Kansas City Royals 2010 Minor League Review
Overall farm rankings via Baseball America (2010)
2010 (17) | 2009 (11) | 2008 (24) | 2007 (11) | 2006 (23) | 2005 (28) | 2004 (19)
Record of Major and Minor League Teams
MLB: [67 – 95] AL Central
AAA: [81 – 63] Pacific Coast League – Omaha
AA: [86 – 54] Texas League – Northwest Arkansas
A+: [68 – 70] Carolina League – Wilmington
A: [64 – 75] Midwest League – Burlington
R: [27 – 49] Pioneer League – Idaho Falls
R: [34 – 34] Appalachian League – Burlington
The Run Down
The volatility of minor league system ranking, especially Baseball America, is exemplified with the Kansas City Royals. Baseball America pegged them eleventh overall entering the 2009 season, several top prospects struggled in notably tough environments and the Royals received the shaft entering 2010. Oh, how the prospect mavens tune changed to laud the collection of talent Dayton Moore has gathered. Seems like I’ve heard that before. This didn’t stop the Royals from adding to their minor leagues talent pool by trading Zack Greinke. I’m not here to grade the merits of the trade, you can find that elsewhere. Everyone should know who Lorenzo Cain is, and many know that Jeremy Jeffress has a blazing fastball and little command. Jake Odorizzi is the unknown as he just completed a full season of Low-A ball and fails to make this article due to the depth of the Royals system, but looks like a number two starter at best, but more a number three starter. The Royals farm system also saw Mike Moustakas bounce back, taking the “Future” third baseman for the Royals title from Alex Gordon, if defensively he’s allowed to stay. Eric Hosmer, Mike Montgomery, the return of Danny Duffy, the surprise of John Lamb, and the continued performance of William Myers should elicit much needed enthusiasm in the town of Kansas City. Remember, 2011 isn’t the year the Royals are planning on graduating the majority of their farm system – that’s 2012.
#15 (1B) Kila Ka’aihue
Arizona Fall League Players – Surprise Rafters
Pitchers – Danny Duffy (LHP), Patrick Keating (RHP), Mike Montgomery (LHP),
Hitters – Salvador Perez (C), Johnny Giavotella (2B), Eric Hosmer (1B), Derrick Robinson (OF)
Players of Interest for 2010
#4 Mike Moustakas | 3B | D.o.B: 9-11-88 | Stats (AA/AAA): .322/.369/.630 | 484 AB | 77 XBH | 36 Hr | .308 ISO | 2/1 SB/CS | 67:34 K:BB | .342 BABIP (AA); .271 BABIP (AAA)
Moustakas had a monster year hitting .347/.413/.687 at Double-A in 259 at-bats and receiving a midseason promotion to Triple-A where he hit .293/.314/.564 in 225 at-bats. Although he struggles taking many walks due to an aggressive hitting philosophy, Mike “The Moose” Moustakas has all the tools to become a fantasy stud, ahem, a great baseball player but without stellar defense. To quote my 2009 Review, “[re: Sophomore Slump] John Sickels did pointed out that his Home/Road splits were the main culprit to his stats (Home: .208/.269/.381 Road: .292/.331/.473) … Another concern a few scouts have risen is his body is transforming into Mr. Moobs (Billy Butler). From a fantasy perspective, he’ll have to hit well next year to stay on the fast track to the majors. This doesn’t necessarily mean 30 homers with a .350/.425/.550 slash line. However, we will want to see an improvement upon his nearly 3:1 K:BB ratio … I am still on his bandwagon, but I am teetering on the edge of the his drivers seat or bailing out.” I guess I was as fickle as Baseball America, but his turnaround sure happened. ETA: June 2011 at the latest. This will be another Evan Longoria type wait. See Scouting the Unknown article for more details.
