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Royals 2011 Season Preview Part IV - The Prospects

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If you’ve been following the Royals at all recently, it shouldn’t surprise you to know that they have a really good farm system. It’s ranked the top system overall by every publication that follows the Minor Leagues. Staring down the barrel of what looks likely to be another rough season at the Major League level, many will shift their focus to the Minors early in the season. I thought I’d put together a small preview of who to keep an eye on in 2011.

I just got back from Surprise where I spent about 20 minutes watching the Major League team and somewhere around 20-30 hours watching the Minor League guys. I’ve laid eyes upon these guys , so my analysis is my own and it's supplemented with things I’ve heard first-hand. I’m not repeating things that I’ve read at other places. I think it’s important to form first-hand opinions on these guys when possible.

Salvador Perez (C) – He’s the hot pick to be the breakout player of 2011. He’s a catcher who gets rave reviews on his defense but can also handle the bat. I saw him hit two balls with bit time power in Spring Training. He’s going to likely start the season at AA Northwest Arkansas and he’s only 20 years old.

Wil Myers (OF) – He converted from catcher this offseason because he’s got a fantastic bat, he wasn’t a great catcher and the Royals have Sal Perez. He has plate discipline beyond his years and can drive the pitch that he eventually selects. I saw him take four walks this spring, which is rare in those games. He’ll also start at AA Northwest Arkansas.

Eric Hosmer (1B) – In my mind, he’s the best prospect in the Royals system. He is a well above average defensive first baseman and he has big time power. I posted a video of his homerun this Sunday on YouTube. He can also hit for average and likes to go opposite field when he can. He’s one of the best prospects in all of baseball. He’s likely going to start the season at AAA Omaha, and could be in a Royals uniform this September.

Mike Moustakas (3B) – He’s not as tall and athletic as Eric Hosmer is, but he has amazing bat speed. He can and will put the bat on the ball nearly anywhere in the strike zone. There are questions about his ability to stay at third base, but for now he’s holding his own. He’ll start at AAA Omaha, but will likely be in a Royals uniform sometime in June.

John Lamb (LHP) – Mike Montgomery (LHP) –Chris Dwyer (LHP) – Danny Duffy (LHP) – These four elite left-handed starting rotation candidates usually get lumped together and I’ll do the same here. Lamb has great control. Montgomery has a power fastball with a good changeup but has some injury concerns. Dwyer might be the most polished and most underrated. Duffy might be the best of the bunch. Any organization in baseball would love to have one of these guys, the Royals have an embarrassment of riches in that they have all four of them.

Jason Adam (RHP) – He was drafted out of high school in Overland Park, KS by the Royals in 2010. He’s been impressing people ever since. He was the buzz around Royals Spring Training and it’s well deserved. I watched him throw 94-96 and toss a curveball that he could command for strikes. At 19, that’s amazing. He’s the player I’d watch closest this season.

Other names to watch: Christian Colon (SS), Jake Odorizzi (RHP), Lorenzo Cain (CF), Cheslor Cuthbert (3B) and Johnny Giavotella (2B).

If you’d like to get a chance to see some of these players in person, then head to Kauffman Stadium on Saturday, April 2nd. The Royals are playing the Angels at 12:10 and following that game the Northwest Arkansas Naturals (AA) will play the Omaha Stormchasers (AAA) in an exhibition game. I've also posted some more detailed scouting reports from my trip at Royals Authority.

This collection of Minor League talent is unprecedented in recent Royals history and they will begin making their way to the Major League team this season. I’ve had plenty of opportunities to see these players in person and add me to the list of believers. The future is coming and it starts now.

Nick Scott is a contributor to Royals Authority and is the host of the Broken Bat Single Royals podcast, you can follow him on Twitter or on Facebook.

Comments

Royals 3 years, 9 months ago

Nice work on the upcoming players. Are you paid by the royals or someone else? You've seemed to have spent a lot of time at spring training and I'm envious.

What do you think of todays catching aquisition, Matt Treanor?

Nick Scott 3 years, 9 months ago

The Royals don't pay me, I take care of my own expenses. It's important to bring high quality info and I'm happy to do it.

