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November 19, 2010

Future Shock

Kansas City Royals Top 11 Prospects

by Kevin Goldstein

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Previous Rankings: 2010 | 2009 | 2008

System In 20 Words Or Less: Though 2009 first-rounder Aaron Crow fell flat, seemingly every other prospect in the system takes one massive leap forward.

Five-Star Prospects
1. Mike Moustakas, 3B
2. John Lamb, LHP
3. Eric Hosmer, 1B
4. Wil Myers, C
5. Mike Montgomery, LHP
Four-Star Prospects
6. Chris Dywer, LHP
7. Danny Duffy, LHP
8. Christian Colon, SS
Three-Star Prospects
9. Johnny Giavotella, 2B
10. Tim Collins, LHP
11. Robinson Yambati, RHP

Nine More:
12. Chelsor Cuthbert, 3B: The Nicaraguan showed impressive hitting and glove work in his pro debut.
13. Yordano Ventura, RHP: This undersized teenager has plus-plus velocity and impressive command.
14. Brett Eibner, OF: Eibner has above-average power, speed, and arm strength to go with questions about his bat.
15. Jason Adam, RHP: Signed with an over-slot ($800,000) bonus, this fifth-round pick has size, stuff, and projection.
16. Aaron Crow, RHP: He struggled in his debut; he has good stuff, but his command is a mess.
17. Louis Coleman, RHP: This long, angular reliever should be in the big leagues this year.
18. Derrick Robinson, OF: Robinson is a true burner and a better hitter than Jarrod Dyson.
19. Will Smith, LHP: Smith is a pure finesse pitcher with questions about how well his stuff will play at the upper levels.
20. Salvador Perez, C: This outstanding defender made nice progress with his bat; he could move up next year.

1. Mike Moustakas, 3B
DOB
: 9/11/88
Height/Weight: 5-11/230
Bats/Throws: L/R
Drafted/Signed: First round, 2007, Chatsworth HS (CA)
2010 Stats: .347/.413/687 at Double-A (66 G); .293/.314/.564 at Triple-A (52 G)
Best/Worst Tool: Power/speed

Year in Review: The second overall pick in 2007 was the biggest of many explosions in the Royals' system, tying for the minor-league lead with 36 home runs despite missing the first two weeks of the season with an oblique strain.
The Good: No player in the minors can match Moustakas' bat speed. He can easily allow balls to travel deep in the zone and then crush them with a swing that gets the barrel of the bat into the zone quickly while leaving it there for a long time. Beyond his plus-plus power due to strength and tremendous wrists, he's also an excellent pure hitter who had more extra-base hits (77) than strikeouts (67) in 484 at-bats. He's made improvements at third base, where his plus-plus arm is a true weapon.
The Bad: Moustakas is short, thick, and bow-legged, which had many teams tempted to try him as a catcher out of high school. He's a slow runner and his range at third base is greatly reduced by his lack of athleticism. He's such a good hitter that he rarely works the count.
Ephemera: While Chatsworth High has produced plenty of big-leaguers, including former Red Sox great Dwight Evans, it is also the alma mater of Marlins general manager Larry Beinfest.
Perfect World Projection: He could be an All-Star third baseman and home-run title contender.
Fantasy Impact: He's a big, big fantasy star who does everything but steal bases.
Path to the Big Leagues: Wilson Betemit's surprising 2010 showing will likely block Moustakas, but only temporarily.
ETA: Mid-2011.

2. John Lamb, LHP
DOB
: 7/10/90
Height/Weight: 6-3/195
Bats/Throws: L/L
Drafted/Signed: Fifth round, 2008, Laguna Hills HS (CA)
2010 Stats: 1.58 ERA (40.0-26-17-43) at Low-A (8 G); 1.45 ERA (74.2-59-15-90) at High-A (13 G); 5.45 ERA (33.0-37-13-26) at Double-A (7 G)
Best/Worst Tool: Fastball/curveball

Year in Review: The potential breakout candidate proved to be just that with a dominant showing at the two A levels before running out of gas in the Texas League.
The Good: One scout called Lamb “simply the best left-handed starting prospect in the minors.” He's an aggressive, athletic pitcher with three potential plus pitches, beginning with a 92-94 mph fastball that he effortlessly spots in all four quadrants of the strike zone. His changeup falls off the table and gives him a second swing-and-miss offering, while his curveball flashes plus at times. He throws all of his pitches for strikes in any count, and he knows how to set up opposing hitters.
The Bad: Lamb's curveball can flatten out, and his fastball is often a bit too straight for some. After pitching less than 70 innings in 2009, he was clearly tired toward the end of the year, but it's not a long-term concern.
Ephemera: With just 26 wins, Seth McClung is the surprising all-time leader among players selected 145th overall and the only pitcher in double digits.
Perfect World Projection: He's a front-line big-league starter.
Fantasy Impact: Significant.
Path to the Big Leagues: Lamb will begin the year as just another guy at Double-A Northwest Arkansas, expected to be one of the most prospect-laden rosters in recent memory. He also could be the first of the high-ceiling arms to reach the big leagues.
ETA: Late 2011.