#5 Eric Hosmer | 1B | D.o.B: 10-24-89 | Stasts (A+/AA): .338/.406/.571 | 520 AB | 72 XBH | 20 Hr | .233 ISO | 14/2 SB/CS | 66:59 K:BB | .382 BABIP (A+); .310 BABIP (AA)
Hosmer actually has more home run potential than Moustakas, however, at a position where it’s more expected than an added benefit. His swing is considered “pure enough that it should produce good average.” He also plays average defense. Supposedly he was having eye issues, and received Lasik. His stat lines show that it helped. In split-time between High-A and Double-A Hosmer showed great power (.233 ISO), although was aided greatly by a high BABIP at High-A (.382) where he played 60 percent of the season (325 AB). Nevertheless, don’t expect Moore to be calling Hosmer up early. Dayton Moore has been quoted of saying that Hosmer will receive a full season at Triple-A for some “seasoning.” Yeah, the same way all other prospects need to be held back until June to save Super-2 status. A good move for the team to stay competitive in the long(er) run.
#16 Johnny Giavotella | 2B | D.o.B: 7-10-87 | Stats (AA): .322/.395/.460 | 522 AB | 49 XBH | 9 Hr | .138 ISO | 13/7 SB/CS | 67:61 K:BB | .354 BABIP
I compared him to Luis Castillo last year, but I was giving too much credit to Giavotella’s defense. His defense is fringe-average at best and his steals are due to him being aggressive when on base. He has a good eye, generally has good at-bats, but does nothing spectacular. A good reserve or possible short-term help if hot.
#10 David Lough | LF | D.o.B: 1-20-86 | Stats (AAA): .280/.346/.437 | 460 AB | 38 XBH | 11 Hr | .157 ISO | 14/5 SB/CS | 72:40 K:BB| .307 BABIP
Above-average speed is best asset as displayed by 12 triples, but his speed isn’t translated to the base paths as he doesn’t get good jumps. Beyond his speed, most of his skills are major league average. Defensively, he can play center field with great results but has often been superseded by superior defenders. Although he struggles against lefties, Lough shows gap power, or doubles power. Seems like a Denard Span-type player to me. May make his appearance in the majors this year as he doesn’t have much left to prove.
#22 Derrick Robinson | CF | D.o.B: 9-28-97 | Stats (AA): .286/.345/.380 | 511 AB | 38 XBH | 2 Hr | .094 ISO | 50/17 SB/CS | 86:45 K:BB | .336 BABIP
He made a stance adjustment at the end of the 2009 season that he gives credit to for his newfound success. Doesn’t have much power, doesn’t walk enough to be a top of the order threat, but his speed makes him a “well above-average center fielder.” Arm is fringe-average. Looks like a Juan Pierre-type prospect.
#1 Mike Montgomery | LHP | D.o.B: 7-1-89 | Stats (A+/AA): 8.5 K/9 | 3.0 BB/9 | 93 IP | 2.61 ERA | 1.01 FIP (A+); 3.97 FIP (AA) | 1.15 WHIP | .4 Hr/9 | 7.4 H/9 | .277 BABIP (A+); .302 BABIP (AA)
According to Baseball America, “[Montgomery is] close to a complete package.” Fastball is a plus pitch that sits between 90 to 92 mph and tops out at 95 mph. Lanky frame could add strength and fastball velocity. Throws a curveball that grades as above-average and change-up flashes plus potential. Mechanically sound. Wasn’t overly lucky at Double-A (.302 BABIP) where the majority of his pitching happened (59 2/3 IP). If he continues his success, Montgomery may have a mid-season call-up. See Scouting the Unknown article for more details.
#19 (TOR) Tim Collins | LHP | D.o.B: 8-21-89 | Stats (AA/AAA): 13.6 K/9 | 3.4 BB/9 | 71 1/3 IP | 2.02 ERA | 2.13 FIP (AA); 2.31 FIP (AAA) | .94 WHIP | .6 Hr/9 | 5.0 H/9 | .323 BABIP (AA); .199 BABIP (AAA)
This is for all you middle-reliever believers. He benefited tremendously from BABIP but this 5 foot 7 inch reliever throws a nasty hook (12-to-6 curve) and a 93 MPH fastball. Could help out in the bullpen during the 2011 season.
#3 William Myers | C | D.o.B: 12-10-90 | Stats (A/A+): .315/.429/.506 | 447 AB | 54 XBH | 14 Hr | .191 ISO | 12/2 SB/CS | 94:85 K:BB | .335 BABIP (A); .411 BABIP (A+)
Excellent raw power and a smooth swing that should allow him to hit for average and power. Scouts compare him to Jayson Werth, a pseudo-catcher in the minors but possessing a body that dictates a position switch. Seems to be the new Jesus Montero. The steals are deceptive as he stole 10 bases at Single-A but isn’t overly fast. His slash line is evenly split between the two levels this year. Don’t expect to see Myers in the majors until 2012.
