Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2012 (3) | 2011 (1) | 2010 (16) | 2009 (11) | 2008 (24) | 2007 (11)
2011 Affiliate Records
MLB: [71-91] AL Central
AAA: [79-63] Pacific Coast League – Omaha
AA: [73-64] Texas League – Northwest Arkansas
A+: [66-72] Carolina League –Wilmington
A: [65-74] Midwest League – Kane County
R: [33-43] Pioneer League – Idaho Falls
The Run Down
Even after graduating guys like Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, and Danny Duffy, the Royals system is still flush with future stars. Ownership has granted baseball development personnel a generous budget over recent years for both the draft and the international markets, and it must be satisfying for Royals fans to see those investments paying off. Still, I doubt we’ll see the same arrival of highly touted prospects in 2012 that we saw in 2011. It seems more likely that this group will reach fantasy relevance from 2013-2015. I suppose Mike Montgomery has a shot to make an impact with KC later this year, but I’m confident that the Royals’ back-end starters will hold up. Realistically, relief pitcher Kelvin Herrera might be the best positioned guy of the group to crack your fantasy roster this year. The kid touches 100 with his heater and could certainly work his way into some save opportunities if Broxton/Holland/Crow aren’t effective.
Arizona Fall League Players – Surprise Saguros
Players of Interest
Wil Myers | OF:
After a disappointing year in Double-A, Myers will return to the Texas League, but he’ll make his Triple-A debut at some point in 2012. And when he arrives in the PCL, expect exciting numbers. Myers has the power and patience at the plate to post monstrous figures and he could certainly blossom into a top-tier outfielder in the bigs. All reasons why he came in at #15 in my Top 25 Prospects for 2013 & Beyond.
Christian Colon | SS:
Colon will join Myers in Double-A to begin 2012, where he’ll hope to improve on his poor 2011 season at the plate. The 2010 first-rounder makes good contact, and given his .271 BABIP last year, I’m thinking he’s in for much improved 2012 campaign. With Alcides Escobar blocking shortstop, however, Colon will need to make the transition to second base if he’s to be a regular with the Royals any time soon.
Mike Montgomery | LHP – SP:
Montgomery should arrive in the majors at some point this year, and he’ll be worth owning in most formats when he does, but his real fantasy impact likely won’t happen ’til 2013. A plus fastball and a plus change have him projecting as a number two starter, but if he can work out some command issues, he could be an ace in Kansas City.
Kelvin Herrera | RHP – RP:
With a filthy fastball-curveball combo, Herrera earned a spot in the Royals’ bullpen this spring. And given the uncertainty surrounding the late-inning guys in KC, Herrera might be a sleeper to grab some saves if the others falter. Jeff Zimmerman also thinks highly of him and noted him in his Royals preview for Razzball back in February. Certainly a guy to monitor – Herrera, that is. Although, Zimmerman might be a good guy to monitor too over at Royals Review.
Cheslor Cuthbert | 3B:
A lousy finish to 2011 marred what could have been an outstanding year in Low-A for Cuthbert. He’ll move up to High-A for 2012 where he’ll look to sustain impressive figures for a full season. Should things go well in Wilmington, Cuthbert could be making his Double-A debut before he turns 20. With plus power potential from third base, he’s certainly a guy to keep an eye on for fantasy purposes.
Bubba Starling | OF:
I normally wouldn’t bother mentioning a guy who hasn’t yet played pro ball, especially a high school draftee. Nonetheless, Starling is worth noting. The Royals will be patient with him – he’s beginning 2012 in extended spring training, but he’ll likely join Low-A Kane County once the weather warms. The ceiling here is enormous, though, which is why I ranked him #12 in my Top 25 Prospects for 2013 & Beyond.
Jake Odorizzi | RHP – SP:
Odorizzi has a deceptive fastball, which sneaks up on hitters thanks to an effortless delivery. His secondary stuff, however, has room for improvement. He’ll head back to Northwest Arkansas for 2012 to refine his repertoire, but he should reach Triple-A this year. He’ll make for a nice number three starter once he’s arrived and settled in.
Chris Dwyer | LHP – SP:
Dwyer has all sorts of delivery concerns and he’s headed back to Double-A to try to sort those out. After posting a 5.60 ERA over a full season in the Texas League last year, the Royals would like to see him show significantly more command before they test him in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League. Dwyer relies on his fastball to set up a nice 12-6 breaker, but when he cannot locate the former the effect of the latter is lost entirely. Still, the lefty could fit in as a mid-rotation guy if he can work out some kinks.