Saturday, July 31, 2010

Deadline Swap

Deadline Deal- KC Royals trade Rick Ankiel and Kyle Farnsworth to the Atlanta Braves for Gregor Blanco, Tim Collins and Jesse Chavez.

Gregor Blanco is a 5'11 170 lbs slap hitting average fielding centerfielder who has hit 3 HRs from '06-10 between the minors and bigs, what does he provide to the Royals? Nothing really, he doesn't run the bases well, doesn't play above average defense which he would need to be worth something, overall he is a below average player who probably does nothing more than move Maier to a corner OF spot where he loses his value. Blanco is the type of player that should be stored in AAA and brought up as an injury fill in.

Jesse Chavez - 6'2 Righty throws a mid 90s fastball with a 90 mph bump slider along with a high 80s change up. His fastball didn't appear to have much movement on it Sunday as he got tagged for a HR but he can throw hard and seems to be another possible reclamation project for McClure who had done well with Tejeda and Farnsworth the last couple seasons.

Tim Collins - Collins was the key to the deal for the Royals, he came into the season ranked as the #10 and #19 rated prospect for the Toronto Blue Jays(part of the SS deal with Braves) by Kevin Goldstein and Baseball America. Collins as I'm sure you've read elsewhere is a short hard throwing lefty with a 94 mph fastball and good 12 to 6 curve. He is only 20 and has dominated every level he has been at never recording a K/9 below 10.5 at any stop. Collins will report to AAA Omaha where he and Louis Coleman will hopefully team up as bullpen stoppers in AAA this season and in KC next.

Overall this trade is a major win for the Royals adding a couple BP arms one of which could be a real contributor with an AAA 5th OF fill in type for two soon to be Free Agents while also clearing room for younger players who need opportunities to play. Dayton Moore deserves alot of criticism for his mistakes with the big league roster in the past but the signings of Rick Ankiel, Kyle Farnsworth and Scott Podsednik turned out to be halfway decent. He got decent play from Podsednik and a half seasons worth from Farnsworth while Ankiel thanks to injury didn't block anyone. He overpaid for two of them but in the end it worked out to 5 prospects and some ok play. If GMDM continued to net those type of results from free agent signings I would be cool with it as should most Royals fans.

Ranking of the 3 deals:
#1 Sean O'Sullivan and Will Smith for Alberto Callaspo
#2 Tim Collins, Jesse Chavez and Gregor Blanco for Rick Ankiel and Kyle Farnsworth
#3 Lucas May and Elisaul Pimentel for Scott Podsednik

Friday, July 30, 2010

Countdown Deadline

GMDMs objectives should be simple:

#1 Find Kila Ka'aihue At Bats- KC goes into next season without a bonafide DH on the roster due to the Jose Guillen contract expiration and GMDM needs to find out if Kila Ka'aihue is a real option. If GMDM can unload Guillen at the deadline then Kila could appear in as many as 58 games, earning in the neighborhood of 260 ab's which should be enough to see if the AAA stats translate or not.

#2 Bring back prospects- GMDM already has done that with the additions of O'Sullivan, May, Pimentel and Smith but any other additions are worth it. There are going to be casualties in the prospect rise and any other troops GMDM can bring in will help soften the blow.

#3 Adding positional prospects- So far GMDM has concentrated on pitching but he needs to look at the possibilities of adding more positional prospects because the guys in the system are far from locks. Just taking a quick peak at the prospects at positions at the upper levels one can see some shaky ground up the middle.

C Pina, May
1b Hosmer, Kila, Robinson
2b Giavotella, Bianchi
SS Bianchi, Falu
3b Moustakas
RF Parraz
LF Lough, Smith, Orlando
CF Dyson, Lough, Robinson, Orlando

There doesn't appear to be much coming up the middle although Giavotella has had a good second half offensively, his defense is still very bad though. Who knows how Bianchi recovers from Tommy John and Falu profiles as a Bloomquist type not an everyday player. The outfielders look more like a group of 4th outfielders with perhaps Lough being the best of the group if he can build on his more patient approach in July. 1b and 3b look to be set if Moose can hit at AAA while Colon and Myers aren't far behind and could be the starters of the future at SS and C/RF. GMDM needs to see if he can add some positional prospects at the upper levels the way he added Pina, Parraz and Smith the last couple of seasons.

#4 Trade Joakim Soria- Anytime a team like Kansas City has an opportunity to trade a closer and redirect the direction of their franchise they should really consider it. Montero is on the board for the Yankees if they add one more upper tier prospect to the mix or maybe Brett Gardner then GMDM should do it. He'll have 2 to 3 years to find a replacement closer since KC isn't looking at being in the mix again for a division until 2012 or 2013. After seeing what the Nats pulled for 1+ year of Matt Capps, Montero and Gardner doesn't seem out of line.

