So I am going to begin my top prospect countdown. It was hard for me to decide how many prospects to include and the Royals system is so deep that I really didn't want to leave guys off so I have decided (at this point) to do individual profiles for the top 50 players, but to also give rank all the way to the 70 slot. The system is so deep that even going this far I might leave off a few guys that could have deserved a mention, but at some point I have to cut it off. I know that I am going to later regret such a long list. But oh well. So let's start the countdown with 70-66.
70. Eduardo Paulino RHP
Paulino is a guy that has consistently performed well year in and year out. He was a very valuable member of the Naturals rotation in the first half of the year when they won the first half championship. But as the top prospects started flooding into Springdale Paulino was pushed into a bullpen role. He was unprotected on the 40 man roster and his stuff is fringe but the guy has a 3.57 career era. Unfortunately his walk rate doubled in his first double A stint and with such great talent in the organization he will probably not reach the Majors in Royal blue. But I do believe that his career plateau is higher then Double A.
69. Mario Santiago RHP
Much like Paulino Santiago has been successful in the minor leagues but has never been young enough for those stats to get people too excited. He was twenty-five this season in double A and had a solid year in Springdale followed by a very good showing in the winter leagues with rumors that his newly found cutter was inducing a ton of ground balls. His name thrown around as a potential Rule Fiver, but that moment never came and he remains in the organization. I think Santiago could start the year in Omaha, or he will be in the bullpen because there won't be room for him in the Naturals rotation.
68. Rey Navarro SS
Navarro came to the organization for Carlos Rosa early in the 2010 season. Navarro hasn't done much as a professional with the bat, but he did enter the 2010 season rated as the number 12 prospect in the Diamondbacks organization. Think about that for a moment, when Navarro was acquired he was perhaps the top shortstop prospect in the organization. Now he is nothing more than a lottery ticket that has hit a wall in high A. Navarro is still just twenty year old, so that is a positive. He also has plus range and an average arm. Going into the year Baseball America thought that he would one day become a quality defender that could hit in the bottom portion of an order. After struggling for another season he should return to Wilmington for 2011. It'll be a critical year for Navarro but if he can show that he can hit he'll become an interesting prospect again.
67. Carlo Testa OF
Testa has a career minor league OPS of .855 and plays in one of the more bare spots in the entire organization. I have never seen Testa play live other than a few batting practice cuts in Spring Training, but per scouting reports he has solid tools all across the board and judging by his stats he does a decent job drawing walks but also strikeouts more than his fair share. Testa is old for his level so he can't afford a slip up. He should start in Wilmington in 2011; there it'll be critical that he doesn't struggle in his first trip to Frawley Stadium.
66. Henry Barrera RHP
I had the pleasure of watching Barrera this season in Springdale and I can tell you that he has one of the strangest deliveries in all of baseball. It is borderline illegal, but involves him taking what appears to be the second half of a crow-hop toward the plate as he starts his delivery. Perhaps as a result of this his low 90s heat tends to get on hitters quicker than would typically be expected. Over the past couple of seasons Barrera has been a dominant reliever. So dominant in fact that the Royals elected to protect on the 40-man a year ago, because they thought he could be selected in the Rule 5 draft. I think Barrera has a puncher's chance to make the Big League Bullpen out of Spring Training in 2011.