Tuesday, December 30, 2008
The 2009 first annual 'Dempsey' projections are now in. Below are my projections for every Royals player in 2009. My apologies to fellow family message boarders lelandinkc and RoyalLoyal, who (ironically?) share the same last name.
Keep in mind that this list isn't strictly scientific. I incorporated a number of elements in my nonscientific projections - age, body type, BABIP/LD% (or general luck) from the previous year, as well as other important factors like league and ballpark switching, and protection in the lineup.
I'm not pretending the accuracy of this list will mirror that of B.P. or Bill James. I maintain what some fans may regard as pessimism or optimism with certain players.
Anyway, you get the idea. Here are my projections for 2009, adjusted for playing time allocation.
C - John Buck .232/.297/.386, 189 AB, 3 HR, 20 RBI, 0/0 SB/CS
C - Brayan Pena .275/.339/.408, 315 AB, 3 HR, 37 RBI, 2/1 SB/CS
C - Miguel Olivo (traded in June) .261/.283/.395, 102 AB, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 3/1 SB/CS
C - J.R. House .287/.361/.409, 52 AB, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 0/0 SB/CS
1B - Mike Jacobs .271/.329/.476, 497 AB, 22 HR, 87 RBI, 1/0 SB/CS
1B - Kila Kaaihue .266/.367/.472, 162 AB, 5 HR, 23 RBI, 0/0 SB/CS
1B - Ross Gload .291/.318/.377, 85 AB, 1 HR, 9 RBI, 0/0 SB/CS
1B - Mike Stodolka .375/.444/.375, 7 AB, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0/0 SB/CS
2B - Alberto Callaspo .289/.347/.362, 523 AB, 2 HR, 47 RBI, 2/3 SB/CS
2B - Esteban German .276/.349/.389, 140 AB, 1 HR, 13 RBI, 2/0 SB/CS
2B - Jerry Hairston (F.A. acquisition) .250/.322/.395, 127 AB, 0 HR, 12 RBI, 2/1 SB/CS
SS - Mike Aviles .281/.324/.446, 560 AB, 12 HR, 59 RBI, 6/3 SB/CS
SS - Tony Pena .218/.237/.286, 72 AB, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 1/0 SB/CS
3B - Alex Gordon .267/.361/.469, 601 AB, 23 HR, 87 RBI, 13/3 SB/CS
3B - Ed Lucas (LONG shot, but I'm daring here) .250/.297/.412, 17 AB, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0/0 SB/CS
LF - David DeJesus .290/.367/.408, 553 AB, 8 HR, 71 RBI, 7/3 SB/CS
LF - Chris Lubanski .182/.182/.273, 11 AB, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 0/0 SB/CS
CF - Coco Crisp .262/.329/.386, 576 AB, 8 HR, 56 RBI, 26/10 SB/CS
CF - Mitch Maier .271/.322/.390, 152 AB, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 3/2 SB/CS
RF - Jose Guillen .274/.325/.462, 429 AB, 18 HR, 72 RBI, 3/4 SB/CS
RF - Shane Costa .283/.349/.417, 182 AB, 4 HR, 21 RBI, 2/0 SB/CS
DH - Billy Butler .285/.351/.433, 490 AB, 18 HR, 73 RBI, 0/0 SB/CS
SP - Zack Greinke 33 GS/33 G, 16-10, 3.25 ERA, 216.1 IP, 56 BB, 172 K
SP - Gil Meche 29 GS/29 G, 11-12, 4.36 ERA, 172.0 IP, 52 BB, 123 K
SP - Luke Hochevar 28 GS/28 G, 9-11, 4.69 ERA, 183.2 IP, 62 BB, 110 K
SP - Kyle Davies 26 GS/30 G, 12-7, 4.77 ERA, 165.0 IP, 67 BB, 113 K
SP - Brian Bannister 15 GS/16 G, 6-9, 5.18 ERA, 92.2 IP, 29 BB, 49 K
SP - Sean Marshall (why not? - acquired midseason) 17 GS/17 G, 4-6, 4.60 ERA, 102.0 IP, 43 BB, 76 K
RP - John Bale 43 G, 5-5, 4.30 ERA, 52.1 IP, 23 BB, 40 K
