Francis takes over the Hot List's top spot

Nick Francis

Every Monday, Royals Corner publishes our Hot List, ranking the ten hottest prospects in the Royals' minor league system. This week, Burlington outfielder Nick Francis takes top honors after hitting .464 with six extra base hits last week. Francis has been hot all season, breathing life into an otherwise struggling Bees' offense. Who else made the Hot List this week? Look inside to find out.

1. Nick Francis
Francis takes the top spot on the Hot List for the first time this season after a week in which he went 13-for-28 (.464) with five doubles, one home run, and eight RBIs. On the season, the 23-year-old outfielder is hitting .329/.401/.586 with a club-best seven home runs and 13 doubles. His 30 RBIs ranks fourth in the Midwest League, and his .987 OPS ranks third.

2. Mike Moustakas
It was another great week for Moustakas, who returns to the Hot List after barely missing last week. Moose went 12-for-31(.387) with a pair of doubles, a homer, and seven RBIs last week, and he entered this week with a season line of .292/.324/.484 with a team-best seven home runs and 34 RBIs. The 20-year-old third baseman has hit safely in 14 of his last 15 games, and he is among the Carolina League leaders in home runs and RBIs.

3. Brian McFall
McFall arrives on the Hot List for the first time this season after hitting .348 last week (8-for-23) with two home runs and seven RBIs. The converted 1B/DH is hitting .315 with three home runs over his last 10 games, and entering Monday's doubleheader, his season line was up to .272/.346/.485 with six home runs and 31 RBIs.

4. Brayan Pena
Once Pena was returned to Triple-A Omaha, it didn't take him long to make the Hot List. Pena checks in at number four this week after going 8-for-22 (.364) with three home runs and five RBIs last week. Pena has been splitting time between playing catcher and left field, and through 17 games with the O-Royals, he's hitting .333/.385/.569 with four home runs and 16 RBIs.

5. Everett Teaford
Teaford returns to the Hot List after a week in which he made two starts, winning both. He pitched 12.1 innings, surrendering just two earned runs on five hits and a walk while striking out 10. The two starts last week give him four quality starts in a row, and on the season, the 25-year-old southpaw is 5-1 with a 2.60 ERA in 45 innings pitched. Teaford has struck out 34 batters thus far while walking just seven, and the Carolina League is hitting just .222 against him.

6. Adrian Ortiz
Adrian Ortiz makes the Hot List for the first time this season after hitting .391 (9-for-23) last week with two runs scored and three RBIs. The speedy Pepperdine product struggled a bit out of the gate, but the recent hot stretch has bumped his overall line to .282/.299/.321. Ortiz also stole two bases last week, and he's now swiped six bases this season while being caught just once.

7. Chris Hayes
The submariner Hayes finds himself back on the Hot List after making three more scoreless appearances last week. He pitched 3.1 innings, surrendering just one hit and no walks while striking out two and picking up his second save of the season. Entering Monday's action, Hayes has gone nine straight appearances without allowing an earned run (dating back to April 25), and on the season he is 3-0 with a sparkling 0.68 ERA. The Texas League is hitting just .206 against him.

8. Jeff Bianchi
Bianchi remains at number eight on our list after another solid week. The Wilmington shortstop went 8-for-26 (.308) last week with a home run, a pair of doubles, a stolen base, and four RBIs. On the season, Bianchi is hitting .309/.367/.461 with 12 doubles, three home runs, nine stolen bases, and 20 RBIs, an excellent improvement over last season's numbers.

9. Kurt Mertins
Mertins makes his first appearance on the Hot List this season after going 8-for-22 (.364) last week with two doubles, a triple, and six RBIs. The 23-year-old infielder has been steady at the plate this season in his first crack at Double-A, and he entered Monday's doubleheader hitting a respectable .279/.348/.379.

10. David Wood
For most of the season, the Bees' offense has been carried by Francis and Nick Van Stratten, but David Wood has also been swinging a hot bat lately. Pressed into outfield duty this season, Wood arrives on the Hot List after hitting .370 (10-for-27) last week with a double and four RBIs. On the season, the 24-year old is hitting .301/.369/.452 with two home runs, six doubles, and 14 RBIs.




PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK:

On May 20, Tim Melville made his long-awaited professional debut for the Burlington Bees, taking the mound against South Bend. The young right-hander did not disappoint, delivering six strong innings while scattering two hits and a walk and allowing just one run. Melville struck out a pair of batters, including the first hitter of the game.

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