3. Eric Hosmer, 1B
DOB
: 10/24/89
Height/Weight: 6-4/215
Bats/Throws: L/L
Drafted/Signed: First round, 2008, American Heritage HS (FL)
2010 Stats: .354/.429/.545 at High-A (87 G); .313/.365/.615 at Double-A (50 G)
Best/Worst Tool: Bat/speed

Year in Review: The minor leagues' biggest disappointment in 2009 turned everything around following off-season LASIK surgery, suddenly looking to be worth every bit of his $6 million bonus.
The Good: Hosmer has plus-plus raw power, but like Moustakas, he's more of a hitter with power than a pure slugger. He struck out just 66 times in 520 at-bats in 2010, and began to focus more on muscling up mistakes following a move to the Texas League, where he hit 13 home runs in 195 at-bats. He has a good feel for the strike zone and gets into hitter's counts. He's athletic for his size and a solid defender, although his plus arm is wasted a bit at first base. There is some talk of moving him to left field, where scouts think he could at least hold his own.
The Bad: Hosmer doesn't run well, but that's not part of his game and a non-issue, as while all of his value lies in his bat, it's a special one. Scouts noted a tendency to change his approach in pressure situations, either becoming too passive or aggressive at the plate.
Ephemera: A private, liberal arts school in Southeast Florida, American Heritage not only has won state baseball titles, but also features the top calculus team in the nation.
Perfect World Projection: He's a classic third-spot hitting first baseman with average and power.
Fantasy Impact: What's not to like?
Path to the Big Leagues: Hosmer will begin 2011 at Northwest Arkansas with the goal of being ready for the big leagues one year from now. Billy Butler is the incumbent first baseman and the team's best hitter (for now), but without a move to the outfield, all Hosmer does is slide Butler to his natural position of designated hitter.
ETA: 2012.

4. Wil Myers, C
DOB
: 12/10/90
Height/Weight: 6-3/190
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Signed: Third round, 2009, Wesleyan Christian Academy (NC)
2010 Stats: .289/.408/.500 at Low-A (68 G); .346/.453/.512 at High-A (58 G)
Best/Worst Tool: Hit/defense

Year in Review: Coming off a brief, yet impressive pro debut in 2009, Myers put up elite-level offensive numbers at both A-level affiliates.
The Good: While only 19, some think Myers has the most mature hitting approach in the organization, as he rarely swings at bad pitches while consistently hammering anything in the strike zone and projecting for average to average-plus power in the majors. He's a broad-shouldered athlete who can produce average times from first to third, and his arm rates as a 60 on the 20-80 scouting scale.
The Bad: The phrase “not a catcher” comes up frequently when talking to scouts about Myers. He has poor footwork and receiving skills, and his bat is so ahead of the glove at this point that leaving him behind the plate could hinder his development while creating additional injury risks. He has the tools to be good in right field.
Ephemera: During his stint with Wilmington, Myers reached base two or more times in 62 percent of his 58 games.
Perfect World Projection: He could be an all-star level corner outfielder with good power, but with even better on-base skills.
Fantasy Impact: It's good, but even more in a league where OBP counts for something.
Path to the Big Leagues: For now, Myers will stay behind the plate at Northwest Arkansas.
ETA: Mid-2012

5. Mike Montgomery, LHP
DOB
: 7/1/89
Height/Weight: 6-5/180
Bats/Throws: L/L
Drafted/Signed: Supplemental first round, 2008, Hart HS (CA)
2010 Stats: 1.04 ERA (8.2-6-1-7) at Rookie (3 G); 1.09 ERA (24.2-14-4-33) at High-A (4 G); 3.47 ERA (59.2-56-26-48) at Double-A (13 G)
Best/Worst Tool: Fastball/changeup