#5 Giving Alex and Maier playing time- Need to move Ankiel it appears to do this and that seems unlikely but GMDM needs to see if these guys are real starter options for next season. I believe Maier could be a 2 WAR player in CF which is definitely worth him starting everyday in KC but Gordon's return is bringing up more and more question marks. Alex's offense is the worry to me as he has shown no pop since his callup maybe he just needs more time to recover but his good second half in '08 is getting farther and farther away while career path is looking more like Mark Teahen's, one good half of baseball and below average play besides that.

I don't expect all of this to get done in fact just a Jose Guillen trade would be enough as long as Kila was called up but anything more on top of that would help clear up the foggy 2011.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I was wrong thank god Pods traded

I came out and said I doubt GMDM would trade Podsednik and oh man am I glad I was wrong. The Royals tonight turned him along with the rest of his contract to the Dodgers for Lucas May and Elisaul Pimentel. May is an AAA catcher who was converted from shortstop a couple years ago. He has a decent bat but has struggled with breaking balls and the conversion to backstop at times. He probably profiles best as a backup catcher in the bigs but has some potential as a possible second division type starter. The other player in the trade Pimentel is a 22 year old right-handed starting pitcher who throws in the 89-93 mph range with his fastball while also throwing a slider and change up although those two are inconsistent from what Ben Badler tweets. These prospects aren't anywhere near the Carlos Santana-Casey Blake deal that the Dodgers got roped into a couple years ago but Royals fans should be happy that Podsednik wasn't apart of the long term plans and as a 34 year old performed better than the 1 million the Royals paid him and returned a couple prospects in return.

MLBTradeRumors also reported that the Royals are interested in making more deals. With what we have heard about the Royals getting close on a DDJ deal prior to the injury and supposedly close on a Guillen deal with the Giants GMDM seems to recognize his window to load up on prospects.

Dutton reports that early signs show Greg Holland will get the promotion in place of Podsednik a good deal for Greg who has been on fire in July carrying a 16.45 K/9 rate. He's compact guy at 5'11 throwing mid 90s with a good slider. Holland's biggest weakness is his lack of control something as fans we are quite used to but hopefully his fastball slider combo will be enough to keep him out of trouble. Look for Louis Coleman to be the next arm up from the minors if Farnsworth would happen to get traded.

Hello GMDM 3 days left and the future is getting closer

Rumors- Nothing really, NL West teams were calling on Podsednik but the Padres were said to not be a good fit. The Giants don't need him as they have plenty of lefty bats and some speed in the outfield they are much more likely to get Cantu and perhaps Guillen as a consolation prize. The Rockies are 8 games back which means they are closer to becoming sellers than buyers. That leaves the Dodgers who currently have Garrett Anderson hitting .183, Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp but also have Manny on a rehab assignment. Perhaps only being 5 games back they would be interested in Pods and as Royal fans the Dodgers are definitely the team we want interested in a player. The McCourts are cash strapped and have given away good young controllable talent for mediocre major league players (Carlos Santana for Casey Blake). I just don't see it though I hope I'm wrong but with the way Gordon has looked in the outfield since getting called up and Podsednik's decent season I just see GMDM looking more and more at exercising Pods option, I hope I'm wrong though.

Farnsworth sore leg is another sign of the bad Karma KC is continuously dealing with. Of course it couldn't be Guillen getting injured it had to be Farnsworth and DDJ who could yield some good young players instead Guillen will flash his immobility in the outfield no one will come a calling and then KC will try to get someone to bite after clearing waivers and unless Kenny Williams doesn't grab someone for that DH spot I doubt anyone will. Glass is such a penny pincher and looking to unload this team that they won't outright release him giving him the job thru September and yet again blocking Kila from getting a real audition.

Down in the Minors it appears John Lamb and Danny Duffy has been promoted to NW Arkansas where they'll join Aaron Crow and Chris Dwyer in the rotation. What a rotation if Mike Montgomery joins them later this season I would have to believe that is the most stacked minor league rotation in quite sometime. Let’s take a look at where everyone is currently

Mike Moustakas- Omaha Royals
Mike Montgomery- Arizona Royals rehab assignment
Eric Hosmer- NW Arkansas
Wil Myers- Wilmington
John Lamb- NW Arkansas
Christian Colon- Wilmington
Chris Dwyer- NW Arkansas
Danny Duffy- NW Arkansas
Aaron Crow- NW Arkansas
David Lough- Omaha
Louis Coleman- Omaha

Tim Melville- Wilmington
Kila Ka'aihue- Omaha
Salvador Perez- Wilmington
Tyler Sample- Burlington
Jordan Parraz- Omaha
Cheslor Cuthbert- Idaho Falls
Derrick Robinson- NW Arkansas
Tim Smith- NW Arkansas
Johnny Giavotella- NW Arkansas

That's 12 of my Top 20 in the Upper two levels of the minors and that's not including Mike Montgomery on a rehab assignment. The Future is coming and it's starting to really pound on that door. While I don't believe GMDM should rush these guys he needs to look at what he has and start adding to it because there is going to be some failures on this list and passing on deals for Podsednik, Farnsworth, Soria or anyone else on this failing major league roster is a plan to fail in 2012 when some of these guys are here to play and stay.

