Thursday, May 22, 2008

On The Rise: Kansas City Royals

The KC Royals, led by Dayton Moore(John Scheirholz protege) a smart young GM are on the cusp of contention in his 2nd full season. He didn't quite accomplish what his mentor did(get to the playoffs in his first season as GM of the Braves and win 14 straight division titles) but he's not doing to badly either. He's stockpiling arms in order to find his own Maddux, Glavine, Smoltz and Avery and he might already have three of them. The Royals are being built around two young stud hitters, Alex Gordon and Billy Butler. These guys bothl have .320/.420/.520(AVG/OBP/SLG) potential and 40 homer potential. Imagine that, two guys under the age of 25 that'll be with your club for the next 5 years and can possibly make up the best 3-4 punch in baseball starting next year. This team(if I said this two years ago everyone would've laughed at me) and the Rays will probably be competing for AL Pennants in years to come.

The Royals as I mentioned previously have a few great young starters along with a superb young closer that Mr. Moore got in the Rule 5 Draft. Lets start with the closer. Joakim Soria is 24 years old and is dominating the league with an ERA of .98(no I didn't make a mistake) through 18 1/3 innings pitched. Although his BABIP is freakishly low at .144 he's a closer and his peripherals are outstanding. BB/9-1.96, K/9-10.8 and HR/9-0.49 these numbers are outstanding but remember he's a closer. Right now he's the Royals closer but he could be a starter and they might convert him back into a starter after the year. The Royals signed their ace, Gil Meche, last year to a mega 5 year $55M contract, they also have three young starters who are excellent in Zach Grienke, Brian Bannister and Luke Hochevar(the 1st overall pick in '06). They have an average bullpen but who has a great one today. My advice is using Soria in relief and letting him pitch 180 innings from the 'pen.

As I said before their hitting will be based around #3 Alex Gordon and #4 Billy Butler(in the lineup) for the next 5 years at least.
They also have a great outfield with Jose Guillen, David DeJesus and Mark Teahen(from LF-RF) but they're aging and for some of them their best baseball is behind them. They also have a young middle infield with Tony Pena at SS and Alberto Callaspo at 2B but Pena can't hit and Callaspo is not the greatest fielder. They could use upgrades at C,1B,SS and RF if they plan to compete for world series' but they do have some pieces to trade and have a solid farm system. Their top prospect is also a SS but he'll probably switch positions.

They have the 9th best farm system according to BP but have only one top tier prospect in Mike Moustakas. This guy is an excellent hitter but needs to improve defensively if he wants to stay at SS. As I said before the Royals are stockpiling arms so almost all their other top prospects are pitchers. They have two low-mid level prospects that play OF but they'll probably won't be anything special but you never know.

All in all the Royals could use some improvements in hitting and fielding but their farm system could bare fruit and they have superb young pitching. You know what they say "Pitching wins Pennants".


Avi L-S said...

k man, wheres the twins? u did royals... they suck... twins actually might make it to the palyoffs sometimes in the next millenium... theres the difference between them. i mean seriously, write about a team that MIGHT have a chance...