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.

  1. Steve says:

    One can only hope the Royals give Alcides a chance (and indeed that Alcides gives HIMSELF a chance) to attain a 75% success rate…

  2. tourinct says:

    10 team 5X5 Roto league. Need to keep 9 of the following:
    P. Alvarez
    Nelson Cruz
    D. Lee
    C. Pena
    A Rod
    D. Hudson
    C. Lee


  3. VinWins

    VinWins says:

    Nice job already updating traded players blurbs!

    I am also working on a tier sheet, so if others don’t work out, call on me.

  4. GopherDay says:

    This guy is very pessimistic on MOOOSE…Hope he turns out great!

  5. @tourinct:

    P. Alvarez – Keep. Will be a stud soon.
    Choo – Keep
    Nelson Cruz – Keep
    Jeter – Geeting too OLD to keep
    D. Lee – Drop and run away
    C. Pena – can find something comparable/better on waivers/draft, I’m sure
    A Rod – Keep
    Ichiro – Getting old. Only good for average.
    Uggla – Keep
    Hellickson – Keep
    D. Hudson – Keep
    C. Lee – Tough to drop, but you’ve kept some good young pitchers and Lee is getting old and has a creaky back.
    Lester – Keep
    Liriano – Keep

  6. Simply Fred

    simply fred says:

    Wow, could be a dry year for KC. Getz the only projected starter to meet the magical 75% (15/2) success rate for SB last year. Think Alcides will get his ops given his 71% (10/4).

  7. Simply Fred

    simply fred says:

    @simply fred: Missed Pena’s 100%! (2/0). Rack ’em up Brayan!!

  8. quimmy says:

    Yeah, Butler is going to be a Royal for awhile. They just announced a 4 year $30 million dollar extension. Good for you moobs!

  9. Elijah says:

    Bit late to the show here but just saw it was Wells traded for Napoli…Angels front office staff are just craptastical…amazing…

  10. GopherDay says:

    @Grey: So, I’m in an expansion draft for a 16 team 5X5 ROTO league this weekend, and I know your rankings haven’t come out yet, but based on what you have written so far this is how I’ve ranked the players available:


    I guess my question is: V-Mart or Cruz?

    With me and one other manager drafting from those players to get their top 5, if the other guy takes Howard 1st overall, should I trade one of Crawford or Utley to a different guy for either Tex or A-Gone. Would you do that?

  11. Jeff Z says:

    #4 – I am just not high on him. I have just seen too many players come through the Royal’s system with no plate discipline flame out.

    #12 – I am betting it is a keeper league, Staton may need to be the 5th choice. Personally, I would have the top five as Utley, Crawford, Youk, Howard, Stanton, Martinez. You may also look to take Sabathia and trade him to another team. The best formula for an expansion team is the Lima approach of getting as good as hitters as you can and aim for winning ERA and WHIP categories with great setup men (maybe steal some saves).

  12. Bob says:

    @Grey: Allow me to vent for a moment. As an Angels fan, all I have to say is, “Tony Reagins, are you the dumbest mother$*)#er in the history of the world?” Vernon Wells contract and give away Mike Napoli. WTF!!

    Anyway, while still trying to recover from that shock, do you think this raises Napoli’s value? He goes to a better hitters park, and while there are still some playing time issues, the absence of Scioscia in his face should really help him I’m guessing. I’m kinda feeling 25 HR is a floor, not a ceiling this year.

  13. Bob says:

    @Grey: Just rechecked your comments about Naps in your top 20’s. You’re very fast. Anyway, I’m personally much more likely to draft Napoli now then I was yesterday.

  14. Eddy says:

    Is this crazy fact true?

    “Dock Ellis, a pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 1970s, threw a no-hitter while under the influence of LSD. At certain points during the game, Ellis said he couldn’t see the batter or the catcher, and as a result, relied on the baseball to tell him where to throw it.”

    That’d be pretty insane if it is.

  15. Clyde Prompto says:

    @Eddy: Here’s an awesome animated video of Dock telling the story of the Acid No-No.


    In a related story, in college I put up a triple-double in intramural basketball while tripping on mushrooms. It remains my greatest athletic achievement.

  16. LMack says:

    I’ve been having a tough time getting a top tier 2b/SS that I feel good about drafting. I got enough value elsewhere to make this a decent team, but should I be worried about filling 2B, SS, and MI with Kendrick, Andrus, and Aviles?