Monday, July 26, 2010

ORoyals video and Soria rumor pops up again 5 days left

I've attended the last three ORoyals games a doubleheader Sunday and the afternoon game Monday. Quick thoughts on a few guys

Jarrod Dyson- Only got to see him show off the wheels once as he stole a base Monday afternoon but he showed a good arm in center when he would've had Morrison on a close play at the plate had Pina hung on to the ball. Looked alright at the plate as one could expect a couple line drives with not much pop.

Dyson single

David Lough- The usual solid performance from David played solid defense in left while becoming a bit more patient at the plate. His bat is as quick thru the zone as any Royal minor leaguer in the system and despite his size provides nice pop. David's BABIP is attrocious this month(.132 comin into today) but even with that he is carrying a .368 OBP his highest of any month this season and has drawn 9 more walks(19/10) than he did in April-June. If he can build on his last 10 games .257/.386/.514 and the solid approach KC has a solid ML CF/4th OF, in the mold of Brett Gardner with a tick less speed but a tick more pop.

David Lough Groundout
David Lough Forceout

Mike Moustakas- I don't think we'll have to worry about groundouts to second ala Alex because I didn't see him hit a ball on the ground during the three game set but unfortunately I didn't see him square up a ball either. He seems to be taking every first pitch which at the triple A level probably isn't the best approach as the pitchers are savvy enough to feed him offspeed pitches when he is down in the count and get him out with pitches out of the zone which is exactly what happened in the three games I saw. Quite a few popouts and a couple he hit on the button at people. Defensively he didn't get many chances other than a tailor made 5-3 double play he turned. I think AAA is a good challenge to Mike and it'll be a good challenge to him and force him to start hitting down in the count.

Mike Moustakas flyout to CF
Mike Moustakas strikes out swinging

Kila Ka'aihue and Logan Morrison- As usual Kila is the man was unloading on all swings and knocked out a opposite field HR on Monday. He's patient looks for pitches he can crush in "his zone" and when he sees one there is no wasted swing. Other than Logan Morrison Kila was the best looking hitter on the field and uncoiled on all hit attempts. He has a professional approach everytime and is looking for something he can handle. He never waivers no matter what the count, I wish KCs hitters would do the same unfortunately it probably doesn't matter what Kila does cause GMDM is a moron. As I mentioned Morrison is a total stud who is country strong and combines Kila's approach with a little more raw talent and bat speed. Morrison probably doesn't have Kila's strength but he is a solid gap hitter that could probably be an above average hitter at the ML level within a year or two.

Kila Ks
Logan Morrison Groundout

As you can see with the videos I tagged I had some bad luck with the cam as far as results but I was mostly looking to show off the bat speed of these guys. Video quality is better than yesterday.

Rumor- The latest rumor today was that the Yankees offered Montero as apart of a deal for Soria. Jesus Montero is a lock for pretty much every Top 10 list of prospects in baseball, is a catcher by his current position only and a 20 year old holding his own at AAA, so pretty much there isn't much not to like. In fact Jon Heyman said on MLBNetwork they offered the same package as Cliff Lee to the Royals and they turned it down. If true then GMDM is an idiot an even bigger one than we already thought. So in two days KC has rumors they are interested in Frenchy and turned down a deal for Montero+, if those aren't fireable offenses then I don't know what are. The Royals are said to want more pitching, why? They have quite a bit of pitching in the system already how much do they need, yes they are going to deal with some prospect failures but come on they already have more pitching in the minors than any other team in the bigs. They need the best talent made available to them whether that is a stud hitting catcher, outfielder or a centerfielder. GMDM should be doing nothing but stockpiling talent at all positions not just pitching, does he not realize if he has Montero, Myers and Perez behind the dish at least one is going to fail, one is going to make it and he can deal the other. This guy just doesn't get it. If the Yankees did offer this and GMDM passed well I guess 2012-2014 will probably just turn out to be more of the same.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

6 Days left and the new hellish rumor

Before I get to the latest rumor and why I want to stab my eyes out I thought I'd give you a couple video's of Mike Moustakas and Logan Morrison. At the current time you can see the differences in their games as Morrison is a bit more patient although the Royals didn't toss any lefties at him while Mike got the majority of his ABs Sunday versus lefties. I thought I'd have more video but the cam was acting up. Hopefully I'll have some more Monday.

Mike Moustakas single

Logan Morrison Double

Royals-Mets swap Kyle Farnsworth, Jose Guillen, Gil Meche for Oliver Perez, Jeff Franceour and Luis Castillo.

