We at Razzball realize that exporting our views across the country has damaging consequences on the blogosphere. To help make amends, we are reaching out to leading team blogs and featuring their locally blogged answers to pressing 2011 fantasy baseball questions regarding their team. We feel this approach will be fresher, more sustainable, and require less energy consumption (for us anyway). The 2011 Royals Fantasy Baseball Preview comes courtesy of Royals Review.
1. There was a running joke at Razzball that I’m somehow related to Alex Gordon because of my unconditional love for him no matter how many times he disappointed. Then he showed up at my Memorial Day BBQ and urinated on my Weber while mumbling about how he doesn’t care about my fantasy team. I’m willing to overlook all of that still if you can tell me 2011 will be the year he finally makes good on his promise. So, can you?
I think Alex is done with the Royals. The Royals have really messed with him moving him to and from the minors along with the 3B to OF change. He just can’t seem to be able to hit major league pitching, but in AAA he is a Hall of Famer. He will have some fantasy value in 2011 since he may be 3B eligible in some leagues. There are so many better outfielders right now that his only value will be for late round fliers in really deep leagues or to watch during the season and some how he magically learns to hit major league pitching.
2. I’ve already touched on my optimism for Alcides Escobar. For me, 30 steals seems like a base for Alcides based on his minor league numbers and his speed. Do you share any of this optimism?
The only thing holding him back with his inability to get to 1B (low OBP) and the lack of PA due to the rest of the Royals stinking. Yost has stated publicly that players need to have 75% success rate on stolen bases to help the team. If Escobar can’t get to that level or better, he may be shut down.
3. Kila Ka’aihue: please give me what you think we’ll see of him this year.
I think Kila could really help the Royals as the everyday first baseman. He is probably 10 runs better defensively than Butler who would then DH. I am not running the team, so I see them splitting time at 1B. The main problem with the Royals is they look to have way too many 1B and/or DH on the team and in the minors coming up (Butler, Ka’aihue, Hosmer, Robinson, Betemit). I really expect Ka’aihue or Butler to be traded soon with Butler likely to stay because he is more of fan favorite.
With Kila, I expect a decent OBP (not AVG) and good power. The problem is that Kaufman stadium is one of the hardest stadiums to hit HRs at. If he (or Butler) are moved, expect a decent increase in HR numbers.
4. My Mike Moustakas fantasy came under my quill earlier in the offseason. To summarize that post, I think he can be this year’s Mike Stanton-type call-up. When do you think we see him and what do you expect we’ll get from him?
Disappointment. Mike has all the tools everyone loves in a prospect, except no plate discipline. His minor league walk rates are eerily similar to new Royal, Jeff Francoeur. Mike’s walk rate actually doesn’t look horrible, if you include the IBB (10 of 34 walks were IBB in 2010). From 2007-2010 his walk rate (BB-IBB/PA) has gone from 8.5% to 7.1% to 5.1% to 4.5%. He has a nice swing and power, but if he is hacking at everything thrown his way, it may not matter as pitchers will refuse to throw him anything decent to hit. Otherwise, he is a stud and I would love to draft him and Betemit in deep, keeper or AL only leagues.
5. It’s been a tough 20 years or so for the Royals. Looking back, what do you think was their worst decision? 1) Hiring Steve Balboni as Bob Hamelin and Billy Butler’s personal fitness instructor. 2) Adopting a no-nonsense policy on cocaine use in the locker room – scaring away the next generation’s Willie Wilsons and Willie Aikens. 3) Drastically cutting costs during the Buddy Bell/Dayton Moore years. Such as, cancelling web access and the MLB Package in the Royals offices, forcing Dayton Moore to make trades based on hearsay and how much he liked their names.
#1 — I still have nightmares from watching Billy be completely winded after running to 1B last year. I could hope a professional athlete that is 24 years old could run 30 yards without being short of breath.