OMG: Kansas City Royals
With six players in the Top 50 and a few others who’d be in most Top 100s, it would be understandable if there weren’t many more Royals prospects to talk about after their Top 10 (now up and running on mlb.com).
But there are. Plenty. There are a number of directions you could go in with this OMG (One More Guy), but I’ll stay on the mound with a guy who’s new to the organization…
Jeremy Jeffress, RHP: We all know about his history, so we don’t have to go there again. From all reports, he’s straightened himself out and the Royals did a ton of background work to make sure his makeup wouldn’t be a problem once he joined the Royals. Once they determined they were OK with where he was in his life, they were thrilled to have him come to them as part of that Zack Greinke deal.
Pitching-wise, there’s a lot to like about Jeffress, especially since he’s now a full-time reliever. He’s always had the plus fastball, but that’s even better now that he’s only pitching in short stints. He was hitting triple-digits during his stint in the Arizona Fall League. He’s got an outstanding power breaking ball to go along with it and that’s really all he needs to get big-league hitters out. His stuff is that electric.
His command is still an issue, though. As well as he threw in the AFL, he walked 12 in 11 2/3 innings. That lack of control (along with a lack of a changeup) was a reason many felt he wasn’t destined to be a starter. If he can harness his stuff — and early reports this spring were that he’s refined his command — he’s got future closer written all over him. Starting this year, he could help form a dynamic 1-2 punch at the back end of the Royals bullpen, handing the ball off to All-Star Joakim Soria.