Prospect Depth Chart – First base and Catcher
These two positions are extremely difficult to find impact talent at and since the Royals recently graduated two players that should become impacts in Eric Hosmer and Salvador Perez it should come to no ones surprise that the Royals are very thin at these two spots.
Cam Gallagher – Taken in the 2nd round of the 2011 draft Cam has played just 62 games thanks in part to wrist/hand injury that limited him to just 34 games in 2012. ¬†Large for a catcher at 6’3 210+ lbs maintaining his agility is going to have to be constant during his minor league career to stay behind the dish. ¬†Defensively Gallagher impressed the pitchers that he worked with in 2012, calling a good game, controlling the running game decently well (26% CS) and receiving the ball well. ¬†On the offensive side of the ball I was impressed by the simplicity of Gallagher’s swing during instructs of 2011. ¬†That simple swing despite his large frame allows him to make contact very easily (11.5% K rate). ¬†As he matures his frame and strength should allow him to hit for power which is valuable as a right-hander and rare at catcher while his hitting ability could give him a shot at first if he can’t hack it behind the dish.
Overall Gallagher has a shot to be a plus plus offensive catcher if he can maintain his defense, if he can’t maintain that defense then obviously the path becomes much more difficult at first base.
Chad Johnson – Taken in the 5th round this year Johnson had a small tie to the Royals catching past as an alum of Galesburg HS in Illinois, the same school that produced 1985 World Series catcher Jim Sundberg. ¬†Taken because of his defensive ability Johnson showed an advanced approach at the plate besting the Arizona league average walk rate by a significant amount (16.9% vs 9.9%). ¬†That plate awareness shows his intelligence which was a significant reason to why he was drafted where he was as he is said to be above his years behind the dish. ¬†Coaches in high school raved about his game calling ability, leadership, soft hands and arm. ¬†Those abilities totally shine through while in Arizona after giving up 9 passed balls in just 37 games, was that due to the pitchers he worked with or was the skill level above his head as a midwest kid from a cold weather area. ¬†That is something to look at in 2013.
Luis Lara – Signed due to his future defensive profile should hit the states in 2013.
Kevin David – Good org guy who pitchers like to throw to.
This position is bare to say it plain and simple. ¬†If Cam Gallagher was a first baseman he would rank as the Royals top first base prospect that hasn’t played in a major league game. ¬†It is those 4 plate appearances that eliminates Clint Robinson from the list.
Brian Fletcher – ¬†I’ll list Fletcher here even though he played outfield at the AA level primarily. ¬†It isn’t likely that Fletcher can make the majors as a first baseman but his hitting prowess shows with the Royals selecting him as their primary Arizona Fall League selection. ¬†A decent approach at the plate with some pop Brian struggled with contact at the AA level, striking out 34.7% of the time. ¬†The bat is the only tool that Fletcher brings to the diamond as he possesses below average speed, rough reads in the outfield and a below average arm leaving him as an org first baseman longterm.
Matt Fields – Good org big power first baseman should be fun to see what he and Ian Gac can combine to do at AA if they split the 1b/DH duties there in 2013.
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