When coming up with my Royals rankings prior I had put a few players further down the list based on not seeing them play or their lack of time in the minors. Having seen the likes of Calixte, Eibner, Arteaga and Michael Antonio now in person along with other Royals I had already watched play I'm now more comfortable to re-rank them all.
For those of you that don't already know I do rank players based on their likely opportunity to play. That's why you'll see Johnny Giavotella much lower on my rankings than you'll see other places. I like most other people like Gio's bat but his defense limitations combined with being sandwiched by Getz, Aviles and Colon limit his opportunity within the organization so he falls into that same range in the rankings as Lough, Bianchi and Robinson who face similar problems.
I'm going to leave the Top 14 unchanged as there is little seperating the players to reshuffle them. I'm definitely getting closer to ranking Hosmer ahead of Myers just because he looks like a Hall of Famer currently but I'll hold off to see how each looks at their new levels.
Name- (Prev Rk) Likely Destination
1. Wil Myers - NW Arkansas
2. Eric Hosmer - Omaha
3. Mike Montgomery - Omaha
4. Mike Moustakas - Omaha
5. John Lamb - NW Arkansas
6. Christian Colon - NW Arkansas
7. Chris Dwyer - NW Arkansas
8. Danny Duffy - Omaha
9. Cheslor Cuthbert - Kane County
10. Jake Odorizzi - Wilmington
11. Aaron Crow - Omaha
12. Louis Coleman - Omaha or Kansas City
13. Tim Collins - Omaha or Kansas City
14. Jeremy Jeffress - Kansas City
15. Brett Eibner (17) Kane County
16. Robinson Yambati
17. Yordano Ventura Kane County after May
The first change occurs at #15 where I rank Brett Eibner ahead of Yambati and Ventura. Eibner has a fast bat with pop and is a solid athlete. I think he'll zip through Kane County and find himself in Wilmington very quickly.
18. Salvador Perez NW Arkansas
19. Jason Adam Kane County
20. David Lough Omaha
21. Johnny Giavotella Omaha - Gio looked outstanding with the bat in AZ
22. Clint Robinson (24) Omaha
23. Jeff Bianchi (25) NW Arkansas
24. Tim Melville (22) Wilmington
Moving up to #22 from his previous spot at 24 is Clint Robinson. Robinson just like Hosmer looks like a beast and can turn on everything he sees in the zone. I don't know about his future with the Royals with Butler, Kila and Hosmer ahead of him but he could provide some trade value. After Robinson at 22 I'm reshuffling some guys based on positional value.
25. Orlando Calixte (UR) Kane County
Calixte makes a jump into my rankings after previously being unranked. I loved Calixte's arm strength and movement at SS and he should add even more strength to a wiry strong body if he is only 19. Calixte should be a solid gap to gap hitter with decent speed, I haven't seen enough to know about his plate discipline but he appears to be a same type of player as Escobar. Calixte could make an enormous jump next season with the amount of prospects that could graduate and if he can transfer his tools into on the field production.
26. Jarrod Dyson Omaha
27. Derrick Robinson NW Arkansas
28. Michael Antonio (UR) Kane County
29. Everett Teaford (28) Omaha
30. Will Smith (29) NW Arkansas
Another new entry to the list is Michael Antonio who impressed me with his strength and pop with the bat in Arizona. Antonio has thickened up a bit and could be destined to a switch to a corner OF position as one of his teammates Cheslor Cuthbert is a better 3b defender and prospect but he should have the arm and athleticism to handle that position switch if necessary.
31. Patrick Keating (23) NW Arkansas
32. Tyler Sample (30) Wilmington
33. Jorge Bonafacio (34) Idaho Falls
34. Crawford Simmons (35) Burlington
35. Kelvin Herrera (31) Wilmington
These players were reshuffled based off of value and upside. Bonafacio has the highest upside of the group but is also the furthest away. Sample, Herrera are facing important seasons in their career as one needs to prove he can stay healthy while the other needs to get much much better at throwing strikes. Keating fell just due to his role as a bullpen guy something that could happen to Herrera if he ends up in the pen which from the sounds of it could be likely.
Projecting the Royals Top 15 2012
1. Wil Myers
2. Eric Hosmer
3. John Lamb
4. Chris Dwyer
5. Christian Colon
6. Cheslor Cuthbert
7. Archie Bradley, Daniel Norris, Bubba Starling or whoever is taken w 1st rd pick
8. Jake Odorizzi
9. Brett Eibner
10. Jason Adam
11. Salvador Perez
12. Yordano Ventura
13. Robinson Yambatti
14. Tim Melville
15. Orlando Calixte
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