Friday, February 26, 2010

Top Prospects #10: Kila Ka'aihue

#10 Kila Ka'aihue

Age: 25
Pos: 1B
HT/WT: 6-4/235
B/T: L/R
Drafted: 15th Round of 2002 Rule IV Draft
High School: Iolani High School (Hawaii)
Debuted: 2008

The keyword for Ka'aihue is opportunity. Kila Ka'aihue's major league potential is solely based off of his skill in the batter's box. He is below average defensively and a clogger on the base paths, but considering the Royals woes on offense last season it would have been nice to have seen him get an opportunity to DH in September, but instead he was not granted that chance. Apparently the Royals felt his 2009 stat line was not call up worthy and once again this begs the question: Can the Royals properly evaluate statistics? From my perspective Kaaihue did decline from 2008 to 2009, but he did post a 100 walk season for the second consecutive year and he posted an OPS of .825. But let's not stop there, Ka'aihue also had a terribly unlucky season as seen by his .277 BABIP and so with we can see what sort of slash line he had with luck taken out of the equation. How does a .290/.422/.482 line sound? Unfortunately because Ka'aihue didn't produce well in Dayton Moore's favorite "sabermetric" categories (rbi, rs, hr, basically things that you don't have to use any multiplication or division to figure...) he wasn't given a call-up at the end of Omaha's season.

With the way Kansas City's roster is beginning to take shape, it looks like Ka'aihue will again not receive an opportunity at the big league level in 2010 unless he is traded to another team. Look for him to begin the year in Omaha. At this point it is hard for me to imagine Ka'aihue ever having a role in this organization. Hopefully if this is the case he can be traded to another team so that he gets an opportunity elsewhere to produce at the big level, but otherwise I envision him wasting away in triple A until he is out of options and claimed by another organization.

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