    R17 P11 C Kurt Suzuki, OAK
    R21 P11 C Chris Iannetta, COL
    R3 P11 1B Kevin Youkilis, BOS
    R14 P2 2B Mike Aviles, KC [2B]
    R18 P2 2B Howie Kendrick, ANA
    R5 P11 SS Elvis Andrus, TEX
    R2 P2 3B Ryan Zimmerman, WAS
    R8 P2 3B Pedro Alvarez, PIT
    R9 P11 3B Casey McGehee, MIL
    R1 P11 OF Ryan Braun, MIL [LF]
    R4 P2 OF Justin Upton, ARI [RF]
    R11 P11 OF Michael Stanton, FLA [RF]
    R12 P2 OF Shane Victorino, PHI [CF]
    R15 P11 OF Jose Tabata, PIT [LF]
    R6 P2 SP Josh Johnson, FLA
    R7 P11 SP Tommy Hanson, ATL
    R10 P2 SP Colby Lewis, TEX
    R13 P11 SP Brett Anderson, OAK
    R19 P11 SP Jhoulys Chacin, COL
    R23 P11 SP Justin Masterson, CLE
    R16 P2 RP Drew Storen, WAS
    R20 P2 RP Joel Hanrahan, PIT
    R22 P2 RP Craig Kimbrel, ATL

  17. carlos marmLOL says:

    @Royals dude: don’t want to be rude with the below, so great interview, nice perspectives

    @Grey: better be a big Napoli post on Monday or at least some fun with what happened CMON SON

  18. @Bob: Napoli might get time at DH and catcher….but still, the Jays may now have THREE catchers on opening day trying to get AB’s. They still have J. Molina and I have to think they want to give Arrencibia as many AB’s as possible….I don’t know what they were thinking here. I wouldn’t bank on 25 homers being a floor for Nappy. I don’t even know if that will be a ceiling.

  19. Indyball says:

    Grey: Is it really necessary to have ads on your site that automatically have sound? It’s annoying and I can never visit your site from work

  20. Jeff Z says:

    @carlos marmLOL: Why not, you aren’t going to hurt my feelings. I would prefer the truth any day of the week.

  21. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Elijah: Ha, nice pic.

    @GopherDay: Grab Tex…. Cruz…

    @Bob: Don’t think it changes anyone’s value. Is a bad move by the Angels, for sure.

    @Eddy: Yup

    @LMack: Your team looks solid… Aviles is crizzap.

    @carlos marmLOL: I need to continue the rankings, can’t post on it.

    @Indyball: I’m sorry about that, I asked my ad network a dozen times to remove ads that auto play audio. They said they’re working on it. If it’s not fixed by Monday afternoon, I’ll just remove the ads.

  22. GopherDay says:

    @Grey: Well I had to make my picks before your post…Grabbed Cruz.

    Here are my 5 keepers:

    For a 16 team league, how do they look?

    Thanks Grey!

  23. Eddy says:

    @carlos marmLOL:

    If you saw the comments (and the updated blurbs) last night you’ll see that Grey said Napoli and Wells’ value does not change at all. Their projections remain the same.
    @Jeff Z: @len sakata: @Clyde Prompto:

    Thanks for the video! That actually was a pretty great animation. I loved the last part where he took a final stamp when he was hoisted up by his teammates.

    Pretty crazy story, I’m surprised I just found out about it!

  24. “White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said Gordon Beckham will hit second for him during the 2011 season.”

    Mildly encouraging for him.

  25. @Eddy:

    Yah amazed you hadn’t heard of it, its a folklore fixture.

  26. Grey

    Grey says:

    @GopherDay: They look solid.

    @Elijah: Thanks for the heads up on Beckham!

  27. Tom Thumb says:

    @Grey: I always wondered how you juxtaposed players in overall ranking. I mean, it’s obvious how you rank players for each position by whether one player outperforms the other. But how do you determine mixed rankings, whether one’s higher average ranks more heavily than another’s SB, whether his position matters, etc.

  28. The Vaporizers says:

    Hey Grey, I had searched for “Decker” earlier and came across your Top 50 prospects list. You should definitely add a link to this page on the 2011 Fantasy Baseball Rankings section for quick access. I know I plan on visiting it again!

  29. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Tom Thumb: Combination of things, but it’s still a blueprint. After you’ve made one pick in your draft, you need to do what’s best for your team. Doesn’t matter if Marmol is over Beckham if you need an infielder more than a closer.

    @The Vaporizers: It’s getting updated next week so I’ll put it in the rankings page then. It is on the left sidebar under Features.

  30. GopherDay says:

    @Grey: Would you trade Posey and Mike Montgomery (Royals Minor league prospect off my minor league squad) for Wainwright and Doumit?

  31. Grey

    Grey says:

    @GopherDay: Depends what you need. Catcher or pitcher. I’d take Wainwright.

