On his ESPN.com blog, Keith Law picked the six best places to watch elite prospects this season.
Mr. Celery will be glad to know that topping the list is Wilmington, Del., home to the Royals’ Class A-advanced team, the Blue Rocks.
The list of Blue Rocks players includes a many of the top Royals’ top prospects: Bubba Starling, Raul Mondesi, Hunter Dozier, Cam Gallagher, Zane Evans, Terrance Gore, Miguel Almonte, Christian Binford and Sean Manaea.
So it was a good sign Thursday when Wilmington opened its season with a 3-1 victory at Winston-Salem.
Mondesi got things going with a one-out bunt single in the third inning and he took second on an error. After an out, Dozier’s single got Mondesi home.
Two innings later, Daniel Rockett lead off with a walk. After two strikeouts, Dozier doubled home Rockett. Dozier scored when Evans doubled to make it 3-0.
Almonte started and allowed just one hit and no runs in 5 2/3 innings. He walked two and struck out three.
J.J. Cooper of Baseball America was at the game and tweeted that Almonte’s fastball reached 96 mph, his change-up was good.
“Almonte’s curveball is clearly his third pitch but he broke off one nasty one and generally used it as decent surprise pitch,” Cooper tweeted.
Mark Peterson walked one and had a strikeout in a scoreless ninth inning as he got his first save.OTHER GAMES
• Class AA Northwest Arkansas had a fine start at Frisco. After Matt Harrison, the Rangers starter who is on a rehab assignment, got the first two batters of the game, Jorge Bonifacio doubled, Cheslor Cuthbert tripled and Jared Schlehuber doubled to stake the Naturals to a 2-0 lead. Northwest Arkansas starter Jason Adam allowed two in the second inning. In the third inning, Whit Merrifield had a leadoff double. Then came the rains, which forced a postponement on the game. The teams will play two seven-inning games today.
• Fred Ford hit a two-run homer in the second inning as Class A Lexington held a 2-1 lead after two innings against West Virginia. Then it began raining and the game will be completed today.
• Class AAA Omaha never got started as its game at Nashville was postponed before play began.