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Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2012 (3) | 2011 (1) | 2010 (16) | 2009 (11) | 2008 (24)

2012 Affiliate Records
MLB: [72-90] AL Central
AAA: [83-61] Pacific Coast League – Omaha
AA: [58-81] Texas League – Northwest Arkansas
A+: [66-74] Carolina League – Wilmington
A: [68-72] Midwest League – Kane County (SAL Lexington beginning 2013)

Graduated Prospects
Will Smith (LHP); Kelvin Herrera (RHP); Everett Teaford (LHP)

The Run Down
The Royals traded away a decent chunk of their upper-levels talent in the James Shields deal with the Rays.  Wil Myers, Jake Odorizzi, and Mike Montgomery are all gone, and what’s left is a very young system.  It also happens to be a very good system.  But with youth comes risk.  There’s as much upside here as there is in any other organization — numbers 1-10 below are all capable of bringing significant value to fantasy owners — and there are some college arms that should move quickly.  But for the most part, this farm system is unproven.  Unless Yordano Ventura is converted to relief, I don’t see much fantasy value pushing through until 2014.  Even so, this group will be a lot of fun to watch in the upcoming season.

Top Ten Prospects
1.  Kyle Zimmer, RHP:
  I went over some scouting notes on Zimmer as part of a pre-draft feature last season.  The Royals proceeded to draft him fifth overall, signing him with a bonus worth $3 million.  The 21-year-old got a brief look in the complex league before being assigned to Low-A Kane County for the remainder of the season.  He was dominant in his pro debut, posting 2.04 ERA and K/9 at 9.5 between the two stops.  Zimmer will bring his front-end potential to the upper levels at some point this year, on track for arrival next season.  ETA:  2014

2.  Bubba Starling, OF:  The 2011 first-rounder is one of the more impressive athletes in the minors, but he’s quite raw at the moment.  At age 20, Starling is finally ready to step into full-season baseball.  The lack of developmental progress is a bit concerning, especially as it pertains to his hit tool.  The raw tools, however, are so thoroughly impressive that it’s tough to discount him as an elite prospect — not just yet, at least.  Starling will be assigned to Low-A Lexington, Kansas City’s new South Atlantic League affiliate.  ETA:  2016

3.  Adalberto Mondesi, SS:  Adalberto, son of Raul, looks primed for a full-season assignment after an impressive pro debut in rookie ball last year.  The 17-year-old will be among the youngest — if not the youngest — players at the Low-A level.  He shows impressive, and projectable tools both in the field and at the plate, but clearly there’s a long way to go here.  At such a young age, it wouldn’t surprise me if Mondesi scuffled a bit in his first year of full-season ball, although that probably wouldn’t affect his overall outlook.  But if he turns in a solid full year at Lexington?  Look out.  ETA:  2016

4.  Yordano Ventura, RHP:  Yordano, son of Robin, features a plus-plus fastball and a plus curve to go with it.  Okay, Robin Ventura is not really his father, but I promise the fastball is legit — it sits in the mid 90s and has been known touch 100.  The breaking ball is a wipeout offering, and he tallies plenty of whiffs with it (9.6 K/9 at three levels in 2012).  At 5-11, 140, though, Ventura’s frame is concerning, and his changeup is lagging behind.  His profile seems destined for short stints in the late innings, and that’s his quickest route to the bigs, but for now, the Royals seem content to continue bringing him along as a starter.  Either way, he’ll offer plenty of value to the fantasy game.  ETA:  2014

5.  Jorge Bonifacio, OF:  I wrote a brief scouting report on Bonifacio near the end of last season.  What I said there still holds.  The 19-year-old is looking to build from a solid first year of full-season ball, and post a breakout line at Wilmington in 2013.  ETA:  2015

6.  Kyle Smith, RHP:  Smith was outstanding in his first year of pro baseball, posting a 2.94 ERA, a 1.22 WHIP, and a 11.6 K/9 in 67 IP at Low-A Kane County.  With plus command of his fastball and a beautiful curve to go with it, he’s looking like a #3 type starter with #2 upside.  ETA:  2015