This is a godawful idea in absolutely every way, Perez sucks, Frenchy continues to suck and Castillo might be worse than the other two. It is so bad but almost inevitable as Dayton Moore is such a shitty GM that every time there is a rumor about him liking some shitty ballplayer getting traded to the Royals it goes down. First it was Farny, then Yuni now Frenchy, these rumors all started three years ago and then just when we forget about them boom shit is on the roster.

We fans hated the Farnsworth signing but he has actually pitched himself into being worth something and instead KC is going to ship him out for a worse player than what KC already has on the roster I can't even express how dumb that is to even think about let alone do. They should be trading him for a B or C level prospect not a a crap player like Franceour. This will cement sure victory for GMDM in the crap GM contest. How does Minaya even have the balls to ask for GMDM to take on Perez, Frenchy and Castillo? Oh ya because it's GMDM on the other end of the line, the worlds most ignorant baseball GM. I have praised Dayton for the prospects in the system but when you toss in his ignorant major league moves it is apparent he is nothing more than a scouting director and anything above that is over his skillset.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

A week to go and the Greinke rumors are starting

But when clubs inquire about Greinke, the Royals respond by saying they would want two major-league-ready pitchers with top-of-the rotation potential in return.

Their logic is that Greinke gives them a chance to win 35 times a year. To move him, they would want to multiply that number to, say, 70 times a year.

According to Jon Heyman and Ken Rosenthal everyone on the Royals roster is attainable including Zack Greinke. I'm like most who have the opinion that no one is unsellable given the right offer but this one kind of wreaks of sell off. Additional rumors of Glass possibly selling the team and needing to trim salary to make it more attractive might be behind this. Greinke is owed 27 million over the next two years which at his talent level is not a huge sum but is also affordable to other small market teams with talent. What should KC be looking for in return?

TB- Two of Desmond Jennings or Jeremy Hellickson with Matt Moore or Wade Davis

ATL- Julio Teheran and Mike Minor

I just don't see a real good match as the teams that would pull this off Sox and Yankees don't have much top end pitchers in their system while the Rays probably wouldn't unload the top talent it would take. I'm not against the move but I would definitely want more than what the Mariners got for Cliff Lee. They might need to get a third team involved to get what they want and deserve for Zack.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Alex Up, Kila waits, DDJ Out 8 Days left

8 Days Left til the deadline and DDJ is officially out for the season. Maybe this isn't so bad because the Royals can look to move Scott Podsednik instead of DDJ, Pods definitely hasn't been a bad signing in fact one of GMDMs better ones but if he can return something worth while do it. DDJs injury also allows the Royals to take a look at Alex Gordon in the outfield. The games I've seen Alex he has decent movement in the outfield not great coverage but playable while he also has a very good arm. Hopefully this move is made to have Alex play OF as opposed to 3b.

The deadline is approaching the best chip the Royals have is out for the season and the roster continually gets aligned with dead soldiers like Guillen and Ankiel. The Royals need to make some moves to give this team a chance to compete in the future, one of those moves needs to be bringing up Kila Ka'aihue to see if he is a legit DH candidate. Unfortunately I just don't see that coming soon unless JoGui can get traded soon.

Rumor- Royals interested in Franceour. This is idiotic and makes absolutely no sense unless the Royals are just looking to unload JoGui and even at that I'm not interested in Frenchy blocking playing time from Gordon, Maier or anyone.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Alberto Callaspo Trade finished and Greg Holland Heating up

The Royals traded Alberto Callaspo today for Sean O'Sullivan and Will Smith. Both starters project as #4/5 types or as bullpen arms which for the way Callaspo was hitting this season really isn't that bad of a return. O'Sullivan is only 22 and should fit into the rotation as a better alternative to Davies and gives the Royals some flexibility to trade either Bannister or Davies (why would a team trade for him) as I mentioned earlier in the week when the trade was rumored. The other piece to the deal was Will Smith a 21 year old lefty who the Angels bounced around the system this season after performing decently last season in the Midwest league. The Royals have already assigned him to Wilmington; the level Smith should've been most the season instead of the PCL and Texas League. Both pitchers lack a so called out pitch from scouting reports but are advanced pitchers who have performed alright considering their age at advanced levels. I think this is a win trade for GMDM but definitely far from a Home Run, it could look better if the Royals could trade Bannister for another Smith type prospect or more.

As the Major league team was getting worked over by the Yankees due to a bullpen collapse the Omaha Royals were watching their young bullpen arms slice thru the Memphis Redbirds for 7 innings after Phil Humber got ejected. The key to the slicing and dicing was Greg Holland who was touching 95 with his fastball working both sides of the plate and missing bats with a nice 86 mph slider. Holland has looked very solid his last 11 or so outings after some mixed performances here and there during the season. Those last 11 games have computed to 17.2 IP 27 Ks 8 Hits 9 Walks while only yielding 1 run. That's a pretty good run of it lowering his ERA to 3.86, the 11 outings is a very arbitrary number but it hopefully is a sign he's turned a corner and perhaps could be ready to join the bullpen next season.