Year in Review: This left-hander was in the midst of a breakout year before arm soreness slowed him down at midseason.
The Good: Montgomery is nearly the ideal package for a left-hander. He's exceptionally long-limbed but also highly coordinated, sitting at 92-94 mph with a fastball that can touch 96 and features heavy, late life. His 12-to-6 curveball is a true plus knee buckler, and he's made good progress in developing a changeup that projects as at least average.
The Bad: Because of a limited workload in 2009 and the arm troubles in 2010, Montgomery has yet to pitch more than 110 innings in a season, so while there are no red flags in his frame or mechanics, he's unproven as an innings eater. He had trouble commanding his secondary pitches during the second half of the season, but that was likely related to forearm tightness.
Ephemera: During his brief time at Wilmington in 2010, Montgomery struck out eight of the 15 left-handed batters he faced.
Perfect World Projection: He could be an All-Star left-handed starter.
Fantasy Impact: Montgomery isn't at an elite level in any one category as much as good across the board.
Path to the Big Leagues: Yet another future star at Northwest Arkansas in 2011, Montgomery could move as fast as Lamb if he stays healthy.
ETA: Late 2011.

6. Chris Dywer, LHP
DOB
: 4/10/88
Height/Weight: 6-3/210
Bats/Throws: R/L
Drafted/Signed: Fourth round, 2009, Clemson
2010 Stats: 2.99 ERA (84.1-79-33-93) at High-A (15 G); 3.06 ERA (17.2-11-10-20) at Double-A (4 G)
Best/Worst Tool: Fastball/command

Year in Review: The fourth-round pick who signed for a $1.45 million bonus looked to be a sound investment by reaching Double-A in his full-season debut.
The Good: Dwyer attacks hitters with two plus power pitches staring with a fastball that parks at 93 mph and often touches 95. His power curveball is another true plus offering that he can break into the strike zone or use just as effectively as a chase pitch, and his changeup is at least average. He's the most soundly built of the left-handers in the Royals system with strong legs and a frame built for a heavy workload.
The Bad: Dwyer's mechanics are far from effortless, and he further complicates matters by overthrowing at times, leading to significant issues with throwing strikes. He still needs to hone his changeup, which he sometimes telegraphs by slowing his delivery.
Ephemera: Dwyer was a four-time all-conference quarterback at the Salisbury School in Connecticut and first-team All-New England as a senior, finishing his high school career with over 5,100 passing yards, 58 touchdowns, and 21 rushing scores.
Perfect World Projection: He could be a good third starter and an occasional All-Star.
Fantasy Impact: He'll have strikeouts to be sure, but his walk rate could impact his ERA and WHIP.
Path to the Big Leagues: You'll never guess where he'll likely begin 2011. Yup, Northwest Arkansas, although he's a click behind Lamb and Montgomery in terms of development.
ETA: 2012.

7. Danny Duffy, LHP
DOB
: 12/21/88
Height/Weight: 6-3/195
Bats/Throws: L/L
Drafted/Signed: Third round, 2007, Cabrillo HS (CA)
2010 Stats: 3.38 ERA (2.2-2-1-4) at Rookie (2 G); 1.50 ERA (6-4-0-6) at Short-season (2 G); 2.57 ERA (14-8-7-18) at High-A (3 G); 2.95 ERA (39.2-38-9-41) at Double-A (7 G)
Best/Worst Tool: Fastball/breaking ball

Year in Review: This 2007 third-round pick made news by retiring during spring training, but returned two months later and reached Double-A.
The Good: Duffy showed unprecedented velocity in 2010, sitting in the low 90s while spiking his fastball in selected starts that included one scout reporting a 98 mph reading. His curveball and changeup are average offerings, and he throws them with confidence. He has a clean, simple delivery that is easily repeatable and leads to above-average command and control.
The Bad: Following his return to baseball, Duffy nearly pitched across four levels in a single month, making his second complex league start on July 1 and his Texas League debut on August 2. The retirement created some understandable questions about his commitment, but the team doesn't see it as a concern.
Ephemera: The only player drafted out of Cabrillo High in Lompoc to reach the majors is Gary Hargis, a second-round pick in 1974 who played one game with the 1979 Pirates and did not get an at-bat.
Perfect World Projection: He's a good mid-rotation starter.
Fantasy Impact: It's good, but not in the same class with those ahead of him on this list.
Path to the Big Leagues: As good as Duffy was in 2010, now he needs to prove it for a full season. Hey, you think this Northwest Arkansas rotation is going to be any good?
ETA: 2012. 

