LEXINGTON, Ky. -- The Lexington Legends have announced their 2018 Opening Day roster.
The roster includes 13 pitchers, three catchers, seven infielders and four outfielders. Four of the top five prospects in the Kansas City Royals organization will begin their 2018 campaign in Lexington. The Legends will open their campaign on Thursday night (7:05 p.m.), April 5, at Whitaker Bank Ballpark against Charleston.
“The Legends are thrilled to have some of the top prospects in the Royals organization this season. We expect to have a competitive team with players such as Nick Pratto (pictured), Seuly Matias, MJ Melendez and so many more,” said Legends President/CEO Andy Shea. “We even have homegrown talent in Daniel Tillo, who began his collegiate career at the University of Kentucky. This is shaping up to look like a very exciting season in Lexington.”
The No. 2 prospect in the Royals organization, Nick Pratto, will begin his season in Lexington. Last season with Rookie-Level, AZL Royals, he batted it .247 with 15 doubles, three triples, four home runs and 34 RBI in 52 games. Pratto was a first round pick, and 14th overall, by the Royals in the 2017 Draft.
Outfielder Seuly Matias is the Royals No. 3 prospect and spent last season with the Burlington Royals batting .243 with 13 doubles, three triples, seven home runs and 36 RBI. Matias made his professional debut in the Arizona League at 17 where he tied the league lead in home runs and ranked as the league’s eighth-best prospect.
M.J. Melendez will be behind the plate for the Legends after spending last season in the Rookie-level Arizona League. He is the No. 4 prospect in the Royals system and comes from a baseball background with his father, Mervyl Melendez, as the head coach at Florida International. He was drafted in the second round of the 2017 Draft by the Royals.
Carlos Hernandez spent last season at Rookie-level Burlington, finishing the season 1-4 and 5.49 ERA. Through 62 innings, he allowed 64 hits while striking out 62 and walking 27. His fastball can reach 97 mph and a curveball that can dip to 79 mph.
Former Wildcat pitcher Daniel Tillo will see his first full season action with the Legends. In 2017, he split time between Burlington and the Rookie-level Royals in Arizona. The southpaw finished the season with a 3-2 record and a 4.42 ERA. He struck out 32 batters while walking 6. Tillo was a third round pick by the Royals in the 2017 Draft.
Michael Gigliotti returns to Lexington after an impressive professional debut, which promoted him to be the No. 5 prospect in the Royals organization. He started last season with Advanced-Rookie Burlington and spent the final month of the season in Lexington. He finished 2017 batting .320 with 13 doubles, four triples, four home runs and 38 RBI.
Kansas City Royals Photo