Clint Robinson | 1B | D.o.B: 2-16-86 | Stats (AA): .335/.410/.625 | 477 AB | 75 XBH | 29 Hr | .290 ISO | 4/3 SB/CS | 86:58 K:BB | .357 BABIP
Robinson is blocked by two players named Hosmer and Moustakas, not to mention Kila Ka’aihue. His power is intriguing but I don’t expect to see the numbers again. His season high in home runs before this year was 17 at Low-A when he was 23. If Robinson hits well to start the year next year and the Royals need a hitter, they may give Robinson a chance to save some time on the arbitration clocks of other prospects.
#7 John Lamb | LHP | D.o.B: 7-10-90 | Stats (A/A+/AA): 9.7 K/9 | 2.7 BB/9 | 147 2/3 IP | 2.38 ERA | 1.13 WHIP | .3 Hr/9 | 7.4 H/9
The success of John Lamb is one of the reasons why the Royals are considered to have a stud farm system (along with the other stud names previously mentioned). He throws a 88 to 91 MPH fastball that can tough 94 MPH with a deceptive delivery, a curveball and a changeup. Scouts praise his veteran like demeanor. Here is a break down of his BABIP and FIP this year: BABIP (.256 at Low-A; .321 at High-A+; .343 at Double-A); FIP (3.20 at Low-A; 1.69 at High-A+; 3.87 at Double-A). As you can see, he pitched well all year. 2012 should be this ETA.
#2 Aaron Crow | RHP | D.o.B: 11-11-86 | Stats (A+/AA): 7.9 K/9 | 3.6 BB/9 | 163 1/3 IP | 5.73 ERA | 3.04 FIP (A+); 4.74 FIP (AA) | 1.51 WHIP | 1.0 Hr/9 | 10 H/9 | .388 BABIP (A+); .322 BABIP (AA)
Crow struggled, at least statistically, during his first year in professional baseball. He strikeout rates left a lot to be desired and was far too hittable (10.0 H/9). His FIPs indicate that he pitched better than his ERA would initially state, but statistically, Crow was a disappointment. He throws a 91 to 94 MPH fastball with good movement that induces a fair amount of groundballs – potentially with a better defense, his number will look better. Crow also throws a slider with above-average potential and fringe-average changeup. I would expect him to see the majors in 2012 – just like the majority of the Royals top prospects.
#8 Danny Duffy | LHP | D.o.B: 12-21-88 | Stats (R/A+/AA): 10.0 K/9 | 2.5 BB/9 | 62 1/3 IP | 2.74 ERA | 4.20 FIP (A+); 2.80 FIP (AA) | 1.11 WHIP | .7 Hr/9 | 7.5 H/9 | .218 BABIP (A+); .331 BABIP (AA)
Duffy nearly quit baseball – he left the team for about a month in March and April. Upon his return, Duffy continued to throw his 88 to 92 MPH fastball with good downward movement, a changeup that he uses deceptively and his slow-arching curveball as an out-pitch with success. The majority of his innings happened between High-A and Double-A (14 IP and 39 IP respectively). He projects to be a number three pitcher. Duffy has a lot of potential, but is probably the further from any of the pitchers mentioned so far. A mid-season call up in 2012 would see to be appropriate, but a 2011 September call up could happen to test him – like all these prospects could use to see if 2012 will be as big as people believe.
#9 Christopher Dwyer | LHP | D.o.B: 4-10-86 | Stats (A+/AA): 10.0 K/9 | 3.8 BB/9 | 102 IP | 3.00 ERA | 2.70 FIP (A+); 4.11 FIP (AA) | 1.30 WHIP | .4 Hr/ 9 | 7.9 H/9 | .347 BABIP (A+); .232 BABIP (AA)
Yet another lefty pitching prospect. Dwyer throws his fastball between 90 to 94 MPH and has a power curveball. Baseball America calls his changeup an “advanced pitched … [and] above-average.” With just 17 1/3 innings thrown at Double-A, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Dwyer held in the minors all year, or at best a September call up. May end up as a reliever if he cannot develop a third pitch.