8. Christian Colon, SS
DOB:
5/14/89
Height/Weight:
6-1/180
Bats/Throws:
R/R
Drafted/Signed:
First round, 2010, Cal State Fullerton
2010 Stats:
.278/.326/.380 at High-A (60 G)
Best/Worst Tool:
Hit/run

Year in Review: Colon was seen as one of the top college position players all spring, yet still a surprisingly safe pick, especially for the Royals, with the fourth overall pick in the draft.
The Good: One scout said it best about Colon by stating, “He's just a ballplayer.” He has a good understanding of the strike zone and an easy, simple swing that should produce for average with enough strength for gap power. He projects for plenty of doubles and double-digit power as well. He has fantastic instincts at shortstop, smooth actions, and an average arm. He earns high praise for his makeup and his ability to do little things like turning double plays, taking extra bases, and bunting.
The Bad: The biggest question surrounding Colon is his ability to stay on the left side of the infield. He's only a 35-40 runner on the 20-80 scouting scale, and no matter how well he positions himself or how good a first step he gets, his range will always be substandard. As a second baseman, his value drops significantly.
Ephemera: During his high school career, Colon was an all-state player in Texas and Utah, and a two-time all-county player in California. His father's job in the pharmaceutical industry kept the family moving.
Perfect World Projection: He should have high batting averages and above-average power for a middle infielder.
Fantasy Impact: If he can prove his critics wrong and stay at shortstop, it increases significantly—just like his big-league value.
Path to the Big Leagues: Colon has the polish to be fast-tracked and will begin his first full season at (where else?) Northwest Arkansas.
ETA: Late 2012.

9. Johnny Giavotella, 2B
DOB
: 7/10/87
Height/Weight: 5-8/185
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Signed: Second round, 2008, New Orleans
2010 Stats: .322/.395/460 at Double-A (134 G)
Best/Worst Tool: Hit/defense

Year in Review: In a system filled with breakouts, this former second-round pick got overlooked despite a .374/.436/.571 line after the All-Star break.
The Good: More and more scouts are sold on Giavotella's pure hitting ability, with one saying, “He just squares everything up... velo, breaking balls... he hits everything.” He has a patient approach and a very short, quick swing with surprising strength that projects for 10-15 home runs annually. He's an average runner when he gets going and can occasionally steal a base.
The Bad: While Giavotella gets the most out of his tools, his size still offers little projection. He's made defensive improvements, but remains below average at second and is often guilty of embarrassing miscues on simple ground balls.
Ephemera: Giavotella was undrafted out of state champion Jesuit High School in Louisiana in 2005, the school that one year later produced the Orioles' seventh-best prospect, Ryan Adams.
Perfect World Projection: He could be an everyday second baseman with good on-base numbers and tons of doubles.
Fantasy Impact: It's not as big as his real-world impact.
Path to the Big Leagues: Giavotella will begin the year kind of alone prospect-wise at Triple-A Omaha as his talented system mates slowly join him during the year.
ETA: Late 2011.

10. Tim Collins, LHP
DOB
: 8/21/89
Height/Weight: 5-7/155
Bats/Throws: L/L
Drafted/Signed: 2007, Worcester Vocational HS (Undrafted)
2010 Stats: 2.51 ERA (43.0-27-16-72) at Double-A with Toronto (35 G); 1.12 ERA (8.0-4-3-13) at Double-A with Atlanta (6 G); 1.33 ERA (20.1-9-8-21) at Triple-A with Kansas City (15 G)
Best/Worst Tool: Fastball/command

Year in Review: The little engine that could played for three organizations in 2010, but kept dominating wherever he went.
The Good: Collins' fastball is still shocking to scouts. With arguably the fastest arm action in the minors, he somehow generates 90-93 mph fastballs out of the body of a bat boy and can touch 95. The pitch is made even more effective by a naturally deceptive delivery that hides the ball from hitters. His changeup is a true plus pitch with outstanding arm action and late run that makes him actually more effective versus right-handed hitters than lefties. His overhand curveball is at least average, and at times flashes plus.
The Bad: Collins' size does create some issues. Obviously, it takes considerable effort to generate plus velocity, so his command can waver. His pitches can all flatten out, and because he's starting so much lower than most pitchers, he's naturally a fly-ball pitcher.
Ephemera: Sure he's left-handed, but righties facing Collins in 2010 hit .140 with 66 strikeouts in 157 at-bats.
Perfect World Projection: He could be valuable as a seventh- or eighth- inning reliever.
Fantasy Impact: It's unlikely that Collins will ever rack up saves, but he could be a great pickup for fans of Ron Shandler's LIMA strategy.
Path to the Big Leagues: Collins has a chance to make the big-league relief corps out of spring training, and even if he fails to impress, he'll be in the majors at some point during the year.
ETA: 2011.

