The former Hokie showed why many called him the best hitter for Team USA in 2021.  Cross, the number 9 pick of 2022 and number one prospect for the Royals comes into this season after great success in 2022. The center fielder would play for the rookie team as well as Single-A Columbia Fireflies. The 22-year-old finished playing in 29 games and finished with a .314 average with 34 hits, 24 runs, 7 doubles, 2 triples, and 8 HRs in 109 at-bats. Cross would also have 24 walks, 33 Ks, and 25 RBIs combined for both teams. These stats would lead Cross to the next level to start this season. 

In 2023, Cross has shown why he is the number one prospect by hitting .204 currently. Cross has played in 9 games and has 54 at-bats. In these at-bats, Cross has  9 runs, 11 hits,3 doubles, 1 triple,5 RBIs, and 2 HRs. To further the point on his play, Cross only has 5 walks, 23 Ks, and 2 stolen bases. While the bat of Cross is exciting, the play in the field has the Royals even more excited. 

As mentioned above, Cross mans the center of the outfield for two teams to start his career.. In 2022, Cross played 25 total games for these teams, and out of 60 total chances had 56 put-outs. This, combined with his 6 assists to his 3 errors netted Cross a .967 in the field. While playing for the rookie league, Cross was a perfect 5/5 in total chances to put outs. So far in 2023, Cross played in 14 games and has 29 total chances with 26 putouts. He also has 2 assists and errors in the early season. This computes to a .966 fielding average. Cross will be one to keep an eye on to move up to the Double-A, Northwest Arkansas Naturals, within the next few months. 

Cross is projected to be at the MLB level by the 2025 season. Like most at this level, Cross will make his way through the ranks. Expect Cross to be at the AA level for at least a season before moving his way up. If his early career is any indication, Cross will be a talented player for years to come as long as he can remain on his current track. 

Cayden Wallace

– Third Baseman – #5 Prospect

Former Arkansas Razorback, Cayden Wallace, comes into the 2023 season ranked as the number-five prospect. The third baseman has played well to begin this season as Wallace is batting .313 on the season. Wallace has played in 18 games with 9 runs, 20 hits, 2 doubles, 3 triples, 2 HRs, and 17 RBIs in 66 appearances at the plate. In those at-bats, the second-round draft pick has 13 walks, 17 strikeouts, along with 4 stolen bases. Wallace has an on-base percentage of .430 so far this season. 

Wallace has been solid in the field as well to start 2023. Wallace has great reflexes along with a strong arm. Coming from Arkansas, Wallace had to play the potion at a high level and this shows in his play with the River Bandits. With more reps, Wallace is showing why Kansas City values his glove as much as his bat. 

This, along with the above hitting, is one of the reasons Wallace is projected to be in Kansas City by 2025. He will need some tutelage and reps in the minor league to reach his full potential at the major league level. Wallace should move his way to familiar territory, in Northwest Arkansas, by the end of the season and we fully expect him to flourish at that level. Arvest Ballpark, the home of the double A Naturals, will see a major uptick in attendance when Wallace makes the move up. 

Carter Jensen

– Catcher  – #10 Prospect 

Carter Jensen, the number ten prospect, is a prospect to keep an eye on. The catcher flew threw {pun intended} the single A level, with the Carolina Fireflies, earning Carolina League All-Star and Player of the Year in just his second professional season. Jensen would score 66 runs, 24 doubles, 11 HRs, 50 RBIs, 82 walks, which was third in the league, and 8 stolen bases in 2022. In this season, he would become the first 18-year-old, since 2006, when data was available in the minors, to record at least 10 HRs and 80 walks in a single season. 

In 2023, Jensen is batting .158 with 1 HR, 5 RBIs, and 3 stolen bases. Along with these stats from the plate, Jensen has been impressive behind the plate. The former LSU commit has above-average arm strength combined with quick reflexes and great vision. When it comes to the ceiling of Jensen, his fielding has the Royals eager to see what he can produce moving forward. 

Along with the other two prospects we have mentioned, Jensen is also projected to be in Kansas City by 2025. The fans of Quad City are getting a treat with the talent coming through this season. We have a feeling the Natruals fans mentioned above will be excited about all three. 

What Is Next?

We will be tracking these players all season as well as more on the Naturals. This minor league system is one to keep a lookout for as is loaded with talent. The fanbases in these cities will be able to look back and say they had a chance to see the start of what many, including us, think will be very special careers. 

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