Friday, May 21, 2010

Royals Kingdom Prospect Review 6-10

The future's so bright, I gotta wear shades...

10. John Lamb, LHP, 19 years old, Low-A Burlington Bees- Once viewed as a legitimate hitting prospect, Lamb has been mentioned as one of the best young left handed arms in all of minor league baseball. He's drawn early comparisons to Tom Glavine and has an outstanding changeup that is causing Midwest Leaguers fits in 2010 as Lamb is posting a miniscule 1.58 ERA in Burlington. He suffered an unfortunate injury in 2008 when he broke his elbow in a car accident, but he's rebounded nicely and there seem to be no injury concerns with Mr. Lamb. He doesn't blow batters away, his fastball tops out at 92 MPH, but his control and quality of stuff is what is going to get him to Kansas City. Still several years away, he's going to be fun to watch as he ascends through the Royals minor league ranks.

9. Louis Coleman, RHP, 24 years old, AA Northwest Arkansas Naturals- I've heard some people say that he's the next big thing, as far as set up men go. I've also heard he has limited upside. But my gut is telling me that this guy is the closest prospect we have to the big leagues after Blake Wood. He's dazzling in Northwest Arkansas. His WHIP is at an unheard of 0.811. He's only walked 7 batters in 24.1 innings and has struck out 20 batters. Another guy who is likely to get a shot at a September call up and will undoubtedly be competing for a spot in the bullpen come February 2011. He's a guy that you should keep an eye on, as the Royals bullpen future is looking pretty impressive. A pleasant thought after seeing the kind of disaster that is currently occupying the area beyond the right field wall in Kauffman Stadium...

8. Noel Arguelles, LHP, 20 years old, Whereabouts Unknown- One of the biggest international free agents this past offseason, the Royals made a big splash in the international market landing Arguelles and signing him to a 5 year deal. Not much is known about Arguelles as he is yet to pitch a professional inning. There were injury concerns as he had been pitching for 18 consecutive months before signing with the Royals, which is probably the reason why he has been inactive for some time. What is known about Arguelles is that he has fantastic stuff and outstanding control. The Cuban defector should show up soon in the Royals minor leagues, likely at Northwest Arkansas or Wilmington. He's a good candidate to rocket through the minor league system. That is if he can stay healthy...

7. David Lough, OF, 24 years old, AAA Omaha Royals- I have him high on this list simply because he's a hitter. But his stock is quickly dropping. He bat .325 last year in AA and High-A, but his plate discipline is an issue. He doesn't walk enough to sustain a lengthy stay in the top 10. He's got tremendous potential when it comes to handling the bat, but as far as plate discipline goes, he's got a lot of work to do. But time is running out on the 24 year old. He isn't blowing many people away this year in Omaha, posting a meager .273/.302/.377/.679 line. If he doesn't turn it up soon, he'll be falling into Chris Lubanski status. The only reason he is so high on this list is due to the fact that he is older and perhaps more ready for the big leagues than most on this list. But as I said before, if his current trend continues, it could be a not-so-happy ending for David Lough.

6. Tim Melville, RHP, 20 years, High-A Wilmington Blue Rocks- Another guy who is on the rocks. He's got worlds of potential, but he's struggling to put it all together in Advanced A-ball Wilmington this year, with an 8.64 ERA in 33.1 innings pitched. He's got the benefit of the doubt, as he is still at the age where many pitchers are trying to find an identity, but the Royals have a lot of money invested in him. They took him in the 4th round of the 2008 draft and gave him first round money. The St. Louis native has some work to do, but Royals fans should take comfort in the fact that this kid has some seriously good stuff and a tremendous work ethic. I am confident he'll get everything back on the right track. Look for a big second half turnaround from Tim. I'm rooting for him. And if this year is a disaster for him, hopefully he realizes he's still very, very young and has plenty of time to straighten it out.

Things are goin' great, and they're only gettin' better...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Royals Kingdom Prospect Review 11-15

Here we go, again:

15. Tyler Sample, RHP, 20 years old, Low-A Burlington Bees- A giant on the mound at 6'7", Sample is viewed as a big time relief prospect with Closer written all over him. He already throws in the mid-90s, an impressive feat for a 20 year old. The only reason he isn't higher on this list is major injury concern. He had Tommy John surgery as a sophomore in high school. He's still several years away as he still has control issues, he's already walked 33 batters this year in 42.1 innings pitched. He's also struck out 32 batters though...

14. Danny Duffy, LHP, 21 years old, Currently Inactive- Duffy made headlines this offseason by announcing that he would be taking a leave from baseball. He's a top five prospect if he's playing. But since he decided to step away from the game, he takes a little dip on our list. He's a big lefty hurler who has posted ERAs under 3.00 in his first three professional seasons. He's struck out 290 batters in 245.2 professional innings pitched up against just 83 walks. Here's to hoping Danny returns soon to the Royals organization.