11. Robinson Yambati, RHP
DOB
: 1/15/91
Height/Weight: 6-3/185
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Signed: 2008, Dominican Republic
2010 Stats: 2.71 ERA (66.1-65-12-64) at Rookie (14 G)
Best/Worst Tool: Fastball/changeup

Year in Review: This teenage Dominican was the most impressive pitcher in his second year at the Arizona Summer League.
The Good: Yambati offers plenty to dream on. Long-armed and skinny, he has plenty of projection but can already touch the mid-90s with a naturally diving fastball while throwing strikes out of a cross-fire delivery. His slider and changeup are both inconsistent, but show promise, and he earns high marks for his mound poise.
The Bad: Yambati's secondary pitches are unrefined and he has trouble staying on top of them, often leaving both offerings lacking vertical movement. More than anything, he simply needs the repetition that comes from consistent work.
Ephemera: On July 8, Yambati surrendered eight runs to the AZL Brewers while failing to get out of the second inning. In his 13 other appearances, he had a 1.67 ERA.
Perfect World Projection: His ceiling is up there with the top arms in the system.
Fantasy Impact: He's so far from that ceiling that it's not worth discussing.
Path to the Big Leagues: Yambati is ready for a full-season assignment, although his inning count will be monitored closely with the Royals' new Low-A affiliate at Kane County.
ETA: 2014.

The Sleeper: While mechanically a mess at times while leading the minor leagues with 95 walks in just 121 innings for Low-A Burlington, Six-foot-seven righty Tyler Sample was also brilliant in selected outings, showing plus velocity and a very good breaking ball. The ceiling is still considerable, but he's a long, long way from reaching it.

Top 10 Talents 25 And Under (born 4/1/85 or later)
1. Mike Moustakas, 3B
2. John Lamb, LHP
3. Eric Hosmer, 1B
4. Billy Butler, 1B
5. Wil Myers, C
6. Mike Montgomery, LHP
7. Chris Dywer, LHP
8. Danny Duffy, LHP
9. Christian Colon, SS
10. Vin Mazzaro, RHP

Butler at fourth is not an insult as much as it's praise for what's ahead of him. Butler should gain even more power over the coming years, but Moustakas and Hosmer have to potential to be one of the most dangerous 3-4 combinations in the game by the second half of the decade. Recently acquired in the David DeJesus deal, Mazzaro should be a solid fourth starter who can eat up innings.

Summary: With one winning season in the last 16 years, Royals fans finally have reason for optimism. This is not just the best minor-league system in baseball, it's the best by a wide margin. The more I wrote about these prospects, the more trouble I had figuring out any way for things to go wrong. Another winning record could occur as early as 2012, but more importantly, the team should return to annual playoff contention shortly thereafter.

Kevin Goldstein is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Kevin's other articles. You can contact Kevin by clicking here

62 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links

NYYanks826

I think there's one extremely important question one needs to ask in relation to this article...

How is American Heritage's 2010-2011 calculus team looking? Those derivatives are getting awfully tricky this season.

Nov 19, 2010 01:57 AM
rating: 4
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

They won the 2010 title, and 2011 championship is in July. Tickets still available! (I think).

Nov 19, 2010 09:19 AM
 
McNulty

Congratulations, you actually made me wish Dayton Moore was the GM of my team. The impossible has happened.

Nov 19, 2010 02:05 AM
rating: 4
 
cdmyers

Wow. So my Tigers really need to put it together this year or next, since by 2013 there's going to be a new Sheriff in town.

Nov 19, 2010 05:03 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Tim Kniker
BP staff

Kevin, thanks for making me feel good about the Royals again.

I had one question on this. Do you find it interesting / surprising / noteworthy for a farm system to be this good and have ALL of the top tier talent from the US Amateur Draft? Afterall, you have to go down to #11 and #12 to get to the first Latin America signings.

It seems that this bodes well for the Royals' ability to maintain this quality (and possibly improve) as DM has just started to bolster the Royals international presence.

Nov 19, 2010 05:05 AM
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

Well, the Royals are very busy in Latin America and I'm sure the club wishes that Arguelles could have made the list, but unfortunately that didn't happen due to the surgery. Like the old Tampa systems, the Royals have a ton of top picks and it looks like that did the right thing with some of them. Now the real challenge comes in finding great players in the bottom half of the first round.

