Nick Pratto

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Nicholas Michael Pratto

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Biographical Information[edit]

First baseman Nick Pratto was the 14th overall selection in the 2017 amateur draft, by the Kansas City Royals out of Huntington Beach High School in California. He was both a pitcher and a position player in high school, and he would have continued as a two-way player had he gone on to college, but the Royals stated they were interested in him strictly as a hitter. The signing scout for the Royals was Rich Amaral. As a youngster, he had been one of the heroes of the Huntington Beach, CA's teams win in the 2011 Little League World Series, stroking the game-winning hit in the finale against Japan. He again stopped Japan in the 2015 U-18 Baseball World Cup. He hit .200/.359/.200 for the tourney and was 2-0 with a 1.26 ERA and 17 K in 14 1/3 IP. He beat Japan in the finale (they had been 8-0 before then). He tied for the tournament lead in wins, was 4th in batters fanned and was named tournament MVP.

He made his professional debut the year he was drafted, with the AZL Royals, hitting .247/.330/.414 in 52 games. In 2018, he was promoted to full-season Class A ball with the Lexington Legends of the South Atlantic League. He played 127 games and put up solid statistics, hitting .280/.343/.443, with 33 doubles, 14 homers and 62 RBIs. He also showed good speed, stealing 22 bases in 27 attempts. He had entered the year as #2 prospect in the Royals' organization and was a mid-season All-Star in the Sally League, and was also named the "Top Star" of the circuit's All-Star Game. He took a big step backwards in 2019, however, as with the Wilmington Blue Rocks of the Carolina League, he fell to .191/.278/.310 in 124 games. He struck out a whopping 164 times with just 80 hits. Still the team won the league title for the first time since 1999 that season and Pratto was the regular first baseman all year in spite of his sub-par production at the plate.

Pratto then was forced to sit out the 2020 season due to the shutdown of the minor leagues by the Coronavirus pandemic, but he did get invited to play at the Royals' alternative training site in Omaha, NE. When spring training started in 2021, he was completely overshadowed by teammate SS Bobby Witt Jr., who threatened to break camp with the Royals after impressing everyone, but the two ended up together in AA with the Northwest Arkansas Naturals, forming half of the infield. Both were named to play for the American League at the 2021 Futures Game, and both were promoted to AAA only days after the game, on July 17th. Pratto was hitting .273 with 15 homers and 43 RBIs and while still striking out a lot, had doubled his walk rate in comparison to his disappointing season with Wilmington two years earlier. He was originally named to participate in the 2022 Futures Game, but before that could happen, he got to make his major league debut when he was one of ten players called up by the Royals on July 14, 2022 as a large number of players on the major league roster were unvaccinated and unable to make the trip to Canada as a result. He started that game against the Toronto Blue Jays at first base, batting sixth, and went 0 for 3 with a walk

Further Reading[edit]

  • Bill Ballew: "Pratto living up to expectations: Royals No. 2 prospect showing his potential in Lexington debut",, May 25, 2018. [1]

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