RP - Carlos Rosa 6 GS, 41 G, 4-2, 3.18 ERA, 45.1 IP, 14 BB, 33 K
RP - Robinson Tejeda 50 G, 3-4, 3.85 ERA, 61.0 IP, 29 BB, 50 K
RP - Kyle Farnsworth 61 G, 5-2, 4.52 ERA, 67.2 IP, 35 BB, 60 K
RP - Ron Mahay 53 G, 2-1, 3.86 ERA, 57.0 IP, 22 BB, 36 K
RP - Jimmy Gobble 9 G, 1-0, 4.85 ERA, 19.2 IP, 8 BB, 12 K
RP - Horacio Ramirez 6 GS/41 G, 2-1, 5.31 ERA, 32.1 IP, 16 BB, 19 K
RP - Julio Cesar Pimentel 5 G, 1-0, 3.88 ERA, 6.2 IP, 3 BB, 3 K
RP - Devon Lowery 33 G, 2-2, 5.63 ERA, 35.2 IP, 14 BB, 23 K
RP - Doug Waechter 26 G, 1-3, 6.13 ERA, 23.0 IP, 11 BB, 14 K
RP - Franquelis Osoria 15 G, 0-0, 7.20 ERA, 22.1 IP, 14 BB, 14 K
RP - Joakim Soria 61 G, 2-4, 2.39 ERA, 66.2 IP, 15 BB, 72 K, 45 SV/51 SVOPP
RP - Dusty Hughes 4 G, 0-0, 7.25 ERA, 3.2 IP, 1 BB, 3 K
RP - Yasuhiko Yabuta 9 G, 1-0, 5.43 ERA, 16.0 IP, 4 BB, 7 K
*Ryan Shealy claimed off waivers in Spring Training, and traded for a Player to be Named.
*Jerry Hairston, Jr. signed as Free Agent - short 1-year, $2MM or so signing.
*Joel Peralta traded for a Minor Leaguer during Spring Training.
*Mark Teahen traded for Minor League pitcher in Spring Training.
Monday, December 29, 2008
Without further ado, here is a scouting report for your humble The Royal Treatment blogger, Royals Nation.
Keep in mind these pictures are extremely dated. The information may or may not be accurate. For everyone who thought I couldn't hit in high school, shadddup!!!!11
Royals Nation - HS, Pembroke Hill
P / 2B / 3B / COF
Ht: 6'0", Wt: 185
Windup resembles that of Bronson Arroyo; somewhat unconventional and slightly herky-jerky. Fastball 81-83mph., plus-plus changeup, curveball is inconsistent and could use work. Trouble spotting his curveball accurately and trouble with the usual 11-5 break. Changeup works like a charm but batters often roll their bat over on it and loop it just beyond infielders but too shallow for outfielders. Plus-defender with good instincts and accurate arm. Odd release to pitches. Has trouble in the first inning.
Spray hitter with very little home run power and limited doubles power. Plate discipline excellent but leads to astronomical BB and K totals....not a great combination with his lack of power. Very little speed not ideal for right-handed hitter. The ultimate streaky hitter. Slumps lead to benching but spurts lead to the occasional batting at the top of the order. Possible #2 hitter. Very selective hitter an advantage with finesse and wild pitchers who rely on strike zone placement. Velocity-oriented pitchers and lefties give RN a difficult time.
Plus-defender with decent instincts but mediocre speed and quickness. Not terrific with glove; arm is somewhat inaccurate at 3B. Good instincts and sure-handedness make him best suitable for second base. Mark Grudzielanek-type player without much flash. Difficult plays hard on RN, easy plays are almost always converted. Not tremendous with double-play potential.
Little to none, whatsoever. Not a threat to steal, at all. Instincts on basepaths a weakness in his game.
PHS represent! (That's me on the left).
Are you asleep yet?