7.  Cheslor Cuthbert, 3B: A rough year at High-A has damaged Cuthbert’s stock, but at age 20, it’s too early to panic.  A solid defensive projection to go with plus power potential should make him an average 3B, at least.  If the hit tool makes progress, he could be quite good.  He’s probably headed to Wilmington for a second go at High-A, but expect to see him in the upper levels by mid-season.  ETA:  2015

8.  John Lamb, LHP:  Lamb had Tommy John surgery in June of 2011, and it’s thrown off his development considerably.  Before the operation, he was an elite pitching prospect, touted for supreme command of a well-refined three-pitch repertoire (fastball, curve, change).  After just 13 IP in rookie ball last year, Lamb will look to get back on track at Double-A.  He’ll push through quickly if he’s back to his old form.  ETA:  2014

9.  Sam Selman, LHP:  A second-round pick last June out of Vanderbilt University, Selman was given a modest assignment to rookie-level Idaho Falls in the Pioneer League, where he posted some silly numbers:  2.09 ERA, 13.3 K/9.  Good size and stuff have him looking like an exciting, front-end guy, but we’ll have a better idea of his true projection after he settles in at a full-season assignment.  ETA:  2015

10.  Cameron Gallagher, C:  With plus power potential, and defensive tools that should suffice to keep him behind the plate, Gallagher has loads of fantasy upside.  The 20-year-old is yet to be tested at the full-season level, so as always, there’s a long way to go, and plenty of risk.  He’s another we’ll have a better feel for a few months from now.  ETA:  2016

44 Responses

  1. TheNewGuy says:
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    Just wanna say previous trade (10 player blockbuster!) was signed, sealed and delivered. Legitimately gives me a shot this year now with Hamilton on board.

    Thanks so much man!

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Nice! Glad to hear it, man. You go for Profar?

    • TheNewGuy says:
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      @TheNewGuy:
      Raul Mondesi and Robin Venturas kids, some baseball pedigree in this list!

      This is my new and improved farm system btw man as a result of the trade, me likey a lot:

      D Dahl
      J Profar
      A Bradley
      T Bauer
      T Rosenthal
      M Olt
      G Sanchez
      M Barnes

      • Scott Evans

        Scott Evans says:
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        Lookin good, man! Great mix of safety & upside.

        • TheNewGuy says:
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          @Scott Evans:
          Yep now hopefully I’ll finally start getting repaid by having this farm system soon :). Profar and Bauer should be up by midseason at the latest, and contributing to my team next season, maybe T-Rose too.

          Funny thing is both me and my trade partner had decisions on whether to promote Bauer and Skaggs before our prospect draft. I decided it wasn’t worth the risk, he decided yes, and now he’s essentially trading Skaggs to me as a fill-in as he can’t use him(I might even just cut him). Whereas I’ve still got Bauer brewing nicely in my farm, ready for when I need him. Shows one false move can ruin a prospects value with these rules we use.

          • Scott Evans

            Scott Evans says:
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            Absolutely. Not sure I’d cut Skaggs lose just yet. If you have the flexibility to hold him for a month or two, he could be a really nice piece… And don’t hold your breath with Profar. I’d love to see him up by the All Star break, but not sure that’s how it’ll play out.

            • TheNewGuy says:
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              @Scott Evans: Yeah it is deep 6 man benches so maybe I’ll keep him around a while, I can’t see it being long before he’s dominating and they have to call him up. This is a top 15 prospect in most circles after all, and it could pay off handsomely (his salary is $0 with me).

              And yeah Profar’s situation is a little puzzling, but he’s too good not to be starting full-time by next year surely. I’d have thought Andrus/Kinsler would’ve been moved by now if they were, and I can’t see why they’d move one to the OF, so I can see Profar starting on another team next season. You agree?

