Prospect Spotlight: Tyler Gentry, OF, Kansas City Royals
The Kansas City Royals are as of this writing, entering 2023 with some combination of Edward Olivares, Drew Waters, Hunter Dozier, and Kyle Isbel as their corner outfielders, none of who are predicted to finish with a WAR higher than one. Opportunity knocks, and it’s quite possible Tyler Gentry opens that door and runs through it.
Undrafted out of high school, Gentry attended the University of Alabama. After a very solid sophomore season, his junior season was cut short due to covid, but until it was canceled, Gentry was on fire; slashing .429/.554/.750 in 17 games. 17 homers in his two college seasons belies some power. A third-round draft choice (76th overall) from the five-round 2020 draft; he is an above-average fielder suited for one of the corner outfield spots. His hit tool is rated lower on FanGraphs (30/45) compared to mlb.com (50), but he has shown the ability to hit for average and power so far in his short minor-league career.
His professional debut season (2021) was promising but ended prematurely with knee injuries, which should not be forgotten when looking at the overall picture. 2022 could not have gone much better; across Single-A and Double-A Gentry put together a line of .326/.422/.542 with 21 homers and ten steals across 483 plate appearances. That performance put him on the Royals’ future team map, and they sent him to the Arizona Fall League for more at-bats. Although, the Arizona fall league was not kind to Gentry, as he slashed a poor .139/.244/.333 in 41 plate appearances. Often, we are told not to look too deeply at the stats that come from the AFL, so let’s do that here.
Where Gentry starts in 2023 will tell us a lot about if we will see him in the bigs in 2023 or 2024. He finished the 2022 season at Double-A, and if he returned there in 2023, he may end at Triple-A, if all things go well. As we haven’t seen Gentry struggle yet (remember, we are writing off the AFL). As he’s not a 20-year-old prospect that may sour some on his upside; but a major league regular that can go 25/10 and .270/.330/.420 with room to grow has a spot on most Dynasty rosters. Gentry’s solid walk rates above 10% thus far, and an improving strikeout rate (down to 19% in Double-A), show that growth is possible.
Before last season, he was not found on any top industry prospect lists, even the ones that go 500 players deep. So, he was an in-season add in most leagues. That can make them more acquirable, based on the psychology of value, where, a guy we drafted we are more protective about/tied to, where guys we added from the waiver wire, for free, are less valuable to us. Maybe because we have not nurtured them from draft to joining our big-league rosters. He is rostered in all my Dynasty leagues, so maybe you can convince his manager that the AFL stats really mean something and get him for a deal. In a startup, I wouldn’t hesitate to draft him in leagues’ that have 10+ minor league spots.
|30 / 45
|35 / 50
|50 / 55
|55 / 55
|50 / 55
You can watch Gentry’s swing, and see its consistency, with a decent toe tap, and as he leans back has excellent follow-through.