Nov 19, 2010 09:23 AM
 
PeterBNYC

Kevin: I have to ask, who did the picking of these prospects? Dayton Moore? Certain clubs have had tons of high picks (Pittsburgh?), and haven't done nearly as well. To whom (it may be a team) do wse credit this? The Royals look likely to be in the 2015 (maybe earlier?) World Series!

Nov 19, 2010 17:37 PM
rating: 0
 
jth532

While the scouting depart likely gets a lot of credit, I think the real factor is that the Royals have been willing to go over the slot recommendations to sign talent that might otherwise go to college.

Nov 19, 2010 20:11 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

That's simplistic. Yes, the Royals are doing the right thing with their aggressive spending, but the team still has to select the right players to spend that extra money on. It's more scouting than money.

Nov 20, 2010 11:42 AM
 
Dave Holgado

Lamb over Hosmer! Cool.

Nov 19, 2010 05:49 AM
rating: 0
 
Dave Holgado

NW Ark's new catch phrase, along the lines of Spahn and Sain...

"Lamb, Montgomery, Duffy, Dwyer, and pray for a normally scheduled off day..."

Nov 19, 2010 06:08 AM
rating: 4
 
cjrhgarmon

And all of them LHP! Has this ever happened before: 4 extremely promising LHP prospects in the same minor league rotation?

Nov 19, 2010 09:51 AM
rating: 0
 
carp1626

How far down in the rankings did you have to go to get to the 2 and 1 star prospects?

Nov 19, 2010 06:24 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

Gut answer by looking at list: 16 or 17.

Nov 19, 2010 09:26 AM
 
amazin_mess

WOW. 5 five-stars. Royals fans, hope exists. Very interesting comparing the top 5 with Baseball America's. Good work, KG.

Nov 19, 2010 06:29 AM
rating: 0
 
carp1626

How do latin american shortstops Humberto Arteaga and baseball prospect formerly known as Paulo Carlixte project at the major league level, and where will they start next year?

Nov 19, 2010 06:38 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

Both are highly unlikely to show up in a box score until the short-season leagues begin -- obviously, they are very young. Arteaga is the better defender, Carlixte the better bat. If I went 30 deep, they'd start to enter the picture of consideration.

Nov 19, 2010 09:30 AM
 
carp1626

Time Melville was a 4-star prospect last year and didn't make the top 20 this year. Is that a result of KC's system taking a huge step forward and him not progressing as fast or did his stuff take a step back?

Nov 19, 2010 07:00 AM
rating: 1
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

Little bit of both, really. Carolina League reviews were not nearly as good as Midwest League reviews.

Nov 19, 2010 09:30 AM
 
jafessenden

Wow, what a great system. Kevin, any thoughts on Tim Melville. Had a tough year in High-A (even worse when you consider Wilmington is a great pitcher's park). What's the likelihood Meliville rebounds and regains his prospect status? If he does, what's the chance he profiles as a mid-rotation starter vs. back-end starter? Thanks.

Nov 19, 2010 07:07 AM
rating: 0
 
carp1626

This idea was shot down on another baseball site but, wouldn't it give a team more value to move an athletic catching prospect to third base before the outfield? There are cases every year of players moving from third to outfield at the major league level but none the other way around. Myers and Harper played some shortstop in highschool if the tools are there to defensively keep up with their bats why not start at third and have the flexibilty to move Zimmerman in a couple years or Moustakas in Justin Upton trade if you wanted. If you don't you can then move them to the outfield or if Myers is better defensively at third move Moustakas.

Nov 19, 2010 07:17 AM
rating: 0
 
dwinning

3B is waaaay harder to learn than OF. There's a ton reps you need to do to learn the specific footwork and all the different actions in different directions, you have to have great reactions and hand-eye coordination, and it's not unlikely that you catch a frozen rope in the face if you don't.
There's finer points to learning to play the OF - routes to the ball and judging flies - but if you're moderately athletic you can quickly achieve adequacy in the OF. I bet you could stick any D1 college cornerback or point guard in the OF and have a decent fieler in a couple weeks.

Nov 19, 2010 07:44 AM
rating: 0
 
carp1626

I understand that third is a more difficult position. Myers was mostly an infielder in highschool that was moved behind the plate full time after signing to increase his postional value. My point was instead of downgrading his positional value from catcher to corner outfielder, move to third if the glove is adequate enough to advance with the bat reguardless of what prospects/players are ahead of the player. I don't know if that is possible with Myers,but didn't Sandoval convert to third at the major league level? If your going to move Myers from behind the plate to start the year why not start him at third in the spring and if it doesn't work then the outfield?

