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Royals to Call Up Their No. 5 Prospect Loftin (Sources)

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By Anne Rogers, Covering the Royals for mlb.com

 

KANSAS CITY — The Royals are calling up their No. 5 prospect, Nick Loftin, sources told MLB.com on Thursday.

The 24-year-old infielder will join the Royals in Kansas City on Friday for their series opener against the Red Sox, and his first appearance will be his Major League debut. Rosters expand from 26 to 28 players — one position player and one pitcher — on Friday. The Royals will still have to make a 40-man roster move for Loftin, though.

Loftin was the No. 32 overall pick in the 2020 Draft out of Baylor. He’s slashing .270/.344/.444 for a .788 OPS across 82 games in Triple-A this year. Since coming back from a knee injury on July 15 that saw him miss a month and a half, Loftin has a .745 OPS with a 90 wRC+.

The utility infielder is known for his contact-oriented approach at the plate and occasional power, and he grades as a plus runner. Loftin has 47 stolen bases in his Minor League career, although only seven have come this season. His knee injury earlier in the year might have limited him on the basepaths.

Loftin is reliable on defense and can play in the infield and at the corner-outfield spots, mainly playing at second base and third this year. Recently, he’s played some left field and even first base, giving the Royals versatility to get him in the lineup.

It remains to be seen how much playing time Loftin will receive, especially with shortstop Bobby Witt Jr., third baseman Maikel Garcia and second baseman Michael Massey playing every day, but the Royals view Loftin as a potential key piece for their future. September is a good chance for him to get his first shot at the Majors and show what he can do.

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