Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Omaha Stormchasers Preview

Here are my thoughts on the players reporting to Omaha to begin the the 2011 season.


  • Mike Montgomery- Montgomery is the future ace of the Kansas City Royals staff. First though he will begin the season as a Storm Chaser and by mid summer he could be the first of the Royals pitching prospects to find a spot in the big league rotation.

  • Danny Duffy- Duffy struggled with control in the Arizona Fall League and Spring Training, but his stuff his top notch. I expect him to hit no speed bump in Omaha and he will race against Montgomery for that first rotation spot that opens up.

  • Everett Teaford- I hope to see Teaford continue to build off of last season's second half. It will be important that Teaford gets off to a hot start or he will risk being passed by the organizations top arms.

  • Vin Mazzaro- Mazzaro won't be in Omaha long, but hopefully he will display heavy stuff in his one or two starts in the Pacific Coast League.

  • Kevin Pucetas- Pucetas came in the Jose Guillen trade which automatically makes me a fan. I don't see him ever contributing at the big league level, but he could be a valuable swingman for the Omaha team.

  • Jeff Suppan- I expect to see Suppan in a Royals uniform at somepoint in 2011. I hope that in his time in Omaha he can be a valuable mentor for Montgomery, Duffy, and company.


  • Jesse Chavez- To think that Chavez was once traded for Rafael Soriano blows my mind. He throws hard, but with the shape of the current pen it wouldn't mean good things have happened if he logs innings for Kansas City.

  • Louis Coleman- Coleman pitched wonderfully in Spring Training, but due to an inventory situation will begin the year as the Storm Chasers' closer. I expect him to be the first guy up when the big team goes fishing for a replacement.

  • Blaine Hardy- Yost wanted two lefties in the Royals pen. If Hardy dominates in the pen like he is capable of he could easily see KC at somepoint this season.

  • Greg Holland- Another arm that could be an asset in the big league pen. He has always posted a strong K rate, so I look for that to continue in 2011.

  • Luis Mendoza- If he returns to Omaha and continues to post mediocre results his days on the 40-man roster are numbered.

  • Steven Shell- Should provide a veteran presence in an otherwise young bullpen.

  • Blake Wood- Would like to see that stuff translate into results before he is given another big league opportunity.


  • Cody Clark- Clark has been an organizational warrior with the Royals, but this is probably the peak of his progression.

  • Lucas May- It was nice that the Royals were able to keep May after removing him from the 40 man. It will take a bigtime performance for him to get another opportunity with the big team though.

  • Manny Pina- If Pina can hit just a little I'm convinced that Yost would be partial to him over Pena and May due to his defensive prowess.


  • Irving Falu- Falu has been in the organization for along time, he has good versatility and gets on base at a decent clip. He's a good player to have in the upper levels because you never know what spots will need to be filled due to a lack of prospects. I'd rather have a home grown organizational warrior than a 6-year minor league free agent.

  • Johnny Giavotella- With a strong 2011 campaign Giavotella would put himself in prime position to win a job with the Royals for 2012. He can't afford to stall too much with Colon breathing down his neck.

  • Eric Hosmer- I'd like to see Hosmer log some time in the outfield for the Storm Chasers this summer. If he can handle the position or if Ka'aihue proves incapable of hitting big league pitching he should find himself in Kansas City midseason.

  • Marc Maddox- Maddox has steadily progressed through the organization but he's final stop will likely be in Omaha.

  • Mike Moustakas- Moustakas needs a strong start, and needs to show that he can hit lefties. If he can do this through May, he will likely hit Kansas City in early June.

  • Clint Robinson- At this point the best case for Clint is that he continues to pound pitching and hopefully he will get noticed around the league. His future as a big leaguer will likely be in a jersey other than Kansas City's.

  • Lance Zawadzki- At the end of Spring it looked as if Zawadzki might snag a job on the Big League team. Instead the Royals "smartly" elected to go with an 8 man bullpen. Zawadzki may have been a waiver claim but he still is a Major League prospect. He could be a decentshortstop option for the Royals if Escobar were to go down to injury.


  • Gregor Blanco- It was good to see Blanco clear waivers and remain in the organization. He has proven to be a solid fourth outfielder and it was nice to keep inventory.

  • Lorenzo Cain- Has already lost prospect status, but hasn't had many at bats in the upper levels. It will be important for Cain to hit and get on base at a high clip in Omaha.

  • David Lough- I'm a big fan of David Lough. His ceiling isn't as high as some of the other outfielders in the system, but I believe he is more likely to reach his potential than many others. I'd like to see him get some time in KC, but I'm not sure if he ranks high enough on the outfield pecking order at this point.

  • Paulo Orlando- Orlando reminds me alot of Willie Wilson although he doesn't have as much ability in the stolen base department. I love watching this guy leg out triples and go first to third. Good tools and I really am rooting for him to be the first Brazilian to reach the Majors.

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