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Basically, I asked a series of question and asked the posters to submit an answer of how they feel about the questions, ranging from 1 (very pessimistic) to 10 (very optimistic)
Here are the questions and my number values, followed by my explanations. It's important to remember that, for me at least, 5.5 is average.
1. How do you feel about the 2009 Royals?
I feel it's been a somewhat disappointing offseason. We've traded two stellar relievers for slightly above average, at best, players. I think the team will struggle with OBP, as the priorities of management, in my opinion, are somewhat flawed. I remain cautiously optimistic that this team will outperform the '07 team, offensively, defensively, and pitching-wise. However, I was expecting more.
2. How do you feel about G.M. Dayton Moore?
When we signed Dayton Moore, he was the logical choice at the time. Many G.M.'s regarded Moore as the top General Manager prospect in the game, as he served under G.M.-extraordinaire John Schuerholz under much of Atlanta's incredible 14-year dynasty. He's a good scout and a traditionalist, intelligent 'baseball man.' However, as I mentioned above, his priorities are somewhat flawed. I believe, like most scouts, he overemphasizes certain aspects of the game - speed, defense, and the notion that pitchers serve as 'currency' in baseball, when that isn't entirely true. His strengths, thus far, are finding pitching, notably relief pitching, and he has a keen scout's eye for talent, I think. Of course, this grade is still somewhat preliminary. I'm hoping it will change for the better, and soon.
3. How do you feel about Manager Trey Hillman?
He was pitiful, early on, at handling the bullpen, had slow hooks on players such as Tony Pena, Jr., and showed irrational biases toward players like Ross Gload and Brett Tomko. He's a traditionalist - flawed - manager. His lineup selections among the players he *chose* to play did hinder our success (although, keep in mind that poor lineup selection can only hinder a team by a maximum of 40-50 runs). His ridiculous - though preliminary - lineup selection for 2009 - hurt his cause.
4. How do you feel about Owner David Glass?
Look, I've made my harsh opinions on Glass crystal clear through a multitude of mediums (how's that for alliteration?) He isn't off the hot seat he placed himself in until we actually begin contending. The progress is there - increased monetary commitments in drafts, no meddling with Moore's personnel decisions, adding a Minor League team, committing to player development, among other minor things. He needs to continue such commitments to even approach a '4' or '5'. Keep in mind that he was a firm '1' for many years before Moore took helm, in June 2006.
5. How do you feel about the 2009 Royals offense?
We will struggle with regard to OBP, and slightly less with power, I think. Jose Guillen and Mike Jacobs won't be the players Moore thinks they will be. I don't see an awful lot of progression from Butler (although he's young). Crisp will likely be barely above replacement-caliber in center field, unfortunately. If they continue to play Gload, Pena, and Olivo/Buck, and not show a bold open-minded commitment to the Kila Kaaihues of the world, then they're in for an awful lot of trouble. Keep in mind that signing Adam Dunn or another impact bat could raise this score to as high as a '6'.
6. How do you feel about the 2009 Royals pitching?
I'm probably a little irrationally biased toward our pitching staff. I haven't viewed acquiring an impact starting pitcher (Lowe? Burnett? Sheets?) at all a pressing issue, this offseason. I see Hochevar making strides and benefitting from better luck and a better defense (Crisp, DeJesus in LF, expected improvement at 3B in Gordon, a healthy Guillen in RF). I see Bannister leveling out his BABIP and gravitating toward his XFIP with an ERA around 5. I see Davies benefitting as a borderline #3 with a plus-curveball and plus-changeup. I see Meche maintaining, generally, his 2007/8 performance. And Greinke is a stud. Although signing Farnsworth was a poor decision, I think, and using Horacio Ramirez as a starter would be an irrational move, I think we have plenty of cheap bullpen options such as Robinson Tejeda, Julio Cesar Pimentel, Carlos Rosa, Doug Waechter, John Bale, the LOOGY-Jimmy Gobble, not to mention prominent (paid) relievers like Ron Mahay and Joakim Soria.