  32. Stephen

    Stephen says:

    @Gopher Day: I’d try to keep Posey. Not to differ with Grey, but I’d want to flip Montgomery and someone else. Wainwright is a top shelf pitcher, but Posey is quite solid, and Montgomery’s value is the highest it’s been, well, ever. I’m assuming this is a league where you keep a lot of players (as seen in the minor league roster).

  33. GopherDay says:

    @Grey: @Stephen: Yeah, meant to say its a dynasty league, (14 team, 5X% ROTO) keep all players. We have a 15 man minor league roster as well.

    My pitching, well, was atrocious last season, and my hitting (with me shuffling catchers half the year) pulled me though to 6th place.

    I already offered him the trade, I doubt he accepts, but if he wants any more I’ll just call it off. Thanks for the help!

  34. pjtres says:

    grey, would you rather have the dread pirate, bruce, or cliffy lee for the next 3 years in a keeper?

  35. carlos marmLOL says:

    @JeffZ: by not being rude i meant i didn’t want to ask an arbitrary question about some blue jays catcher without acknowledging your great contribution (if you were involved in that Royals interview)

    hard to tell who’s who

  36. Grey

    Grey says:

    @GopherDay: Wainwright is a Cy Young hopeful and a top five pitcher. Can anchor your staff for years to come. Posey is a catcher.

  37. Travis says:

    Love ur work but what’s up with all the ad’s?????

  38. GopherDay says:

    @Grey: A’right, I appreciate the differing opinions. :) Thanks!

  39. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Travis: What do you mean? Is it the auto playing audio? I’m working on fixing that.

  40. Eddy says:

    @Grey and all razzballers with experience:

    For some time now, I’ve had the urge to simply go out and start buying rookie cards of baseball players online. I have one problem though: which card brand is the best? Or in other words, down the road, which will be the most valuable? I ask because when I search a player, several brands (for the most part around the same price range) appear and I’m not sure which is the best bet.

    I’d greatly appreciate some insight here if anyone knows anything. I can’t think of a better group of guys to ask.

  41. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Eddy: Guess the market could turn around but baseball cards are not a good investment right now… Unless you’re holding them for 40 years. I don’t know which brand. I’d guess Topps, but haven’t collected baseball cards in 20 years.

  42. Stephen says:

    @Gopher Day: I agree with Grey about Wainwright’s talent (Cy Young). If you want to get picky, Montgomery as similar numbers in the minors that Wainwright had too and is nearly 9 years younger. I think a lot of the reason I wouldn’t want that trade is because you would be receiving Doumit in return and I’ve been burned by his injuries on multiple occasions. Plus, Doumit’s 2006 season looks to be an outlier. In a vacuum and the short-term I want Wainwright, in the long term I want Posey.

    @Eddy: I’d guess Topps too, but I concur with Grey for the rest of his insight too.

  43. Eddy says:

    @Grey: @Stephen:

    Thanks fellas, my dreams are now shattered.

    I keed, I keed. Hmm, looks like I’ll have to find another niche then!

  44. Smokey

    Smokey says:

    @Eddy: Eddy the market for cards is so watered down. if you want something just for collectability than i would say Bowman. But if you want value you want to get anything that offers multiple signature or jersey swatches on the same card these are all numbered and the lower the number(say out of 10 or 1 of 1) the better.

  45. sephmeier says:

    If looking for modern rookie cards go with bowman chrome or topps chrome…if you can afford it get the ones with the autos…

  46. GopherDay says:

    @Stephen: Well, he didn’t want the Posey and Montgomery for Wainy and Doumit, and countered with Posey, Ian Kennedy, and Mike Minor for Wainy and Doumit. Which I accepted.

    I’m not as high on Kennedy, and I liked Minor but wasn’t bullish on him.

    Here’s my roster for that league:
    C: Ryan Doumit
    1B: Adrian Gonzalez
    2B: Brandon Phillips
    3B: Michael Cuddyer
    SS: Ian Desmond
    IF: Chris Carter
    OF: Shane Victorino
    OF: Chris Young
    OF: Delmon Young
    Util: Manny Ramírez
    BN: Ryan Kalish
    BN: Michael Saunders

    SP: Yovani Gallardo
    SP: Clayton Kershaw
    RP: Michael Wuertz
    RP: Brandon Lyon
    P: Luke Gregerson
    P: Hisanori Takahashi
    P: Adam Wainwright
    BN: Jhoulys Chacin
    BN: Homer Bailey
    BN: A.J. Burnett
    BN: Jorge De La Rosa
    BN: Clayton Richard
    BN: Javier Vázquez
    BN: Shaun Marcum

    Minor League Roster:
    2B Jason Kipnis
    3B Mike Moustakas
    1B/OF Jerry Sands
    OF Jaff Decker
    OF John Raynor
    OF Josh Sale
    SP: Alexander Torres
    SP Alex Colome
    SP Matt Moore
    SP Simon Castro
    SP Mike Montgomery
    SP Zach Britton
    SP Alex White
    SP Arodys Vizcaino

    Same league, would you deal Vazquez and Richard for A-Ram?