Nov 19, 2010 08:16 AM
rating: 0
 
dwinning

My point was mainly that a position switch like that, going from C to 3B, is a Big Deal and that it's something that is going to take a couple years to acheive. It probably would take just as long to learn 3B as it would to learn how to be a serviceable C.

The point of moving a guy like Myers off C is that you don't want to have to wait for his fielding to come around - you want his bat in the lineup ASAP. Moving him to the OF acheives that, moving him to 3B doesn't.

He may have played infield in high school, but like, so did I. Sure doesn't mean he has the ability to do so going forward. But I think the short answer to 'why don't teams do this' is that they would if they thought it was feasible, but it's usually not.

Nov 19, 2010 09:52 AM
rating: -1
 
dpc1178
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How many of these players will be wearing Yankee uniforms in 2018?

Nov 19, 2010 07:24 AM
rating: -15
 
amazin_mess
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probably 4 or 5.

Nov 19, 2010 07:33 AM
rating: -12
 
Drew Miller

Who cares? That's seven years away.

Nov 19, 2010 14:02 PM
rating: 3
 
Scott44

KG - Just how close were the top 3, and is their order fairly interchangeable or is there a gap for you?

Nov 19, 2010 07:34 AM
rating: 0
 
deckholm

I was wondering the same thing after seeing these players in a slightly different order elsewhere.

Nov 19, 2010 09:17 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

VERY VERY close. You could shuffle those three in any direction and I'm not sure I'd put up a big fight.

Nov 19, 2010 09:55 AM
 
DavidK44

Is Crow's poor control a result of mechanical breakdown (perhaps do to the missed year), or is there some other cause?

Nov 19, 2010 08:56 AM
rating: -1
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

There is some reason for optimism, as the raw stuff still grades out pretty darn good. I do think the year off created considerable rust and there's a good chance for a bounce back.

Nov 19, 2010 09:38 AM
 
cjrhgarmon

If you had to choose one LHP in the minors, who would you pick: Lamb or Matt Moore?

Nov 19, 2010 08:57 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

Ask me in a few weeks -- not sure yet.

Nov 19, 2010 09:40 AM
 
HankScorpio

KG - Any detail into what Jason Adams has looked like since he signed? There have been some comments floating around that he looked REALLY good in instructs. Is Kane County way too optimistic of a starting assignment for him?

Thanks.

(And thanks for the list! This year's renaissance of the system is a long overdue ray of hope for us Royals fans.)

Nov 19, 2010 09:04 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

Adams was very good in instructs, and it's one of the reasons he is where he is. Lots of projection, lots of now stuff as well. He goes into spring with the ability to at least earn at Low-A job, but it's not guaranteed. I love how KC develops arm. They don't have a pattern or template -- pitchers pitch where the team think their talent belongs, period.

Nov 19, 2010 09:43 AM
 
HankScorpio

Amazing that Clint Robinson wins the triple crown in his first year at AA and doesn't even crack the top 20. I mean, that's crazy, even if he is 25.

I'm not at all saying he should be in there. Just saying what a testament to the depth of this system.

Nov 19, 2010 09:16 AM
rating: 1
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

He'd be in the 20s. I'm not crazy about him, despite the numbers.

Nov 19, 2010 09:43 AM
 
HankScorpio

One more question....how far down would you need to go to find Buddy Baumann and Crawford Simmons? Am I wrong to think they both have some promise as well?

Also curious about where the Marks kid they got from the A's profiles? Is he strictly a bullpen guy in the majors, or could he start too?

Thanks much, KG.

Nov 19, 2010 09:26 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

Marks would be ahead of Baumann and Crawford if I extended the rankings. Marks COULD turn into a No. 5 type, while the two are strictly relievers with questions about how well their stuff will play at higher levels.

Nov 19, 2010 09:46 AM
 
rudyrosen

Wow! Impressive list. On top of Clint Robinson and Tim Melville, who have already been mentioned, Everett Teaford was also left off the list? There's a chance he makes the 2011 opening day rotation.
I would venture to guess that the absence of all these guys has everything to do with the depth of the system and not the individuals. All three are two-star prospects at the least.

Nov 19, 2010 09:38 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

All three are two-stars for sure. Teaford could get there as a back-end starter, but obviously he'll be eclipsed by all the young talent sooner rather than later.

Nov 19, 2010 09:47 AM
 
RFKRFK

Would Alex Gordon make the Top 10 Talents 25 And Under list if he was a little bit younger?