Treanor seems to be an ok defensive guy who pitchers like to throw to and has some veteran experience. I think he's a backup at best and will be taking the place of Kendall now that he's out for longer than originally expected.

Royals 3 years, 9 months ago

His wife's not too bad to watch either.

Nick Scott 3 years, 9 months ago

My wife reads what I write so I plea the 5th.

Nick Scott 3 years, 9 months ago

I love Mike Aviles in fantasy if he drops. Gordon could be a sleeper. Moustakas will be with the big club, so he's worth a late round pick. Escobar might hit the ball ok too.

camper 3 years, 9 months ago

Good piece. Finally a rebuilding project we can believe in because now we really do have a good minor league system. I was a little disappointed that the Royals did not go for a few higher quality free agents just to make this season a little more easier to watch though.

Nick Scott 3 years, 9 months ago

I think they'd have been wasting money on any further free agent acquisitions and they'd have been blocking a prospect almost anywhere. I think the team is going to be better than most expect. Not great, but better.

Steve Jacob 3 years, 9 months ago

$30M Opening Day payroll is a joke. Glass will make a nice profit this year losing 90+ games in an upgraded stadium. Prospects are great, but we are talking 2014.

Nick Scott 3 years, 9 months ago

I think their payroll is exactly what it should be. spending 60m to lose 90 games seems like a much worse idea than spending 30m. Who should they have signed to a free agent contract in order to spend more money?

camper 3 years, 9 months ago

I can't argue with you here, especially if the FA's were players like Guillen, Farnsworth, and Kendall. But I would have liked to see them retain DeJesus.

How does Kila look this Spring? In uniform he has a build much like Pujols.

Nick Scott 3 years, 9 months ago

I didn't see Kila at all in spring. I saw the big league club for about 2 innings total.

I think the Royals felt that dejesus was going to free agency so they traded him instead of letting him walk. They can still re-sign him this offseason if they really want to.

CLARKKENT 3 years, 9 months ago

GREAT ARTICLE, THANK YOU. I REALLY DO THINK THAT THEY WILL BE MUCH BETTER THIS YEAR. PERSONALY, I THINK THE PITCHING WILL DICTATE HOW IT GOES. IF THEY CAN BE SEMI-O.K., I EXPECT GOOD THINGS. I LIKE THE POSITION PLAYERS. THE MINORS ARE REALLY SOMETHING TO GET EXCITED ABOUT. IF BRUCE CHIN CAN PITCH LIKE LAST YEAR, IF LUKE CAN JUST PITCH CONSISTENT, AND THE REST CAN BE AVERAGE TO A LITTLE ABOVE, THE DIVISION COULD BE WITHIN REACH. WHEN THE KIDS START COMING, THAT COULD MAKE THE DIFFERENCE.

Nick Scott 3 years, 9 months ago

The nice thing is that they do have pitchers that they can promote if they need them if the predicted struggles of the rotation come to fruition.

RonBurgandy 3 years, 9 months ago

NIck, what do you see as the future starting outfield? Cain, Myers and ? Gordon? Cain is CF, where have they put Myers? How is Myers arm for the outfield?

Also, what about 2B? Is Getz really the answer there?

Nick Scott 3 years, 9 months ago

Right now it's looking like Gordon in LF, Cain in CF and Myers in RF. Mayers has been playing all three OF positions in Spring Training so he can get used to tracking balls. His instincts and reads need a lot of work. He's a project right now. I don't really know about his arm to be honest with you. I think it's probably ok, but not sure if it's good enough for RF.

OF is a weak spot in general for the Royals minor leagues, I'd expect them to acquire a free agent at some point to fill a gap. Some other names to watch in the OF are David Lough, Derrick Robinson and Brett Eibner.

I am a getz fan, but I think his days are numbered. The Royals have two really good options in Johny Giavotella who isn't a star player but could be a solid major leaguer with the bat. His defense could use some improvement but he has a good plate approach and could be a solid guy there. The other is Christian Colon who is playing SS now, but to me has the body of a second baseman. If alcides escobar can stick at SS, then colon will eventually move to 2B. Both are solid major league options at the position.

For this season, I see Getz starting at 2B but being relegated to the utility role once moustakas is promoted and put at 3B which shifts Aviles over to 2B.

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