Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Northwest Arkansas Naturals Preview

This will be the third of my four previews for the full season minor league teams. For each team I am going to give a brief prediction on each of the team's top five prospects and then pick a player to have a breakout season. Now for the Northwest Arkansas Naturals:

1) Mike Moustakas- I've said this before but I predict Moustakas to rake this season in Springdale. I think he will post some monster numbers with 25+ homers and the highest average, obp, and slug for his career. While his numbers will warrant a promotion I think the Royals will allow him to spend most of the season in double A, maybe even the whole year to give him the opportunity to win another division title.

2) Aaron Crow- Crow is an extremely advanced pitcher and I expect him to pitch very well this season in his first year in affiliated ball. I expect him to split the season between Springdale and Omaha, then a September call-up. Crow could be a useful bullpen part this season, but I agree with the Royals assessment that he needs to pitch in as many innings this season as possible.

3) Johnny Giavotella- I really wish this guy didn't fall in my top five because I'd like to pick him as my breakout pick for the Naturals this season. Oh well, I'm going to anyway. I think Giavotella is going to post an OPS of .850+ this season with an average around .300. The biggest drawback for him in 2010 will be that he doesn't silence his defensive critics and his range remains just passable.

4) Louis Coleman- Coleman is going to dominate this season out of the Naturals' bullpen and I expect to see him in Kansas City by the end of the year.

5) Edgar Osuna- I think Osuna will have an average year this season in Springdale, but he will continue to show that he was not ready for a shot on the big league roster.

Breakout Pick: Ernesto Mejia. I think this guy is going to mash this season for the Naturals and at some point will join Ka'aihue in first base duties with the O-Royals.

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