              • Scott Evans

                Scott Evans says:
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                Kinsler to OF makes most sense to me. Of course, he won’t want to, but I can’t imagine Texas trading Profar…

                • TheNewGuy says:
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                  @Scott Evans:
                  Is moving Kinsler to OF really the best use of their resources though? Like in fantasy surely his offense at 2nd is far more valuable. If I was Rangers GM id be actively trying to see whats the most I could get for one of those 3 guys, you could trade one for a better offensive OF surely (though its never that easy mind).

                  • Scott Evans

                    Scott Evans says:
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                    you’re right. kinsler’s value is so much better as a 2B, but it’d be hard to find a team willing to take on that contract (signed thru 2018). andrus is a more likely trade candidate (FA after 2014). that might be the move, ultimately. but for next year, kinsler in the OF & profar at 2b seems doable

                    • TheNewGuy says:
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                      @Scott Evans: Or they trade Profar :) , that could give them the piece/s they really need in the OF and at SP to win this year.

                      Either way though im glad to have him on my farm, the guy’s been traded 4 times in my league now…pretty crazy. Hope not to make it 5 but I guess if im in a playoff hunt come the summer and get a big offer for him it might be pretty damn hard to say no… lol.

  2. anoraxx says:
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    Hi, I’d like to hear you advice. Tommorrow Iam going to participate in a prospect draft in my H2H 12team keeper mixed league. Every team will choose 5 prospects. Profar, Bundy, Miller, Cole, Myers and Hamilton are already taken in reagular keeper teams of the aforementioned league. Pool of players consists of the BA TOP 100. Iam picking ninth so Iam going to miss on the best of whats left. With my first pick Iam going to pick either Yelich if he is there or someone of the Walker, Taillon. Bauer group – who do you prefer? With my second pick Iam going to take someone of the Zimmer, Bradley, Gausman group. With my third pick Iam going to take Arenado but Iam lost on the 4th and 5th pick.
    Could you, please, tell me, who would you pick after top 40 is gone? Iam looking for one SP who is of the big frame and has no. 2 upside, given that this far there is no one who has no. 1 upside – maybe Syndergaard and one IF. Thanks.

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Jose Fernandez could slip to #9 & I’d take him if he does. If not, go for Yelich or Walker, but don’t feel obligated to stick to your plan if Sano or Wheeler or Bogaerts or Baez is still around at #9. I like Gausman in group 2. Looking a little deeper… Syndergaard is a great thought — I’d absolutely take him if he’s there in the 4th. Some others: Matt Barnes, Trevor Rosenthal, Carlos Martinez (a little smaller than what you’re looking for, but still projects wonderfully), Teheran, Wacha, Kyle Gibson.

  3. anoraxx says:
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    Thanks for advice. Fernandez, Sano, Wheeler ans Xander were claimed to be taken by other managers who will be picking ahead of me. Baez, I dont like him, there are doubts he will keep playing short and I dont like it.
    I add Stephenson, Cingrani the the late flyer mix group. I dont like Rosenthal because as of now he looks to be destined for relieving and that doesn¨t translate well in fantasy.
    Would you rather want someone like Russell with last pick or do you prefer a pitcher?

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      If Russell is still around, hell yeah. He’s a borderline top-20 guy for me. And Rosenthal is pitching from the ‘pen for now, but he’ll eventually work his way into the rotation — definitely not one of those guys who profiles best in short stints. He’s for real. Stephenson could certainly be added, Cingrani is a little more fringy & like Rosethal, I think he begins his career from the bullpen.

  4. marti says:
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    fantasy question? 12 team roto draft 6 keepers, dynasty type league. You can keep player as long as you want goes up by 2 rounds each year

    Definite keepers are
    Joey bats 27 Justin upton 5 allen craig 23 alex gordon 18 and bumgarmer 10.

    I am having a hard time deciding on my 6th keeper between todd frazier round 31 or samardzjia round 30. I know samardzjia is going higher in most drafts but I did notice frazier go higher in the razzball experts draft. I am leaning on keeping frazier as 3B is not as deep with all the injuries.

