Opinion

Royals On The Farm: Jorge Bonifacio’s power didn’t come from older brother Emilio

Jorge Bonifacio during a spring-training game in March.
Jorge Bonifacio during a spring-training game in March. jsleezer@kcstar.com

The Royals opted against raiding its minor-league system as Monday’s trade deadline expired. They declined to restock it either.

Their only trade involved sending 27-year-old outfielder Brett Eibner to Oakland on Saturday in exchange for an outfielder one year younger: Billy Burns.

Unlike last year, when four promising left-handed pitching prospects were dealt to aid a World Series run, any reinforcements this year will come from the farm.

Three of their top 10 prospects rated by Baseball America prior to this season have already reached the majors — Raul Mondesi, Matt Strahm and Cheslor Cuthbert.

So who’s next?

(Statistics through Wednesday’s games.)

Class AAA Omaha

Wherever Jorge Bonifacio got his power from, it probably wasn’t his older brother.

In 105 games this season with the Storm Chasers, Jorge Bonifacio has hit 16 home runs.

In 804 career games in the minors, Emilio Bonfacio has 13 homers. He also has 13 in the majors in 784 career games.

On Wednesday at Memphis, Jorge Bonifacio hit a two-out grand slam in the top of the 10th inning in a 6-4 win. Bonifacio, a 23-year-old outfielder, is hitting .278 this season with 16 home runs and 69 RBIs.

Since returning to the Storm Chasers on July 27, second baseman Whit Merrifield is hitting .303 (10 for 33) with eight runs scored.

Third baseman Hunter Dozier hit .323 (32 for 99) in July with six home runs, 15 RBIs and 23 runs scored.

Class AA Northwest Arkansas

Second baseman Corey Toups posted a .322/.376/.556 slash line in July with four home runs, 18 RBIs and seven stolen bases. He recorded at least one hit in 20 of 23 games.

Right-hander Jake Junis had a season-high nine strikeouts Wednesday but allowed three runs in six innings of a 3-1 loss to Arkansas. He leads the Texas League with 117 strikeouts and is third with a 3.25 ERA.

Catcher Cam Gallagher is hitting .314 with three home runs in his last 10 games.

Class A Wilmington (Advanced)

First baseman Samir Duenez continues to thrive against Carolina League pitching with a .425 average in his last 10 games. A 20-year-old Venezuelan, Duenez is hitting .313 in 39 games with the Blue Rocks after hitting .272 in 68 games with Class A Lexington.

While he continues to strike out in an alarming 32.8 percent of his at-bats, center fielder Brandon Downes has made some strides offensively as of late. In his last 10 games, the former seventh-round pick is hitting .417 to raise his average to .241 this season. He also has eight strikeouts during that stretch, adding to his league-leading total of 141.

Catcher Luis Villegas hit his first two homers of the season and drove in five runs Wednesday against the Salem Red Sox.

Reliever Jake Newberry has a 2.00 ERA with 41 strikeouts in 45 innings.

Class A Lexington

Left-hander Emilio Ogando pitched his finest game in nearly two seasons with the Legends on July 30, allowing just one hit with six strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings at Charleston. Ogando, a former 12th-round pick, is 6-9 with a 3.71 ERA in 106  2/3 innings.

Shortstop Travis Maezes is tied for ninth in the South Atlantic League with 12 home runs. The former 12th-round pick out of Michigan is only hitting .225 in his first season in the minors.

Second baseman D.J. Burt is tied for third in the league with 34 stolen bases.

Rookie Idaho Falls

The Chukars return from a three-day all-star break today at Great Falls.

Catcher Meibrys Viloria (1 for 3) and third baseman Manny Olloque (0 for 2) represented the Pioneer League in an 11-5 loss to the Northwest League on Tuesday in Ogden, Utah.

Rookie Burlington

Cristian Castillo entered his first season of professional baseball in the United States as a relatively-unknown prospect. That may not be the case next year.

Castillo, a left-hander, pitched the first nine-inning shutout in the Appalachian League in three years Friday against the Pulaski Yankees. The 21-year-old from Monterrey, Mexico, needed just 94 pitches and struck out a season-high 11 batters while holding the Yankees to two baserunners in an 11-0 victory. He was named the Appalachian League’s pitcher of the week on Tuesday.

Castillo leads the league with a 0.91 WHIP and is ninth with a 3.07 ERA in 44 innings.

Garrett Davila, the heralded 19-year-old lefty, lowered his league-leading ERA to 2.33 with a one-run outing July 30.

Former UCLA outfielder Kort Peterson, a 23rd-round pick in June’s draft, is hitting .415 in his last 10 games.

Arizona Rookie League Royals

Third baseman John Brontsema is hitting .579 (22 for 38) in his last 10 games. Brontsema, a 26th-round draft pick out of UC Irvine, leads the team with a .376 average in 29 games.

First baseman Robby Rinn is hitting .357 in his last 10 games.

Jeff Patterson: 816-234-4767, @jeffpatt_KC

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