Saturday, December 18, 2010

Belated Notes on AL Central Prospect Chat

I recently listened to the Baseball America AL Central prospect chat and in case you didn't have time to listen for yourself here are the highlights:

  • Mike Montgomery would be the top prospect in any other AL Central system, but is ranked #5 in Kansas City's. This is just a testament to the depth of elite prospects that the Royals currently have in their system.
  • Comparing the Royals to other teams that have built from within in recent years (Indians, Rays, and Twins), they need 3 or 4 of the current prospect crop to become cornerstone type players. I think that if the Royals wind up with just 3 or 4 cornerstone players from the current crop there will be a lot of disappointed Royals fans.
  • The Royals have guys ranked in the low 20s that would rank on most teams' top 15s. This is where the Royals are going to find their role players. This depth will be critical in moving from a competitive team to a top of the line contender.
  • The Royals have more starting pitching prospects coming up then they can fit into a Major League rotation. This means that it will be critical for the Royals to properly evaluate which pitchers to keep as starters, which should be moved to the pen, and which should be dealt to fill other needs.
  • The current Royals lineup only features one cornerstone type player: Billy Butler. So there isn't any reason why any prospects would be blocked.
  • The only cornerstone arms the Royals have are Zack Greinke and Joakim Soria.
  • Before the Francouer and Cabrerra signings Baseball America expected a few guys to be signed on one year deals and then dealt at the deadline. It worked last season and enabled the Royals to bring in guys like Lucas May, Elisaul Pimentel, Kevin Pucetas, Sean O'Sullivan, Will Smith, Gregor Blanco, Jesse Chavez, and Tim Collins.
  • Tim Collins and Louis Coleman could easily break camp with Kansas City. In an interview with 610 Sports on Friday afternoon Dayton Moore confirmed this and also added Blaine Hardy's name to the mix.
  • The first wave of talent currently stretches from high A to triple A. Over the past two years the Royals have also been subtly laying the groundwork for a second wave primarily thru their spending in Latin America. Of course once the first wave starts hitting Kansas City the Royals can turn their attention to drafting to improve upon that second wave of talent. The good news is that unlike the first wave the Royals will already have a good base to build the second wave on due to the signing of guys like Cheslor Cuthbert, Robinson Yambati, Yordano Ventura, Humberto Arteaga, and Orlando Caxiste. I'd like to analyze this strategy in more depth later.
  • Finally, the chat discussed how the Royals would be hurt more than any other team by hard slotting judging by the way that they currently operate. I touched on this in my Zack Greinke post, but as the Royals start drafting lower in the draft (hopefully) they could also lose the ability to draft guys and sign them over slot. This could really hurt the development of the farm system and ultimately Kansas City's ability to field a competitive team.


  1. Hard-slotting won't happen, because baseball owners lack spine. I like your optimism about the future, but getting to 2014 may be real ugly.

  2. I hope the hardslotting doesn't happen but if players want it and enough owners do i think it will, but I suppose that is stating the obvious.

    You are right, just because we will have a wave of good players hit over the next couple years that doesn't signal an end to the rebuild. You still have to wait for those players to become major contributors. I am simply saying that once that wave hits the next wave must begin to really take shape.