Greinke - 3.2 ERA
Meche - 4.1 ERA
Davies - 4.5 ERA
Hochevar - 4.5 ERA
Bannister - 5 ERA
....It's probably not great, but consider the average #s teams net from the 4 and 5 slots, and the fact that we can expect health from all 5 options (in the past two seasons, only one of these pitchers has suffered from any sort of extended injury) and it's the makings of a solid rotation. Keep in mind my estimates are conservative. The upside here is still pretty strong, I think.
7. How do you feel about the 2009 Royals defense?
I'm a bit worried that Moore uses his "scout's eye" to his disadvantage, sometimes. Will Carroll from B.P. has reported that a frenzy has taken place in a number of organizations to emphasize, in a Moneyball-fashion, defense. According to Carroll, only the organizations have gotten access to important defensive numbers. I hope Moore & Co. have taken notice, but something tells me that they only dabble in advanced statistics. I think the Royals will benefit from having an entire year of Aviles in the middle infielder (although his defensive numbers will diminish, somewhat, I think), an improved Gordon at 3B (yes, I trust the scouts and believe the franchise centerpiece will improve), and having a much-improved outfield (the 2008 Baseball Prospectus edition compared Crisp's defense to that of Andruw Jones in his prime, and said we can expect him to be a plus-defender each year, if not injured). DeJesus will also improve defensively, spending the entire year in left. I think Guillen will improve a bit in right field. I'm still worried about catcher, first base, and second base. There's a realistic chance Jacobs' -20 glove will be granted entirely too much time at 1B and Guillen's defensive ability will actually decrease in right field with age. Callaspo at second is obviously a problem, and that is why Moore has aggressively pursued other middle-infield options (Furcal).
8. How do you feel about the 2009 Royals Minor League system?
I'm going to keep my explanations here somewhat short, since I have rambled in response to previous questions. I like our Minor League development team. Hey, the 2008 draft has the potential to be historically great. We have a legitimate Minor League system, and I'm looking forward to watching the Hosmers, Cortes's, and Moustakas's prosper, while rooting for lower-end top prospects with legitimate upside (David Lough, Daniel Gutierrez, and Jason Taylor). I think a similiarly successful 2009 draft could boost this score to a '9' or, dare I say it, '10'.
9. How would you rank Dayton Moore's offseason performance?
I recently gave Moore a '4', but the score might be raised if his commitments to 4 Minor League Spring Training invites yield any positive performance at the Big-league level. I'm not counting on it, and I'm still a bit disappointed by the trades (Ramirez-for-Crisp, Nunez-for-Jacobs) and the high-monetary acquisitions (Farnsworth). His minor moves, such as signing players like Waechter, catcher J.R. House, and re-signing John Bale on the cheap, really carry his score, I think. I'm holding my breath for his first true impact acquisition. We now sit at 39 men on the 40 man roster. I'm crossing my fingers.
10. How do you feel about the future of the Kansas City Royals?
I'm cautiously optimistic. I doubt we'll ever return to years of 100-loss performances like we did under Baird, but I must pose this worthwhile question: will we contend - or become another Oakland Athletics or Minnesota Twins - with tremendous monetary and market-size disadvantages? Will we become another Cleveland Indians, or even compete intermittently like the Marlins? Ownership commitment must reign consistent, and Moore must continue to hit draft after draft after draft. And even then....a little luck can go a long way.
For the bonus questions provided below, I'll just provide my numerical responses. We'll let those do the talkin'.
How many games will Ross Gload play in 2009?
How many games will Kila Ka'aihue play in 2009?
Will the Royals acquire another Free Agent this offseason? If so, whom?
Yes, but no impact-signing
How many games will the Royals win in 2009?
