Sunday, October 24, 2010

Prospect Stock Watch: Catchers

The following is a review of the Royals catchers that intrigue me enough to make a post about. I'm going to offer whether or not the player performed as well, better, or worse than what I personally expected. I'll also give a brief explanation on my thoughts. So let's begin.

Lucas May (Steady): Lucas May came over from the Dodgers system with some pretty impressive offensive numbers that many thought would regress once he was out of the hitter's paradise of triple A. However, his numbers stayed pretty consistent and actually showed small improvement. I don't think May is a long term solution for the Royals at catcher, but I do believe that he is good enough to help hold down the fort until a long term solution is found or is ready.

Manny Pina (Loss): I was able to watch Pina all season long and I can attest to the fact that his defensive skills are top notch. However, this was his second stint in the Texas League and he moved into a more hitter friendly park in Springdale and posted basically identical offensive numbers as his first season. He's got some promise to be a defensive oriented major league back up, but the bat has to improve.

Ben Theriot (Gain): Last season Theriot played in Idaho Falls and showed that he has a good feel for the strike zone and pretty good contact ability. This season Theriot bounced all around the Royals system in a way that shows the organization probably doesn't view him as anything more than an organizational guy. This season his contact improved as he hit full season ball and I'm going to say that he beat expectations by simply filling in for Northwest Arkansas and hitting .310 over 19 games.

Salvador Perez (Gain): Because so many Royals prospects had dominating seasons, Salvador Perez's quiet but impressive season has basically flown under the radar. Salvador Perez began the season as the youngest player in the Carolina League, in a league brutal on hitters, and a park brutal on hitters. Yet Perez was able to post solid numbers with a slash line of .290/.322/.411 in his first stop on the circuit. Perez has gotten the opportunity to play in the Arizona Fall League and with Myers beginning to take flyballs in the outfield, Perez may be the future for the Royals at catcher.

Wil Myers (Gain): Myers may be the top prospect in the entire Royals system after cleaning up the Midwest League, then seeing his numbers improve upon becoming the youngest hitter in the Carolina League. Myers could be a superstar in the outfield, but his value is greater if he can stay behind the plate. But as previously stated he has begun to take flyballs in the outfield during instructional league.

Travis Jones (Loss): After last year's draft there was some talk that Jones' power could make him a late round steal, but a year later we still haven't seen any of that batting practice power transferred into gametime at bats.

Jose Bonilla (Loss): Because of Baseball America's rating of Bonilla in their top 30 the past couple of years Bonilla has been pretty disappointing to Royals fans. I expected him to rebound this year in his second stint in low A. However, he struggled once again and it's hard to be to optimistic regarding Bonilla's future.

Kevin David (Gain): Like Jones, Kevin David has gotten some publicity as a guy that has displayed impressive power in instructional league and batting practice. He didn't show it in the games, but at this point his stock is higher than where it was when he was drafted in the 19th round.

Jin Ho Shin (Loss): At the time of Jin Ho Shin's signing he received the largest international signing bonus in team history on the Pacific Rim. Unfortunately he struggled in his professional debut in the Arizona League. He's very young and I remain very optimistic with Shin's future with the Royals.


  1. Obviously, I am a huge fan of Wil Myers, and I completely agree with you that we need to try and keep him behind the plate, no matter how long it delays his arrival to the big leagues, I also am pretty happy with the way Salvador Perez performed this season, if his walk rate improves he could be an above average big league catcher. As for Lucas May, after watching him in the big leagues I wasn't overly impressed to say the least. I have seen too many Royals K'd by the down and away breaking ball (cough cough Alex Gordon) and Lucas May could not lay off of it, seemed to me that he swung at everything and had a low contact rate. Great blog!

  2. Yeah, an improvement in Perez's walk rate would be great, but I also expect to see an improvement in his slug as her progresses as well.

  3. I would actually prefer to see Myers moved to the outfield. At this point we have no good outfield prospects with that first wave, and if they moved him we could fill catcher with Perez and Right with Myers.

  4. While we seem to have fewer outfield prospects, I would rather keep myers at catcher for awhile because we can't assume that perez will be a major leaguer. It will be easier to acquire outfield talent that is already major league ready. Legitimate catching prospects are harder to come by, therefore you need to have greater catching prospect depth in hopes of finding your everyday player. That still doesnt mean myers will ultimately be capable of being a major league catcher though. Outside of myers and perez, royals fans have to hope that lucas may can combine his athleticism with more plate discipline and than jin ho shin can overcome a slow professional start. For the rest of the guys, we have to hope they can progress to a point where they can become minor trade chips or AAAA players that can contribute to the big club in small stretches.

  5. There's no reason to write the other guys off, I mean when was Piazza drafted?

  6. well obviously you don't write them off. If someone goes the piazza route and somehow becomes an all star, then that's great, teams need to get lucky with lower round guys every once in awhile. but c'mon, the odds of getting a piazza out of any of the guys above is incredibly low.

  7. You're right, but there are probably quite a bit more that we could add to the list that were drafted after the top 15 rounds.