9 Days left and David DeJesus may have locked in his spot on next years roster by injuring himself in New York. Seems appropriate for a team with the Royals luck to have their highest rated trading piece in years injure themselves just days before the deadline.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Trade Deadline Countdown 11 Days and counting

Callaspo for O'Sullivan plus
The newest rumor of the day is that the Royals reportedly turned down a offer from the Los Angeles Angels that featured Sean O'Sullivan and a "fringe" prospect for Alberto Callaspo. When I first saw this deal I wasn't really interested in it and then I thought to myself O'Sullivan has been pitching in the PCL West which is the equivalent of the Coors stadium league and while his peripherals weren't great he could probably pitch to the level of Brian Bannister. O'Sullivan would be cheaper than Bannister and the Yankees expressed interest in one Brian Bannister last season maybe the Royals could also turn Bannister into a prospect at the level of O'Sullivan say Zach McCallister or someone at that level. Overall they would take some money off the payroll by trading Banni and Callaspo and possibly add a starter and a reliever in O'Sullivan and McCallister while also adding a fringe prospect. KC would probably be forced to move Alex back to 3rd base or start Aviles there if they are really that against Gordon playing the infield but is that really that bad a thing for a team that should be focusing more on 2012 than 2010? In the end it doesn't look like it matters as GMDM turned down the deal and he doesn't appear ready to blow up this god awful team just yet.

* By the way Mike Moustakas hit his first HR a deep shot off Memphis Redbird starter Lance Lynn.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Hosmer 2 HRs and my trade wishlist

Well it's been 3 games and Eric has hit 2 HRs and a double in Arvest ballpark. The Royals might have to consider moving those fences back if they have a home AA park that allows players to put up CAL league type numbers. Prior to this season the park was playing neutral according to minorleaguesplits probably because their wasn't enough data but now I would say we are looking at either an imbalance at the park or the Royals have some unbelieveable offensive machines. I tend to believe it's the park unfortunately even though I love the prospects that have been coming thru.

13 Days to the Deadline
Jeff Passan reports that the Royals steep asking price for David DeJesus is the following: a major league-ready prospect, along with at least one midlevel prospect or a pair of lower-level players. I can't really fault GMDM asking price here in fact anything less would be ridiculous and with his affordable salary seems more than reasonable. Who fits this asking price? Here is my Royals Trade Wishlist:

DDJ - Boston Ryan Kalish, San Diego Aaron Cunningham or Kyle Blanks, San Fransisco Jonathan Sanchez or Madison Bumgarner or Brandon Belt(if Hos can play outfield)

Kyle Farnsworth - Cincinnati Chris Dickerson

Joakim Soria - New York Yankees Jesus Montero

Scott Podsednik - Top 15-30 prospect in the system

Brian Bannister - Not really in favor of trading Bannister as he is a solid 5th starter who can eat innings. Not a real reason to trade him as he isn't that costly and can be flipped any year once the prospects start filtering in.

Rick Ankiel/Jose Guillen - Just get them out of town prior to August.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Hos promoted to AA NW Arkansas 14 days left

Eric Hosmer was promoted from Wilmington to NW Arkansas after last nights game. The Hos who had a rough start to his minor league career being swept up in the Alvarez problem in 2008 and then again with injuries that caused problems with his play has had a major bounce back season so far in 2010. Eric leaves the Carolina league while leading the league in BA, OBP, OPS and doubles and almost a guaranteed League MVP. Expect some of those doubles to turn into home runs as he moves into a better hitting environment playing at NW Arkansas.

It's a little early in the day so MLBTradeRumors aren't bouncing off the wall so I thought I'd take a look at the positional depth in the minor leagues to show what positions the Royals could possibly be looking to fill. The date in paragraphs is the expected possible ETA(if ever) while the players are put in order of talent.

Catcher- Wil Myers (2013), Manny Pina (2011), Salvador Perez (2014)
First Base- Eric Hosmer (2012), Kila Ka'aihue (2010), Clint Robinson (2012)
Second Base- Jeff Bianchi(2012), Johnny Giavotella (2012)
Shortstop- Christian Colon (2012), Jeff Bianchi (2012), Irving Falu (2011)
Third Base- Mike Moustakas (2011)
Corner Outfield- Alex Gordon (2010), Wil Myers (2012), Jordan Parraz (2011), Tim Smith (2012), Paulo Orlando (2012)
Centerfield- Derrick Robinson (2012), David Lough (2011), Jarrod Dyson (2012), Paulo Orlando (2012)
Starting Pitcher- Mike Montgomery (2011 "if healthy"), John Lamb (2013), Chris Dwyer (2012), Danny Duffy (2012), Aaron Crow (2012), Edgar Osuna (2012), Tim Melville (2014)
Relief Pitcher- Louis Coleman (2011), Blaine Hardy (2011) Not listing any other relievers