Monday, December 15, 2008
C - Jason LaRue
C - Paul Phillips
C - Paul Bako
C - Gregg Zaun
C - Sal Fasano
1B - Craig Brazell
1B - Doug Mientkiewicz
1B - Mike Sweeney
1B - Matt Stairs
2B - Fernando Cortez
2B - Tony Graffanino
2B - Jason Smith
2B - Ruben Gotay
2B - Donnie Murphy
SS - Angel Berroa
SS - Jeff Keppinger
SS - Andres Blanco
SS - Angel Sanchez
3B - Jose Bautista
3B - Gookie Dawkins
LF - Emil Brown
LF - Justin Huber
LF - Chip Ambres
LF - Matt Diaz
LF - Alexis Gomez
LF - Dee Brown
LF - Raul Ibanez
LF - Endy Chavez
LF - Johnny Damon
CF - Joey Gathright
CF - Carlos Beltran
RF - Jermaine Dye
SP - Brett Tomko
SP - Odalis Perez
SP - Jorge De La Rosa
SP - Billy Buckner
SP - Scott Elarton
SP - Todd Wellemeyer
SP - Luke Hudson
SP - Mark Redman
SP - Runelvys Hernandez
SP - Chris George
SP - Paul Byrd
SP - Jeff Suppan
SP - Miguel Batista
SP - Glendon Rusch
RP - John Bale
RP - Ramon Ramirez
RP - Leo Nunez
RP - Horacio Ramirez
RP - David Riske
RP - Ryan Braun
RP - Octavio Dotel
RP - Denny Bautista
RP - Bobby Keppel
RP - Andrew Sisco
RP - Elmer Dessens
RP - Joe Nelson
RP - Ambiorix Burgos
RP - Scott Dohmann
RP - Adam Bernero
RP - Chris Booker
RP - Kyle Snyder
RP - Mike MacDougal
RP - Steve Andrade
RP - Jose Diaz
RP - D.J. Carrasco
RP - J.P. Howell
RP - Jeremy Affeldt
RP - Shawn Camp
RP - Jonah Bayliss
RP - Nate Field
RP - Dennys Reyes
RP - Rudy Seanez
RP - Ryan Bukvich
RP - Miguel Asencio
RP - Jamey Wright
RP - Les Walrond
RP - Brian Shouse
RP - Chad Durbin
RP - Jose Santiago
RP - Dan Reichert
RP - Tim Byrdak
RP - Jamie Walker
RP - Tom Gordon
In the meantime, let's check some recent Royals quick hits:
- Braves pitcher Chuck James was non-tendered on Friday. Should the Royals seek to acquire the lefty at a (questionable) discount?
- According to Peter Gammons and Steve Phillips at ESPN, the Royals are currently frontrunners in the Rafael Furcal sweepstakes. I hope to read something more substantial, soon.
- The Royals non-tendered John Bale, Joey Gathright, Jason Smith, and Jairo Cuevas. Craig Brown at Royals Authority analyzes the move.
Speaking of Craig Brown, I was obliged to meet him at "Ground Zero" for all Royals radio chatter in Kansas City, the studio (and building) of 610 Sports. I have been obliged to 'quasi-intern' for 610 Royals analyst Greg Schaum, shadowing him on his program, Baseball This Week, every week. Greg writes for the website Light Hitting Infielder. Listen to his most recent program here. (Podcasts of every program are available over at 610 Sports.com).
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
This Winter Meetings period has been no different. I, for one, am stoked for the Rule 5 draft, which takes place Thursday morning in Las Vegas. Here is a brief look at some Rule 5-eligible players who the Royals can potentially gobble up for bucks on the dollar (and a roster spot devotion). Keep in mind the Royals draft 11th in the Rule 5 draft. Their 11th overall pick is only tentative, of course. Teams who draft above them can opt out of participating, as the Royals did - irrationally, at the time, in my opinion - last year.
By the way, Rule 5 drafts, as a rule (nice pun, RN!), are an excellent opportunity for small to mid-market organizations who have finished with subpar recent results - such as the Royals - to take a cheap gamble on another more talented organization's trash.
Anyway, here are some players eligible for the taking that I would look into, if I were in Dayton Moore's shoes. Thanks, Baseball Analysts.