13. Blake Wood, RHP, 24 years old, MLB Kansas City Royals- He's blown us all away this year. He's only allowed one run so far (Home run to Corey Patterson, welcome to the big leagues kid.) and showcased outstanding control in his 6 innings pitched, walking just one batter. His fastball moves down and in on hitters and has a great slider. He had been struggling before getting his call to the big leagues, posting a career 4.26 ERA in the minors, but blew everyone away in the Pacific Coast League with a 2.16 ERA in 2010. He's definitely going to be showcased on the big stage this year as he earned a call to the big leagues earlier this month.

12. Chris Dwyer, LHP, 22 years old, High-A Wilmington Blue Rocks- Curveball, curveball, curveball. That's all you will see when you look at scouting reports on Chris Dwyer. He's going to rise fast in the minor leagues with his breaking stuff, his changeup still needs work, but he is a big time bullpen prospect. He's being called a sleeper by many scouts and Royals fans should definitely look forward to seeing this lefty come up through the ranks.

11. Jordan Parraz, OF, 25 years old, AAA Omaha Royals- A contact hitting outfielder that is drawing comparisons to David DeJesus. Originally from the Astros organization, Parraz absolutely raked in AA Northwest Arkansas last year, batting .358 in 64 games. He's struggled thus far in Omaha in 2010, but a .342 OBP next to his .242 batting average shows that he is willing to work the count and lay off bad pitches. He is definitely a guy who will be getting a September call-up or compete for a spot on the 25 man roster come Spring Training in 2011.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Royals Kingdom Prospect Review 16-20

Alright, I'm gonna take a stab at this. A true test of a baseball bloggers mettle is how well they can rate and analyze their organization's prospects. Here is my attempt at it.

20. Reynaldo Navarro, SS, 21 years old, High-A Wilmington Blue Rocks- Most people may scoff at Navarro being this high on my list. But shortstop is a position that this franchise has been shallow at all decade. Navarro's skill set is still very raw, but for a 21 year old shortstop in his fourth season of minor league duty, time may be short for him as he is eligible to become a minor league free agent after the 2012 season.

19. Derrick Robinson, CF, 22 years old, AA Northwest Arkansas Naturals- Robinson was a question mark entering Spring Training. A speedster with an athletic build, he showcased his speed in 2009 with 69 stolen bases at High-A Wilmington, but lacked the ability to make solid contact. He's climbing the prospect ladder quickly though, posting a .300/.391/.415/.806 line in Northwest Arkansas this season after tweaking his batting stance. If D-Rob can keep putting up these numbers, he may be making a case for himself as a potential leadoff man or number 9 hitter.

18. Kila Ka'aihue, 1B/DH, 26 years old, AAA Omaha Royals- Kila has been languishing down in the minors, he's a long shot to even be considered a prospect anymore as he is entering the stage where he can no longer be considered a prospect, but rather a career minor leaguer. He has the best plate discipline in the entire Royals organization, but the Royals have a big time roadblock standing in his way in Jose Guillen. He is easily the most readily available player on this list as he has dominated the upper minors for the past three seasons and provides the potential for an immediate offensive impact in the middle of the order if the need arises. It is apparent that the Royals aren't too high on him, as the Royals to cite his "slider speed bat" as the reason for his lack of Major League service time.

17. Edgar Osuna, LHP, 22 years old, AA Northwest Arkansas Naturals- A strike thrower who has showcased outstanding control in AA this year after being the Royals Rule 5 Draft pick in 2010. He's walked only SIX batters in 39.1 innings pitched this year and is sporting an outstanding 1.051 WHIP. He is definitely turning into a big bullpen prospect and even a guy who could see time in the starting rotation if the need for a lefty starter arises. His star is rising fast and is making a strong case to be considered for a September call-up. I am sure we will see him sooner than that.

16. Johnny Giavotella, 2B, 22 years old, AA Northwest Arkansas Naturals- His stock is starting to drop, but with the Royals organization pretty shallow in middle infield talent, Giavotella has a lot resting on his shoulders. He has good plate discipline, but lacks pop and has never hit over .300 in the minors. He shows good range and seems to handle the glove pretty well, but if he is ever going to make a push for the big league club, his defense will be the reason.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Quick Thoughts on the Beginning of the Yost Era

Hey what do you know the Royals are 3-1 under new manager, Ned Yost, and have won four out of their last five games. There are some pretty obvious changes that have been made. First, Yost has moved Jason Kendall into the 9-hole, which is awesome, considering most National League pitchers are better hitters than Jason Kendall.

The best part of NedBall is his apparent disdain for small ball. The Royals have tried to play for the big inning in nearly all of the games, which is encouraging, especially when Trey Hillman played the game like it was always the 8th inning of a National League game.

And a non-Yost thought quickly. I am sick of Jose Guillen. He is a curse. A nasty scab on this franchise. He is blocking Kila Ka'aihue. He costs this team runs and contributes very little to the success of the team. After being demoted, Kila refused to give an interview with reporters and why should he? He got treated like garbage, like every other Baird-era draftee has been treated by Dayton Moore. I think that Dayton Moore believes that Baird draftees can't play every day at the big league level until they're 28 years old.

Gotta swallow the pride Dayton. Baird drafted the Polynesian Powerbolt in the 15th round and you gave the Dominican Deficient $36 million buckaroos.