As you can see I listed Wil Myers twice with a quicker ETA if he is moved to the outfield. Relief pitching is easily replaced and the majority of relief pitchers that make it to the bigs when pitching in that role in the minors is low usually if you can't hack it as a starter in the minors you usually aren't going to hang in any role in the majors. With relief pitchers not included the weakest spots in the system are probably up the middle. Second base is extremely weak with Bianchi's injury problems and Giavotella resembling a light hitting Dan Uggla. KC is fortunate that they have control of Getz and Aviles to man that position even if they do it somewhat poorly. After 2b centerfield appears to be the weakest on the surface with a rejuvenated Derrick Robinson and David Lough as the tops on the list. Speed is the key here with Robinson, Dyson and Orlando but light hitting careers leaves much to be desired. Lough has taken on a new approach his last 10 games drawing 10 walks out of his last 33 plate appearances, a good sign if he can raise that average over .130 during the same span. Lough has the best overall game of the group but might be a platoon partner with Maier only (Maier is also a lefty but hits better vs Lefties). CF represents a large group of longshots and unless Eibner is signed and produces probably the least amount of overall talent.

Royals Minor League Positional Strength.
#1 Starting Pitching
#2 First Base
#3 Third Base
#4 Corner Outfield (moves ahead of Moose if Myers gets moved)
#5 Catcher
#6 Shortstop
#7 Centerfield
#8 Second Base

Friday, July 16, 2010

Countdown 15 days to deadline

15 days and counting for easily the most important time period in Dayton Moore's career. 2012-2014 was the supposed deadline to have a contender if that is true then the players he returns this year for DDJ and crew will be ready by then. We'll be tracking the rumors that are swirling about and making quick comments on each.

Rumor #1 "top Royals talent evaluator" was on hand for the Mets/Giants game at AT & T Park tonight.

If this is a trade to involve David DeJesus I can't say I would be all that interested in what the Giants have to offer outside of Bumgarner or Brandon Belt. I think Bumgarner probably isn't on the table and Belt really isn't at a position of need for the Royals with Butler, Kila, CRobinson and Hosmer already at first base and perhaps Moustakas needing a position swap later. Maybe the Giants are in need of something else or are willing to drop one of their few big name prospects in Wheeler, Bumgarner or Belt but overall I think it's as likely that the Royals scout was catching up on pro teams scouting after the draft and the Royals told him to take a trip just in case they have a diamond in the rough.

Rumor #2 Yankees Covet Soria

This is a big one as GMDM has an opportunity to really build a strong system and roster with this trade. It's quite obvious to me that the Yankees are in love with Cliff Lee and are going to after him hard this offseason so if they had landed him then Phil Hughes would probably be attainable here but with the Rangers sneaking in at the last second I doubt KC could land him. With Hughes off the table and Jesus Montero being a stud but not really a catcher option add to the muddled first base options so that leaves Austin Romine a talented receiving catcher with a decent bat but I don't think he's a talented enough prospect to trade Soria for. To me the Yankees system is hyped as always but unless Montero can stay at catcher or they are willing to part with Hughes, I pass for now.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Moose promoted and Jordan Parraz not going anywhere

This post was entitled Jordan Parraz not going anywhere, well until I checked my twitter prior to posting. The announcement that Moustakas is going to Omaha while just another minor league transaction is an important one for KC fans. It shows that progress is happening and it will be quite the challenge for Moustakas. I think we've seen that David Lough who has equal amount of patience as Lough at times has struggled against these veteran AAA pitchers who throw much more solid offspeed offerings. Another reason this is important in my mind is that it confirms to me that GMDM is going to continue to run big prospects thru Omaha as opposed to bouncing them to the majors from AA. Hopefully Moustakas continues to build on a more patient approach and continues to kill the ball the way he did in AA and pushes for a look in September along with a few others, Gordon, Kila and a possible longshot Jordan Parraz.

It took a month for Jordan Parraz to adjust to AAA but has he ever came around since. Parraz is hitting .330/.404/.496 since the start of May, those are solid numbers after hitting well all last season. Parraz's April can be explained easily by rust after finishing '09 injured just look at his BB/K ratio and you can see the difference. His April ratio was terrible 4 BBs to 17 Ks and he was looking overpowered at times that I saw him but since April his numbers have stabolized 25/28 BB/K rate. Jordan is an awkward athlete but has good enough movement in the outfield as well as having a cannon for an arm. He's always been thought of as a 4th outfielder type but if he continues his stellar play since May in the second half might prove to be a solid corner outfielder.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Hos, Moose and Time to Sell

Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas competed in the MLB Futures Game Sunday night and flashed what KC fans hope will be a corner infield of stars. Moustakas struggled at the plate with a pop out and a couple groundouts but flashed the leather with a nice 5-4 Force out and apparently putting on a show in batting practice. While Mike was struggling at the plate during the game Hosmer was putting on a clinic collecting 4 hits in 5 trips including an eighth inning double. Hosmer was doing an outstanding job covering the plate and going the opposite way with the ball. Hos is very advanced in his hitting approach and overall a much more complete hitter than Moose.