Nov 19, 2010 09:57 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

Maybe @ No. 10 . . . MAYBE.

Nov 19, 2010 10:00 AM
 
Michael Dennis

Wow I think this is the highest rated system we've seen since you've been here. 5 5 star guys is just unheard of.

Nov 19, 2010 09:57 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

Rays had five of 'em last year.

Nov 19, 2010 09:59 AM
 
HankScorpio

Slightly tangential question, since I know you know Kane County well....what can we expect from the move of the Midwest League team there? Any clue why it happened?

I just started getting used to the peculiarities of Burlington and how that park affects numbers. Wondering how the Kane County park plays and how the switch might impact the development system.

Nov 19, 2010 10:12 AM
rating: 0
 
John Carter

Fun & useful, thanks, Kevin. As someone who defended your Ephemera blurbs at some point last spring or winter - I like these, too, except one. Comparing John Lamb to other 145th overall picks is outright silly. Comparing him to other 5th round picks would have been more interesting. Beyond the 5th round, the rounds need to be clustered together to have enough relevancy to taste: rounds 6 or 7, rounds 8-10, rounds 11-15, 16-20, etc. I know it's "ephemera", but it's needs some aroma or flavor.

Nov 19, 2010 10:29 AM
rating: -3
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

It's ephemera. It's things I quickly come across when messing around. I don't have time to do tons of research on these, and if I compared him to EVERY fifth round pick, none of it would turn out fun, as there have been many good fifth round picks. Just having fun.

Nov 20, 2010 11:46 AM
 
belowm

Mazzaro...two z's, one r.

Nov 19, 2010 10:45 AM
rating: 1
 
grandslam28

Can't Hosmer run some too. He had 14 SBs in 16 attempts. That doesn't seem that bad.

Nov 19, 2010 13:18 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

He's a good baserunner, but he's not fast.

Nov 19, 2010 13:25 PM
 
grandslam28

How slow is he? Will he be able to steal 15-20 bases a year in the majors? Will he be able to steal against bad catchers and/or pitchers. Being a good baserunner and getting good jumps seems much more important than speed.

Nov 19, 2010 13:31 PM
rating: 0
 
Infrancoeurgible

How many tears of joy emitted from your eyes as your wrote the Top 11 for the Royals?

Nov 19, 2010 13:23 PM
rating: 0
 
dantroy

I read a while back (I can't recall where) that Lamb has a very good slider that the organization wanted him to hold off on for a while. Any idea if that's the case?

Thanks.

Nov 19, 2010 13:42 PM
rating: 0
 
John Carter

There should be some way to express disagreement without censoring. I guess there were 5 (at the moment) readers who obviously were really glad to know who else was a 145th round pick. That's fine, but it was intended as constructive criticism. If you censor critics, you never grow.

Nov 19, 2010 14:46 PM
rating: -3
 
John Collins
(110)

How were you censored? I read your remark, and I guess most people read what is "hidden" by negative remarks. What happened is that you were chided for complaining that trivia was trivial.

Nov 19, 2010 15:08 PM
rating: 11
 
John Carter
Other readers have rated this comment below the viewing threshold. Click here to view anyway.

Thanks for the actual response.

a) I agree it is not complete censorship, but it is a half censorship in that it makes us take an extra step to read it. I think, at least, half of us don't bother to read those that get hidden. I propose showing the rating, but don't hide a comment unless it is deemed "inappropriate" - for which there is a separate category.

b) I thought I made the point myself that I understood it was meant to be trivial. I just think some trivia is more interesting than other trivia. I don't see anything wrong at all with suggesting what would make it more interesting.

Nov 19, 2010 21:16 PM
rating: -11
 
gogotabata

Let it go?

Nov 21, 2010 09:19 AM
rating: 8
 
dianagram

Free (Agent) Jeff Francoeur!

Please tell me the Royals aren't serious about offering him a contract for '11.

I suppose it would be a 1-year placeholder in the OF, but if Frenchy wants 2 or more years ...

Nov 21, 2010 10:51 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Tim Kniker
BP staff

Can I team win based solely on its drafted (and/or trade-acquired) talent? What I worry about with DM is his ability to pick that key one or two free agents to put this team over the top in 2012/2013. I'm thinking of the way the Rays got Carlos Pena which was one of their keys in 2008.

Nov 22, 2010 06:52 AM
 
richardkr34

They should trade Greinke now and get some more prospects since they're so stacked with pitching prospects now. Maybe some bullpen power arms and an OF prospect or two...

Nov 21, 2010 11:29 AM
rating: 0
 
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