The future freaks me out...
5. Eric Hosmer, 1B/DH, 20 years old, High-A Wilmington Blue Rocks- Now we're getting into the meat and potatoes of the Royals farm system. What better place to start than with this guy? He's terrorizing the Carolina League right now with a .376/.447/.558/1.005 line. Along with those robust stats, he's only hit 2 home runs, but hold-up-wait-a-minute...he's hit 16 doubles, driven in 30 AND is 7 for 7 when stealing bases. Keith Law went as far to say that Hosmer is one of the top hitting prospects in all of baseball. The more exciting part is that Hosmer has some versatility. The Royals didn't draft him with a mindset of Hosmer being a 5-tooler, but he's showcasing a skillset that is pointing towards him actually being a toolsy player. His future may not even be at first base or as a designated hitter. He's got a cannon for an arm (he was clocked at 95 MPH in high school) and has showcased phenomenal baserunning skills as shown by his perfect stolen base percentage and four triples. He's one to watch and has shown that his rough first two years were nothing but flukes.
4. Wil Myers, C, 19 years old, Low-A Burlington Bees- Other than spelling his first name correctly, Wil Myers seemingly does everything right. Greg Schaum from RoyalsProspects.com told me that scouts' eyes absolutely light up when you even mention this kid's name. So far in the Midwest League, Myers has struggled making contact, but he's walking a lot and showcasing power with 6 homers and 10 doubles in 39 games so far. His defense is impressive as well, he's thrown out 39% of basestealers this season, but 11 passed balls are cause for a bit of concern. Myers is a tremendous baseball talent, and if he doesn't work out at catcher, he's athletic enough to fit in somewhere else. If he does work out at catcher, then we may have our counter attack to Mr. Joe Mauer.
3. Aaron Crow, RHP, 23 years old, AA Northwest Arkansas Naturals- A local boy who dominated college ball at Mizzou who was viewed as the most readily available starting pitching prospect in the system. He's struggled this year at AA. He's got all the stuff in the world, location has been the issue so far. He's got some work to do, but it's obvious he's feeling some pressure. He's put up a decent 4.47 ERA in 9 starts, but that is nowhere near where it needs to be if he is to stay on track for his big league debut, which many forecasted would be around the All Star Break of this year. If he can get it back on track in his next few starts, then I think we'll see him at some point in KC this year.
2. Mike Montgomery, LHP, 20 years old, AA Northwest Arkansas Naturals- A sandwich pick in the 2008 draft, Monty has blown through the minor leagues, never once posting an ERA over 2.25 at ANY LEVEL in the minors. He's spearheading the Royals' crop of pitching prospects with stats like a 1.94 career minor league ERA, 1.012 WHIP and 184 strikeouts in 199.2 career innings. He couples a long, lanky frame with an incredibly deceptive delivery and finesses hitters to death with a 91-93 MPH fastball that gets on hitters quickly. His changeup is his secondary pitch. He has great control of the pitch and it has good downward movement. He's still a year or two away, but most scouts say that all of his skills will translate incredibly well to the next level. For a kid who is still getting used to his big frame, he's only going to continue getting better.
1. Mike Moustakas, 3B, 21 years old, AA Northwest Arkansas Naturals- "Tremendous competitor and leader on the field. He's the guy you want at the plate when the game is on the line." -JJ Picollo. Quotes like that aren't a dime-a-dozen. Moustakas originally was number two on this list when I started it two weeks ago, but now he's simply forced his way into the top spot on my list. His .395/.482/.816/1.298 line is absolutely absurd on any level. He's hit 12 homers already this year. I'm going to keep this one short, because Moustakas is something special. He really is. There are plenty of videos online of this guy mashing the ball in AA. He's got a sweet stroke and will probably be saying so long to Arkansas in the near future and may be saying hello to Omaha...or possibly even Kansas City before the 2010 season is over.
Roads? Where we're going, we don't need......roads.