With the minor league guys sucking in the attention the big league guys were officially ending their so called chance at contention with a three game beatdown at the hands of the White Sox. Hopefully that three game sweep was the brick that we fans needed to knock some sense into Dayton Moore and get the trading season started in Kansas City. Guillen, Podsednik, Farnsworth and David DeJesus are the pieces that can be moved all for different reasons. Guillen needs to be either moved, benched or cut and very quickly for the sake of the Royals. Kila Ka'aihue is a enigma to fans and the front office, a player with the skillset that most front offices glorify yet that this one doubts. Either way he's hit 46 HRs and walked 203 times in 238 AAA games, he's earned a shot and he's possibly a cheap alternative at the DH position. The only way to find out is give him a 300 AB audition, if GMDM thinks he needs to win he's wrong he needs to find out if he has players prior to the end of this season.

Guillen is the most important piece to be moved while David DeJesus needs time to field offers to weed through good ones and bad ones. With similar types Corie Hart and Nyjer Morgan available, DDJ having a career season and being the best of the group should field some attractive options. Expect a team like the Giants, Padres or maybe even a darkhorse like the Mets to be players in the trade mix for DDJ. I believe the Royals need to bring in a high level talent with some warts (Kyle Blanks, Aaron Cunningham or Fernando Martinez)and another B level prospect ala Jaff Decker or Reese Havens for Davids services. The receiving team wins by getting DeJesus the consumate professional on a fair contract who could bring them back draft picks via Free Agency. It's a big trade for Dayton as he has yet to yield a productive player via trade and while he had the excuse of not having many pieces prior DeJesus is a legitimate big league player who offers value. I'm not expecting him to bring back Carlos Santana via Casey Blake but a whiff like Joey Gathright could cost him his job.

As for Kyle Farnsworth and Scott Podsednik they should be moved for similar reasons as the above. Podsednik is blocking Alex Gordon and needs to be moved to get him some regular big league at bats while Farny has actually built a little value out of the bullpen. I maybe wrong but perhaps Farnsworth could fish a Chris Dickerson out of Cincinnati where he is stuck on the bench behind Drew Stubbs and they are in need of bullpen help. If you have to throw in a Podsednik that wouldn't be too much for me. If not then Pods and Farny should bring back some Manny Pina/Tim Smith types that could help the '12/13 bench.

While Dayton has become the whipping boy for good reason this trade deadline could become the most important time period yet in his career as a general manager.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

John Lamb and Mike Moustakas

John Lamb improved his earned run string to 26 IP without allowing an earned run by pitching 5 Innings allowing 3 hits 1 walk while striking out 4 in the Rocks 5-0 win on Friday night July 9.

The Royals gave Mike Moustakas a few days off as he travels to the Futures Game. Its been assumed my most people following the Royals that instead of going back to Northwest Arkansas he'll instead go to Omaha and begin his AAA stint. If true Omaha will be returning home the weekend of July 23rd for a 6 game/4 day stint. I'll be there to capture video and post on the site.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Baseball America rankings

Baseball America just came out with their midseason rankings and the Royals organization had five ranked in their Top 50.

Mike Moustakas #12- Kind of surprised Moose wasn't in the Top 10 but based on his struggles last season and dramatic Home/Road splits it's not without basis. Moose could easily crack the Top 5-10 if he continues to succeed at AAA Omaha after the Futures Game.

Eric Hosmer #13- BA have taken a conservative approach to Hosmer for most of his career ranking him lower than Keith Law most of the time. Hos also could peak into the Top 10 with more power production at AA. He could easily crack the Top 5 for Keith Law with similar AA performance.

Mike Montgomery #18- Monty would've probably been closer to #10-15 if it wasn't for his forearm problems.

John Lamb and Wil Myers 26-50- They didn't rank the 26-50 spots individually but I would think Lamb would be closer to the Top 35 while Myers would be in the Top 50 range. As far as both of them I've been on record that Myers is the most talented overall hitter in the system while Lamb could crack the Top 25 if KC would give him a shot to go and dominate at AA.

This was GMDMs design all along to build through the minor leagues and the draft and at this point one would say it's looking very positive.

NEXT: Video of Omaha Royals Friday 7/9

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Anonymous Scouts view

Grant Paulsen of XMs Minors and Majors tweeted a couple of quotes from scouts about Wil Myers and Eric Hosmer after seeing them the other night.