    I have the 6th pick in the draft and am targeting pujols fielder or votto. I also have the 13th pick thru a trade. Who would you keep frazier or samardzjia and why?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I’d go Frazier…

      • marti says:
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        @Grey:

        grey, why frazier? You have samardzjia ranked higher. Why did you take a closer in round 10 in razzball draft with samardzjia available?

        BTW love your website and I tell everybody about it.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Thanks, marti! I shouldn’t have been in Scott’s post to begin with… Sorry, Scott! If you want to followup with me, come to my latest post… When guy’s are equal value, bats over arms in keepers…Frazier’s the bat…

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Definitely Frazier. More to do with me not being sold on Samardzjia than anything else…

  5. Racehorse says:
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    Scott,

    Do you have anything to say about Elier Hernandez?

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Big international signee in 2011. 18 y.o. has good raw tools at the plate, but hasn’t gotten much going yet as a pro. Another huge ceiling guy who’s a long way away. Doesn’t miss my list by much.

  6. The Talented Mr. Dope Man says:
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    Scott,

    Do you know if anyone created a spreadsheet that combines Steamers projections and Rudy’s Point share values (i.e. shows the projection, and then how much the player is worth).

    I just combined the grey’s with rudy’s and it was brutal… don’t want to do it again, any insight would help!

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      I was looking for something similar just yesterday & no luck. It might be worth asking around in the forums, though.

    • That is real simple to do since I can guarantee the names match. Here are the steps. Learning VLOOKUP is the most important Excel trick you can learn…

      1) Cut/paste the Steamer Projections and the Point Shares into separate tabs
      2) Working from the Steamer Projections tab, figure out the column you want a piece of data from the other tab (say, inserting $ into column E)
      3) Go into the first cell where there is a player’s data and do the following:
      =VLOOKUP(a,b,c,FALSE)

      Here is what goes in a/b/c
      a=click the player name cell. so will be something like A2)
      b= go to second tab, highlight all data columns by clicking the ‘A’ in column 1 and dragging until you’ve hit the last data column). will look like ‘Sheet2′!A:N. Add a $ before the two column letters – so ‘Sheet2′!$A:$N. Make sure the name column is the left-most column.
      c=the number of columns to the right of the player name that the data cell you want is. so if player name is A and $ is E, that’s 5

      When you hit enter, it should link in the data. You can drag this formula down to cover all players. You can drag it to the right and update the column number in order to add other columns from the 2nd tab to the first

      Might seem a little difficult but it’s not…and you will find tons of uses for this formula in the future. Works in Google Docs too.

  7. TheNewGuy says:
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    Cut Skaggs in my league to take a gamble on Alberq…lets call him Al. Long story short Skaggs will be available for me to add to my minors if he clears prospect waivers (its a clever but complex system yo).

    So that said who do you like more right now, Skaggs or my current worst prospect M Barnes?

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Skaggs

      • TheNewGuy says:
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        @Scott Evans:
        Will hope I dont get a claim then. Wish id not taken Skaggs as part of the trade now as Id have been able to put a claim in after he cut him!

  8. shitbird says:
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    @Scott Evans: Is your avatar a centaur playing baseball? Pretty bad ass. I always thought it was a guy playing polo but the new web site design provided a better view of the avatars.

    Any the hoo, keep up the great work, I always rely on your prospect rankings in my draft.

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Ha! It is a baseball centaur. Thanks for thinking it’s badass!

  9. TheNewGuy says:
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    Cool, I thought it was a guy playing polo too, a baseball centaur is pretty awesome.

    Got my keeper team all set so its time to look ahead to my H2H draft next week. You being the prospect guru, which 3 ‘prospects’ ready to make a splash in the bigs should I be targeting with the final few picks of my draft? These are the kind of lottery tickets that can help you win a league, im guessing Teheran must be one, Shelby too? Is there any bats too, with no Profar or Myers its kinda shallow on options, but there must be a few guys, guessing Eaton is one of them.

    • TheNewGuy says:
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      @TheNewGuy: And would you consider a ‘draft and hold’ strategy on a top guy like Oscar T, or could I pick him up later in a 12 teamer. In a H2H league these guys could be incredibly valuable for the playoffs.