Ryan Mullins Minnesota
Position: Left-Handed Starter
Born: November 1983
2008 Level: Double-A
A third-round selection out of Vanderbilt University in 2005, Ryan Mullins is a 6'6'' lefty with a fringe fastball and a big-league curveball, which are just the right ingredients for a 2009 MLB LOOGY. His 2008 numbers at Double-A were nothing to write home about: 169 hits allowed in 148.1 innings, 3.58 BB/9, 6.01 K/9, but check out the splits:Left-Handed Batters: .204 AVG, 0.88 WHIP, 1.45 BB/9, 12.8 LD%Right-Handed Batters: .314 AVG, 1.72 WHIP, 4.24 BB/9, 17.9 LD%
Donald Veal Chicago (NL)
Position: Left-Handed Starter
Born: September 1984
2008 Level: Double-A
A former top prospect, Donnie Veal has stagnated at Double-A. In two
seasons at that level, he has allowed 276 hits in 275.2 innings of work. His rates in 2008 were not so good at 5.02 BB/9 and 7.62 K/9. Obviously, his control is lacking but he is a lefty that can consistently throw in the low 90s and he has two solid secondary pitchers: a curveball and change-up. He faced 142 left-handed batters in 2008 and did not allow a home run. His splits suggest he could also have some success as a LOOGY: Left-handed batters hit .221, while right-handed batters hit .290.
James Skelton Detroit
Born: October 1985
2008 Level: High-A/Double-A
One of the more quizzical omissions from the 40-man rosters, James Skelton creates flashes of Jesus Flores, whom the Washington Nationals stole from the New York Mets with the sixth overall pick of the 2006 Rule 5 Draft. Flores is now producing just as well for the Nationals as the Mets' big league catchers, and at a much lower cost. The Tigers organization is seriously lacking in prospects and the 40-man roster had room for Skelton. He was originally selected by the Tigers in the 14th round of the 2004 draft out of a California high school. Skelton has hit more than .300 in each of the past three seasons - a rarity for catchers. This past season, he hit .307/.467/.406 in 212 High-A
at-bats and moved up to Double-A and posted a line of .294/.423/.388 in 85 at-bats. There are concerns about Skelton's defence. His is just 5'11'' and 165 lbs - small for a catcher. His arm also lacks strength, but he threw out 43% of base stealers in 2007, and 19 of 54 (35%) at High-A in 2008, followed by nine of 19 (47%) at Double-A. It will be shocking if no one takes a flyer on the left-handed hitting catcher with an excellent eye at the plate and the ability to hit for a high average. The list of clubs that could use catching depth include Toronto, San Diego, Cincinnati, Houston, Chicago (NL), Washington, Florida, Balitmore, Chicago AL, Tampa Bay and Boston.
Jamie Romak Pittsburgh
Born: September 1985
2008 Level: High-A/Double-A
The Rule 5 Draft's outfield depth is lacking, but Jamie Romak is an
interesting name. The former Braves prospect was traded to Pittsburgh during the 2007 Adam LaRoche deal and was rated by Baseball America as the Pirates' seventh best prospect entering into 2008. He offers massive power potential but a low batting average. He is still very raw, but the Canadian has intriguing upside. In 2008, he hit .279/.351/.552 with 25 doubles and 18 homers (.272 ISO) in 290 High-A at-bats. Upon a promotion to Double-A, he hit .208/.307/.433 (.225 ISO) in 120 at-bats. He is a huge risk, but if he rebounds in 2009 a club will have a tough timing prying him from Pittsburgh. That said, he struggles with off-speed stuff and could easily become a Quad-A slugger.
Monday, December 8, 2008
Fellow The Royal Treatment posters may disagree with me, and at the risk of sounding a bit pompous, I'll go ahead and submit an official The Royal Treatment Top 20 Royals Prospect list. Since I founded the site, it's probably a necessary evil.
I've organized each prospect by star ranking and have assigned each player a letter grade. I've provided their projected 2009 destination, as well, and estimated time of arrival to the big-leagues. Also provided is a short comment or two about that particular player. Any thoughts?
The Moose heads the first annual TRT prospects list for '09.
