#7.5 Noel Arguelles
Signed: International Free Agent to a Major League deal worth approximately $7 mill.
The signing of Noel Arguelles this offseason served as a reminder to some that the progress in the Royals organization is occuring beneath the Major League surface. The increased spending in the Rule IV draft and the Latin American market should have Royals fans excited, but instead most are just plain tired of losing at the Major League level. Not that this isn't understandable, but fans need to realize that rebuilding takes time, especially when it is done from the ground up.
Back to Arguelles. Arguelles features a low 90s fastball, an already plus change up. and a curve that could one day be an above average pitch. Throw that together with an easy to repeat three-quarter delivery and you have a guy with the potential to develop into a front of the rotation anchor. While Arguelles is fairly polished for a nineteen year old pitcher he still lacks control. Arguelles is often compared with Francisco Liriano of the Minnesota Twins, so hopefully the Royals can take care enough to make sure that his arm doesn't fall apart like Liriano's has. The Royals are off to a good start and have stated that they won't allow him to start throwing until March after throwing for over a year straight while profiling himself as a free agent.
I expect Arguelles to be held back in extended spring training and then be sent to Wilmington to join the rotation. Arguelles is already on the 40-man roster so I'm sure he will be moved through the system at a quick pace due to the fact that each year in the minors will result in the loss of an option year. Arguelles could be an expensive bust, or he could turn into a cheap top of the rotation starter. Either way I love the deal and I'd say it is the best move the Royals made this offseason. Hopefully it pays off and I can't wait to see some pro numbers from my facebook friend Noel Arguelles. Bueno Suerte este verano Noel.