Mertins tops this week's Hot List

Every Monday, Royals Corner publishes our Hot List, ranking the 10 hottest prospects in the Royals' minor league system. This week, NW Arkansas' Kurt Metins tops the list after hitting a blistering .545 on the week. Who else made the Hot List this week? Look inside to find out. Also be sure to see who Royals Corner readers voted as the Organization's Pitcher and Player of the Month for May.

1. Kurt Mertins
Mertins leaps to the top of the Hot List after a blistering week in which he hit .545 (12-for-22) with four doubles, eight runs scored, and six RBIs. The 23-year-old infielder has had multiple hits in a remarkable eight straight games, boosting his overall season line to an impressive .306/.366/.409.

2. Jarrod Dyson
Dyson returned to the Burlington Bees after serving a 50-game suspension during the season's first two months, but it didn't take him long to make an impact. The speedy outfielder hit .478 (11-for-23) in his first week back with eight runs scored, a triple, a pair of doubles, and six stolen bases while batting atop the Bees' lineup.

3. Jordan Parraz
Parraz is another guy who never seems to cool off. The 24-year-old outfielder had another great week, mashing to the tune of a .464 batting average (13-for-28) with four doubles, five RBIs, and a stolen base. Over his last 10 games, Parraz is hitting a cool .465, and his season line is now up to .353/.447/.491 with 14 doubles, two home runs, and 31 RBIs.

4. Jose Duarte
After spending a couple of weeks with Triple-A Omaha, Duarte was returned to NW Arkansas, and he's been on fire ever since. He hit .450 last week (9-for-20) with six walks, seven runs scored, and a pair of doubles. In 33 games for the Naturals this season, the young outfielder is hitting .281/.392/.336 with eight stolen bases.

5. Danny Duffy
Duffy's only start last week was on Saturday, but the young southpaw turned in another solid outing, his third straight quality start. He shut out Lynchburg over six innings of work, allowing just two hits and three walks while striking out five batters. On the season, Duffy is 5-2 with a 2.66 ERA, and he's struck out 58 batters in 61 innings of work. The Carolina League is hitting just .214 against him. He was named to the Carolina League's All-Star team last week.

6. Nick Van Stratten
Van Stratten remains on the Hot List after another stellar week for the Bees. The scrappy outfielder hit .389 last week (7-for-18) with four runs scored, two RBIs, and three stolen bases. The KC native is hitting .364 over his last ten games, and on the season he carries an impressive line of .343/.414/.470. Last week, he was named as a starting outfielder in the Midwest League All-Star Game.

7. Everett Teaford
Teaford won his only start last week, pitching six strong innings while striking out seven batters and allowing just four hits, three walks, and two earned runs. It was his sixth straight quality start, a streak that stretches all the way back to April 30. On the season, Teaford is 6-1 with a 2.68 ERA in 57.0 innings pitched. He has struck out 45 batters while surrendering just 12 walks and 46 hits. Teaford will join rotation mate Duffy on the Carolina League All-Star team, the second straight season he's earned that distinction.

8. Lenny DiNardo
Southpaw Lenny DiNardo joined the O-Royals' rotation in late April, and he's been very solid ever since. He makes his Hot List debut this week after another stellar outing on June 4, in which he pitched 7.2 innings while striking out nine batters and allowing just one earned run on five hits and no walks. DiNardo has a 2.64 ERA as a starter this year, and overall he is 4-1 with a 3.02 ERA in 59.2 innings pitched.

9. Tug Hulett
Hulett returned to Triple-A on June 4 after spending a couple of weeks with the big league club, and he picked up right where he had left off. The infielder hit .444 (8-for-18) with five doubles, three walks, and a pair of RBIs. On the season, Hulett is hitting .309/.381/.480 with 16 doubles and a club-best 34 RBIs.

10. Rowdy Hardy
It took him awhile, but Hardy finally makes an appearance on the Hot List after an excellent week. The converted submariner made two appearances – including one start – last week, pitching nine shutout innings while striking out nine batters and allowing nine hits and just two walks. He got a no decision in his start on Sunday despite pitching well, and on the season his ERA is now down to 3.38 after a rough start.



MAY'S PLAYER AND PITCHER OF THE MONTH:

Royals Corner readers selected Kila Kaaihue and Chris Hayes as the Organizational Player and Pitcher of the Month for May. Ka'aihue hit .299/.434/.557 on the month with 10 doubles, five home runs, 14 RBIs, and 19 runs scored. In an online poll, the big first baseman picked up 51 percent of the vote, easily finishing ahead of fellow nominees Van Stratten, Parraz, David Lough, and Eric Hosmer.

Hayes prevailed in a closer vote, edging Duffy by just eight votes out of 71 total votes cast. On the month, the right-handed submariner made nine appearances covering 21 innings, allowing just 13 hits and four walks while striking out nine batters. More importantly, Hayes didn't yield an earned run all month, giving him a perfect 0.00 ERA. Also nominated were Teaford, DiNardo, and Bryan Casey.


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