Wil Myers: "Will hit enough to play anywhere. Could end up in RF. Has great power. Not sure he can catch in majors."
This is exactly what many of thought myself included. I think Myers is advanced with his approach and power to actually play with Hosmer the rest of the way meaning if they wanted to promote them both tomorrow Myers bat would be fine, his glove on the other hand is probably still at rookie level. If GMDM thinks the team can compete in 2012 it might be a wise move to move Myers now so he's ready for the jump with Hos, Lamb and company. Teams can easily hide average to below average catchers in comparison to corner outfielders. I don't think GMDM needs to move Myers now but this time next season if he's at AA and his catching hasn't improved significantly the move will probably force itself.

Eric Hosmer: "I don't know if I'm going to file him as a very good big leaguer or as a super star guy. He'll make an ASG."
Wow it sure is nice to even have a guy in the system that is possibly worthy of superstar status and I believe KC has a few of them in the system. Hosmer is showing off more speed and just recently started to ding the Home Run bell a few times. He's ready for the jump to AA and a more friendly hitting park where if his buddy Moose's HR increase shows anything then Hos with his patience and overall hitting approach will be just as dominant. His athleticism and hitting approach and talent have scouts and Royal fans alike thanking GMDM for taking Eric over Gordon Beckham, a decision this time last year looked to be very very foolish.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Lamb is too much for Wilmington

I've never been in favor of rushing a prospect from level to level let a guy show he is deserving of that bump then move him up but then there is the case for John Lamb. The kid is absolutely dominating the High A level right now. After cruising thru Burlington Lamb has only gotten better against tougher competition. Thru 9 High A starts he's yielded more than 1 ER only once and he currently operating on a 21 IP earned run scoreless streak. He has a 11.18 K/9, 2.24 BB/9 and yielding a 1.09 WHIP. Those numbers are outstanding for a 22 year old college lefty top prospect like Brian Matusz let alone a 19 year old like Lamb, oh by the way Lamb's k rate and bb rate are both better than Matusz was last season. Lamb has just been too smooth for the High A competition and with his competitiveness and knowledge of pitching would up for the AA challenge. It's early July and while it's probably not in the cards for a promotion this season I wouldn't mind if KC did bounce him up a level I think he's shown he could handle it.

Quick Thought David Lough

Lough continues to be impatient at the plate but has added some punch to his bat since April. Eight home runs, five doubles and six triples since May 1 leading to a .284/.318/485 while the BA and the SLG are definitely good enough to play CF instead of Maier the on base percentage isn't going to cut it. Lough makes easy contact has plenty of speed and arm to hack it defensively in center but his lack of patience will create a tough hill to climb to the majors. I've always contended that Lough could be DDJ with less on base skill but more power and I think he is well on his way to becoming that player although a sprinkle more of patience would definitely help. July was the month Lough took off last season so be on the lookout for a leap in numbers hitting at the top of the order in Omaha.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Danny Duffy on the mend

Duffy who took a hiatus from baseball has been in Arizona for the last month and should be ready to join his crew in AA very soon. Duffy has pitched the last two nights in Arizona pitching 2 innings each night while striking out six in total. Duffy's addition to the Naturals would be a nice addition prior to 2011 when a few Nats should start filtering into the big league roster.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Royals send Myers and Colon to Wilmington

The Royals signed Christian Colon last week and quickly moved him to Wilmington where he'll be joined by Wil Myers who was promoted from Burlington(IA). Myers in my opinion is the best overall hitter in the system combining power and patience to go along with tons of raw tools. These additions combined with the players already there will make Wilmington the top draw by Royals prospect followers and could push them into a playoff run.

Wilmington Top Prospects
1.Eric Hosmer 1b- #1 in Carolina league in Avg and doubles, #2 in Lg OPS
2.John Lamb SP- Putting up as good of numbers as Duffy, Montgomery, Matusz, Kelly or any prospect in the Carolina League the last couple years.
3.Wil Myers C
4.Christian Colon SS
5.Chris Dwyer SP- Solid season for a guy many expected to take time to get thru the system.
6.Tim Melville SP- Early struggles were tamed but his last couple of starts have been tough.
7.Salvador Perez C- Great start to the season but struggled greatly in June.
8.Buddy Baumann SP/RP- Profiles as a Loogy down the road but is pitching well from both spots starter and reliever.

Colon has struggled so far going 0-12 with 4 strikeouts and hitting into 3 double plays. Colon was thought by many to be a sure fire major leaguer so hopefully these are nothing more than early struggles. I am a tad worried as the guy he is most compared to Grant Green hasn't exactly lit the very very hitter friendly Cal League on fire with a .844 OPS.

If Colon plays to the ability we all hoped and KC doesn't promote Hosmer or Lamb to AA then Wilmington will probably earn a shot in the Carolina League Playoffs.