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May 9, 2011
Kansas City, Here They Come
Eric Hosmer is in the major leagues, and earlier than expected. He is just the first of many prospects who may become Royals in 2011; what kind of fantasy impact is the rest of the bunch likely to have this year?
Mike Moustakas, 3B (29 percent owned CBS)
PECOTA projected Moustakas to hit .263/.295/.461 in 2011—while on the surface that isn’t so impressive, in leagues that don’t use OBP it is more than serviceable at the hot corner. If he could hit his 70th, 80th, or 90th percentile projections, he would be above-average or even one of the better options available—there is a reason he is already owned in 29 percent of CBS leagues.
There is no word yet on when the Royals will call Moustakas up, but Hosmer’s promotion gives you the sense that once Moustakas hits well at Omaha, there will be a place for him in the bigs. It will knock down the playing time of any number of Royals—Mike Aviles, Wilson Betemit, and Chris Getz could all be affected—but none of those guys will still be on the hypothetical future Royals team that matters in the standings, anyway.
John Lamb, SP (7 percent owned CBS)
While his ETA was late 2011 back in November, Lamb’s struggles at the start of this season may push that back to 2012. If he can turn things around quick, and pitch as well as he did prior to reaching Double-A—Lamb has struck out 9.2 per nine against 2.9 walks per nine with an ERA of 2.97 in 238 2/3 innings in his professional career—then we can talk about him being worth a look in deep leagues and AL-only this year. As of now, though, given his performance and PECOTA forecast (4.79 ERA, 1.7 K/BB), the seven percent of you using a roster spot on him may want to find a different use for it (assuming those aren’t all keeper leagues).
Mike Montgomery, SP (11 percent owned CBS)
Montgomery was ranked #21 in Goldstein’s top 101—have we mentioned yet that the Royals system is loaded?—and was expected to come up in late 2011 as well. It was believed that his problems with command in the second half of 2010 were due to the forearm tightness he experienced then, but, as you read above, that command has not yet returned.
Because of that, Montgomery, along with Lamb, may not see the majors early enough this year to help out your fantasy team. As with Lamb, unless you’re in a keeper league, using up a roster spot for Montgomery doesn’t make a whole lot of sense at this juncture. PECOTA agrees, forecasting a 4.56 ERA, 6.4 K/9, and a K/BB of 1.5. He has been tough to hit at Triple-A, but if he can’t put the ball where he needs to consistently, he won’t find much sustainable success there, never mind in the majors.
That success, given his stuff and track record, should be on the way—as it should be for Lamb, as well—but don’t spend for it before you have to.
Johnny Giavotella, 2B (0 percent owned CBS)
PECOTA agrees, forecasting a major-league line of .275/.327/.374 for him in 2011. That would be close to average at the position, and the system also believes that he is capable of significantly better work at his upper percentile levels. He will need to hit at Triple-A before the Royals find a reason to promote him, though: as of now, he is hitting .278/.347/.324 in 123 plate appearances there.
The plate discipline and strike zone recognition are there—Giavotella has struck out 13 times and walked 12 times—and while he hasn’t started to steal at Triple-A just yet, he has swiped at least 10 bases every year in the minors, including 26 thefts in 2009. He isn’t a great runner, though, and has been successful on just 50 of his 74 attempts, good for a below-average 68 percent success rate.
There are a few stumbling blocks in his way, besides the missing pop in his bat this year. His defense is awful, and his bat isn’t so good that the Royals should feel the need to push players like Mike Aviles and Chris Getz out of the picture entirely—there will be plenty of time for that once Giavotella is actually ready to contribute.
CBS owners have it right with Giavotella—he is not so good that you need to stash him away on your roster, so keep on watching and waiting.