  47. Tom Thumb says:

    @GopherDay: No offense but I wouldn’t have made that trade at all. Doumit sucks and you didn’t really need Wainwright. But to each his own

  48. GopherDay says:

    @Tom Thumb: None taken at all. I have a lot of pitching depth, and Posey is a catcher. Doumit does suck, but he was pretty much a throw in so I would get a catcher.

  49. Travis says:

    @Grey: yes after like 5 seconds I’m hearing all about the stock market:)@Grey: Yes, after 5 sec I get to hear all about the stock market:)

  50. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Travis: Sorry about that. It’s supposed to be fixed by tomorrow. If not, I’ll pull those ads.

  51. Steve says:

    @Grey: What do you think of Kila now that Butler has signed an extension?

    Will he still get his ABs?

  52. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Steve: They’re both DH/1B. So they can split time at either. Betemit works his way into maybe 150-200 ABs. Kila may only see 350-400, unless he hits well.

  53. Steve says:

    @Grey: Would you draft him in a 16-teamer? (emoticon)

  54. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Steve: For a corner? Sure… Not sure who else is out there though.

  55. Steve says:

    @Grey: Util.

    And nobody much.

  56. Whiskey Diet says:

    @GopherDay: Wouldn’t say he’s to pessimistic about Moose. He’s ranked #7 on the Top 50 Fantasy Baseball Prospects.

  57. Stephen says:

    @Gopher Day: Sure, you have minor league pitching depth and Cuddy is a poor 3B play long term but you’re banking on Mike Moustakas not busting.

  58. Simply Fred

    simply fred says:

    @Steve: @Grey: Looks like Freese is available. Is he more likely to get a full slate of AB and therefore a better choice than Kila? (Also yields some backup to Stewart.)

  59. GopherDay says:

    @Whiskey Diet: I was referring to the guy Grey interviewed from the Royals, not Stephen.

    @Stephen: Yeah, I had A-Roid there, but I had since traded him away leaving a crappy void at 3B. I’m not overspending on Aramis, considering I picked up both Richard and Vazquez last season, plus all my pitching depth.

    Thanks for the help!

  60. Eric W says:

    these team previews are going to take awhile didn’t know you were starting with AAA teams this year

  61. YourMomsBoyfriend says:

    it’s funny. you talk about “hacking” and low OBP in the minors, but yet you GLOW about Stanton and his “potential” in the majors. I see Moustakas as Stanton with a bit less power (well, NOBODY has Stanton power these days, it seems) and more OBP skills. Let’s look at the stats:

    Stanton’s Minor League Lines:

    2007 – A-/Rookie – .161/.226/.494 with a K/BB ratio of 21/4
    2008 – A – .293/.381/.993 with a K/BB ratio of 152/58
    2009 – A+/AA – .255/.341/.842 with a K/BB ratio of 144/59
    2010 – AA – .313/.441/1.170 with a K/BB ratio of 53/44 in 53 games

    obviously, his K/BB is getting better, however, it’s still nothing to write home about. His major league stats are:

    2010 – .259/.326/.883 with a K/BB ratio of 123/34. That stinks, but the guy’s a talent.

    Now, let’s look at Moustakas:

    2007 – Rookie – .293/.382/.822 with a K/BB ratio of 8/4 in 11 games
    2008 – A – .272/.337/.805 with a K/BB ratio of 86/43
    2009 – A+ -.250/.297/.718 with a K/BB ratio of 90/32
    2010 – AA/AAA -.322/.369/.999 with a K/BB ratio of 67/34

    so, while he hacks alot (limited walks), he strikes out FAR less than Stanton and walks only a tad bit less. If Stanton is a top-60 OF (#26 on your list), which is a top 1/3 of all OF, I would HAVE to argue that Moustakas, based on his Minor League track record, is VERY capable of putting up top 1/3 of all 3B in the Majors as of June 1.

  62. WhoDatWhoDey says:

    12 team 6×6 roto. I can keep 12 of the following:

    Grandy Ubaldo
    Mauer Kershaw
    Pence Nathan
    Rasmus Rivera
    A-Rod Wandy
    Sandoval Scherzer
    Ichiro Soria
    Uggla Weaver

    Obviously, I dominated most pitching cats. last year (had R. Soriano too) but I want to go young and still stay competitive. Need direction!

  63. Grandy-Keep
    Weaver-Keep…as long as it’s not Jeff

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