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Teheran, Miller, Eaton, Gyorko… and I’m not opposed to a draft-and-stash on Taveras, so long as it doesn’t lock up your flexibility — important to remain flexible in weekly h2h

      • TheNewGuy says:
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        @Scott Evans:
        Breaking trade offer occurence! This is back to my keeper league, id been hunting a 3B and have reeled one in, though theres a caveat (if this is the correct use of caveat, sounds like caviar) to it.

        Trade:
        C Santana ($8) and M Moustakas ($6) FOR: D Wright ($38)

        Now I’m trading away my catcher excess (due to autodraft) as I have Yadi too so that part seems great, and im upgrading from Moose to Wright (no brainer). BUT the problem is this, Wrights salary. He crazily gave Wright a 3 year $38 contract, and theres still 2 years left on it. If I cut Wright at the end of the year and noone claims him then i pay a penalty of half ($19) for the broken contract. So it seems like this is an “all in this year” type of deal, ideal for me this year, but not next. I could maybe try and be really clever and cut Wright with a few days of the season to go, to hope someone claims him and takes on the contract.

        Question is is (stutterer!) it worth the risk?

        • Scott Evans

          Scott Evans says:
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          This is unusual, because I see most people keeping Wright at a discount this season, still riding off his poor year in 2011. I love him, though & that deal makes so much sense for you if it weren’t for the crazy contact terms. I still take the risk, though.

          • TheNewGuy says:
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            @Scott Evans: Thanks man, glad to hear one outta the 4 razzball guys agrees with me! Im still waiting to see if I get any other offers in, but if not then I think im ready to go for it this year and take the plunge. At the end of the day its essentially:

            Santana and Moose FOR Freese (benched, would take over Util) and Wright.

            Can’t say that isnt a good deal. Only issue is Wrights contract next year, but its what 8-10 bucks too much? Not totally horrendous.

          • TheNewGuy says:
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            @Scott Evans: That said I could always try and improve 2B instead, without the same long-term ramifications. Would you consider an upgrade at 2B to be a better deal for this season and long-term (Pedroia must be kept for another year too)?

            C Santana ($8) and Altuve ($8) for Pedroia ($28)

            • Scott Evans

              Scott Evans says:
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              I like the deal for Wright/Freese better — although that’s a lot of injury risk you’re taking on. Hold Altuve… I think you’re fine at 2B

              • TheNewGuy says:
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                @Scott Evans: Wouldnt be getting Freese, he’d just be allowed to then fit into my lineup as he was on my bench before.

                Anyway I did the trade for Wright. Pretty happy as I needed an improvement in the infield to really compete this year, and ill worry about 2014 down the line.

                Bad news on Motte though, and to think I could’ve traded Paps instead in my earlier Hamilton deal, Gah! As a Cards fan, think theres any chance T-Rose gets in line for some saves? Boggs’ already gone and I could sure use some saves, and you know I have Rosie down on my farm.

                • Scott Evans

                  Scott Evans says:
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                  Rosenthal has better stuff than Buggs right now. I’m hoping that he ends up in that role before long, but ya never know…

  10. Crotch Potatoe says:
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    In a long-running dynasty league and I’ve already amassed a good farm: D’Arnaud, Bogaerts, Rendon, Castellanos, Arenado and Tavares as bats, and Miller, Wheeler, Fernandez, Skaggs, Cole, Feliz as pitchers. Just got offered Bundy for Tavares straight up–is this a lay-up, or too close to call?

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Hold Taveras. No question.

      • Crotch Potatoe says:
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        @Scott Evans: Thanks! I’ve read reports that Bundy is a “once in a generation” talent, but he’s a pitcher so God knows how that turns out. Tavares feels like as close as you can get to a sure thing in the prospecting game (no whammies no whammies no wha…shit I just ruined him didn’t I ?!?)

        • Scott Evans

          Scott Evans says:
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          Haha don’t worry. Oscar is impervious to jinxes.

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