1. Mike Moustakas *****, A, A+ Wilmington, ETA: 2011
Legitimate stud who should battle for middle of order by beginning of decade. Plus-plus arm, contact, and power. Likely 3B or COF. Projected line: .300/.360/.500
2. Eric Hosmer *****, A, A Burlington, ETA: 2012
Another All-Star in the making. I see him as a contact hitter, first, and a power hitter, second. 1B or COF.
3. Kila Kaaihue ****1/2, B+, AAA Omaha, ETA: Mid-2009
I'm higher on him than most fellow bloggers. His extraordinary plate discipline and power foundation will pay dividends, soon, I think.
4. Daniel Cortes ****1/2, B+, AAA Omaha, ETA: 2010
#2 starter in the making. Could be in K.C. by September '09.
5. Daniel Duffy ****1/2, B+, A+ Wilmington, ETA: Mid-2011
Left-handed starter reminds me of a Darrell May 2003 version with better stuff. Possible mid 90's stuff but projects as more of a finesse man, for me, at least.
6. Tim Melville ****, B, R+ Idaho Falls, ETA: 2012
The gem of the 2008 draft. He represents the change in draft philosophy for the Royals. Right-hander possesses the entire package, as a pitcher. Possible #2 or #3.
7. Mike Montgomery ****, B, A Burlington, ETA: 2012
Some scouts rank him higher than #7. #3 starter, I think.
8. Carlos Rosa ***1/2, B, MLB Kansas City, ETA: 2009
5-star reliever and 4 1/2-star closer. Plus-plus fastball and slider. I think he'll be Octavio Dotel without the injuries.
9. Daniel Gutierrez ***1/2, B, A+ Wilmington, ETA: Mid-2011
One Royals scout ranked him higher than Cortes on the prospect depth chart. I love his curveball. Possible #2, but needs to build off promising '08.
10. Jason Taylor ***1/2, B-, A+ Wilmington, ETA: Mid-2011
My personal favorite. I'll be rooting for that speed, plate discipline, and power to manifest again next year.
11. Johnny Giavotella ***1/2, B-, A+ Wilmington, ETA: 2011
Gritty second baseman could provide for a little Dustin Pedroia-like excitement in K.C. come '11.
12. Blake Wood ***1/2, B-, AA Northwest Arkansas, ETA: 2011
Mentioned as that 'throw in' prospect for any trade scenario involving MLB-ready vets, it seems. I see Wood as a potential dominant relief pitcher, but likely no better than a fourth starter at the big-league level.
13. Jeff Bianchi ***1/2, C+, AA Northwest Arkansas, ETA: 2011
Rebounded a bit in '09. Really needs to finally show the hype that surrounded him in the '05 draft. Michael Young??!!! More like Michael 'None' until '08, where he displayed a power spike. Let's see if he can build it in NWA this year.
14. Julio Cesar Pimentel ***1/2, C+, AA Northwest Arkansas, ETA: Mid-2010
Groundball-extraordinaire. With his repertoire, I see him as a reliever-first. We'll see.
15. Joe Dickerson ***1/2, C+, AA Northwest Arkansas, ETA: 2011
Needs to continue to hit for power to project as a cornerman prospect.
16. Tyler Sample ***1/2, C+, R+ Idaho Falls, ETA: Mid-2012
Growing pains in '08. He's a long ways off. Tremendous potential. We'll see.
17. Derrick Robinson ***, C+, AA Northwest Arkansas, ETA: 2011
Joey Gathright-lite. Absolutely needs to develop power. My #17 ranking is generous. The organization loves his toolsiness and speed.
18. David Lough ***, C+, A+ Wilmington, ETA: Mid-2011
610 Sports radio personality Greg Schaum loves this corner OF. Under-the-radar prospect if I've ever seen one. Lefty-hitter.
19. Blake Johnson ***, C+, AA Northwest Arkansas, ETA: Mid-2010
Love his curveball and frame. I'm also friends with him on Facebook, and that'll earn extra points, but only for the bottom of this list.
20. Sam Runion ***, C+, A Burlington, ETA: 2012
K-BB troubles in Burlington forced him back to Rookie-ball in '08. Long ways away. Curveball is his best pitch.