Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Breakout?

Coming into the 2010 season many believed that no system had the potential to rise more in the system rankings than the Kansas City Royals. With several elite talents, toolsy athletes, and the first Dayton Moore wave of talent hitting Northwest Arkansas and Omaha this belief wasn't out of the realm of possibility. We're just three weeks into the season, but from the looks of things the breakout has already began. Let's take a peak at some of the prospects and see which ones are contributing to the emergence of the Royals farm system thus far in 2010 and a few other intriguing names.

Omaha Royals (7-9):
  • Kila Ka'aihue: .306/.452/.612 with 4 homers and 12 Rbis. I don't think that Ka'aihue's performance will have a major impact on the ranking of the Royals system, but his performance has definitely been noteworthy and with each passing day I seem to become more convinced that the Royals have Travis Hafner in triple A.
  • David Lough: .271/.317/.407. Lough got off to a slow start after a terrific spring where he seemed to impress every member of the Royals coaching staff. Keep in mind that just a year ago Lough was in Wilmington.
  • Carlos Rosa: 8.2 ip with a 1.04 era, 5 ks, 5 bbs. Considering Rosa's peripherals, his era is probably not a reflection of how well he is pitching. Rosa will be in the pen at some point this season.
  • Blake Wood: 9 ip with a 3.00 era. 5 ks and 2 bbs.
  • Chris Hayes: 2 ip with a 0.00 era and a 0.50 whip. Please let Chris Hayes get a shot in the Royals bullpen. Please?

Northwest Arkansas Naturals (9-5):

  • Manuel Pina: .357/.440/.595 with 2 homers and 11 rbis. Dayton Moore and J.J. Picollo both predicted Pina to be a breakout performer in 2010 on the farm and so far they he has not disappointed. Pina has always been known for his defensive skills and if he can get it together with the stick he could be a big riser in the prospect rankings. However, Pina got off to fast start a year ago in the Texas League so it is very possible that it could happen again.
  • Derrick Robinson: .321/.400/.472 with 5 extra base hits, 6 steals. Robinson is one of the players in the system that could play a major impact in the breakout of the system. Always a top 20 talent due to his tools alone, if he learns how to hit he instantly becomes a top prospect, not just for the organization but for the entire league.
  • Johnny Giavotella: .340/.424/.400. I expect big things from Giavotella this season in Springdale. After a slow start he has had five multi hit games in a row, I expect Giavotella to always be a high obp guy, but hopefully he can develop a little more pop with the bat and more range in the field.
  • Mike Moustaksas: .500/.556/1.375 with 2 homers and 5 rbis. I've predicted a huge season for Moustakas and in his first two games he has gotten on to the right track. Moustakas and Eric Hosmer are probably the two biggest factors in the potential breakout of the Royals' system.
  • Aaron Crow: 17.1 ip with a 3.12 era. His strikeout to walk has to improve but his groundball to flyball has been filthy so far this season. I'm not sure of his exact numbers but the guy is a groundball machine. Crow will probably see Kansas City in a September callup.
  • Everett Teaford: 13.2 ip with a 2.63 era and 12 ks with only 2 bbs. Teaford piggybacked Crow's first start in Springdale but since then he has been moved back to the rotation. He's starting to get too old to be considered a strong prospect, but I'd like to see him get a promotion to Omaha's rotation. Personally I'd rather see the Royals callup guys like this to fill holes on the big club then journeyman pitchers.
  • Edgar Osuna: 17 ip with a 0.00 era with 14 ks and 1 walk. Osuna has pitched brilliantly in Springdale thus far and could be the first starting pitcher this season to receive a promotion to triple A.
  • Federico Casteneda: 9.2 ip with 0.00 era. Could be a quick riser in the pen.
  • Blaine Hardy: 12 ip with 0.00 era. Could he be the first member of the Royals 2008 draft class to reach Kansas City?
  • Brandon Sisk: 8 ip with a 2.25 era. Another potential quick rising reliever.
  • Louis Coleman: 7.1 ip with a 2.45 era. Who gets to Kansas City from the 2009 draft class first? Coleman or Crow?

Wilmington Blue Rocks (7-8):

  • Eric Hosmer: .434/.516/.604. In a notoriously bad hitter's park Hosmer's hasn't had much trouble in the first 15 games of his return trip to the Carolina League. It is early, but it appears that Hosmer's hitting woes from a year ago can probably be attributed to the vision problem. With each multi hit game it is going to be harder to keep Hosmer from Northwest Arkansas.
  • Salvador Perez: .316/.341/.395. Needs to hit for a little more pop but in his first 11 games in the Carolina League he may be the biggest surprise after he struggled a year ago in Burlington.
  • Michael Montgomery: 18 ip with a 0.50 era with 17 ks and just 4 walks. According to Ben Badler at Baseball America Montgomery has shot up into top 20 prospect status. It's hard to imagine that he has much left to prove in the Carolina League.
  • Buddy Baumann: 10.2 ip with 0.84 era with 19 ks and 4 walks. The Royals scouting department has promised an increased emphasis on the backyard and Baumann is an example of this. Either he should be given a shot in the Wilmington rotation or he should be promoted to the Naturals pen.

Burlington Bees (5-11)

  • Carlo Testa: .351/.489/.595. Testa is already 23 years old so I hope that the Royals push him along quickly if they actually believe that he is a legitimate prospect. He's hit well thus far and I'd really like to see what he could do in Wilmington.
  • Joey Lewis: .235/.317/.509 with 4 home runs. Lewis has some big time power, but he has to prove that it isn't his only tool.
  • Kelvin Herrera: 14 ip with a 2.57 era. I like Herrera a lot and believe that he has front line potential, but he has to show that he can stay healthy for an entire inning.
  • Bryan Paukovitis: 13 ip with a 3.46 era. Could be a pleasant surprise from the 44th round of the 2006 draft.
  • John Lamb: 18 ip with a 1.00 era with 23 ks, and 10 walks. hasn't pitched many innings and I'm sure he is on a strict pitch count in every start with his injury history, but he should be in Wilmington by season's end.

The system has looked very strong and it seems that every night there is an intriguing name on the mound for at least a couple of the affiliates. Sorry about the lack of posts, it's been a busy April for me and May figures to be the same way. Hopefully once summer hits I can post with more regularity.

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