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  1. First!

    Ok, onto pressing matters. This farm system is stacked. Give it 2-3 years, and the Royals will be not only contending for the AL Central title, but perhaps even making a run at the pennant. Speaking as a Royals fan, I can’t tell you how happy that makes me.

    Comment by Tim — February 14, 2012 @ 2:07 pm

  2. I disagree.

    Comment by Dick — February 14, 2012 @ 2:19 pm

  3. I agree that the Royals have a pretty strong stable of young talent, but we will need to supplement that with a few strong free agent signings in the next 3 years to make any serious pennant run.

    The Royals are proving that under Dayton they can draft and bring up talent, but what the organization has yet to prove is whether they can supplement that talent with a Matt Latos or Ubaldo Jimenez type starter and one more serious offensive player.

    But, I agree, as a royals fan, it is nice to see all of this unfold.

    Comment by Brian — February 14, 2012 @ 2:33 pm

  4. Really not too impressed by the top of the list this year. Wil Myers the corner OF is going to need more than a handful of AFL games to win me over.

    Comment by cpebbles — February 14, 2012 @ 2:37 pm

  5. Wtf is Big Corn Island?

    Comment by Uncle Randy — February 14, 2012 @ 2:38 pm

  6. Imma guess Montgomery didn’t give up “nine hits per inning”, Marc. Quick edit.

    Comment by ToddM — February 14, 2012 @ 2:39 pm

  7. is it just me, or does it seem that most of the royals highly touted prospects have underperformed, they seem to have a lower sucess rate than rays prospects or braves prospects.

    Comment by Sun King — February 14, 2012 @ 2:51 pm

  8. An island of Nicaragua.

    Comment by rbt — February 14, 2012 @ 2:51 pm

  9. True, I think they’ll need to bring in a free agent pitcher if/when they get to the point of competing for a division title.

    The player to keep an eye on this year will be Chris Dwyer. After putting up great numbers in 2010, he took a step back in 2011. However, he ended 2011 with several good outings. I’m not ready to move him to the bullpen; I believe he still has #2-#3 starter stuff at the ML level.

    By the end of 2012, the Royals should have a number of young pitchers up with the big club. This class of pitchers isn’t the same level of talent as last year’s group of position players, but it still gives me plenty of reason to be optimistic!

    Comment by Tim — February 14, 2012 @ 2:52 pm

  10. I disagree…Myers has shown unreal plate discipline for someone his age. Aside from a 2011 season in AA where he was hurt most of the beginning of the year, he put up some really good numbers in 2 years of A ball and he really started to come on towards the end of the 2011 season, which he parlayed into a successful AFL run.

    If he can adjust to the breaking ball a little better, and get that k% down a few points…he could be an elite hitter.

    Comment by Brian — February 14, 2012 @ 2:57 pm

  11. Even if every one of these prospects “pans out”, they still might not be good enough for a division title.

    Also, the whole 2011 OF is due for heavy regression (negative) in 2012.

    I like the Royals, love the prospects, but they are going to experience busts and booms like everyone else.

    Even if all of the prospects reaches their “ceiling” as Royals, they still may not be good enough.

    It is possible that they contend if DET suffers a ton of injuries and things of that nature. I feel the need to point out that they do have a low non-zero chance of winning the division in 2012 and 2013.

    By the same token, anyone in the division could theoretically compete for the title in the future. I try and look at “what would it take for them to win the division?” and “What are the odds of that happening?”

    The Royals, however, a very interesting and fun team to use on The Show of OOTP.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — February 14, 2012 @ 3:09 pm

  12. This article totally makes me want to read “A New Old Idea For the Kansas City Royals” for the ten thousandth time.

    Comment by Ginger Croissant — February 14, 2012 @ 3:26 pm

  13. This time last year, the Red Sox were the favorite to win the AL East and the Twins still looked like strong contenders. Things can change pretty quickly.

    Last year most of the top prospects in the system, and a bunch of the middle tier guys also, didn’t have great years. And as Marc notes, their really top guys graduated to the majors. For the system to still be in the Top 5 or 10 after a rough year speaks pretty well for the future. The picture here could change pretty dramatically with a sudden (albeit improbable) breakout by Colon here, or a step forward by a healthy Eibner there.

    Comment by Paul — February 14, 2012 @ 4:01 pm

  14. Dwyer is a lefty (?) Also, thank you for not putting Starling ahead of Myers.

    Comment by Wally — February 14, 2012 @ 4:45 pm

  15. The Rays and Braves have had an amazing, otherworldly run of luck with their pitching prospects. Almost unheard of. Neither org has been real great at turning out hitting prospects. Royals look like they’ll be better at the hitting side of things and have problems with the pitching. All in all, though, too soon to judge with the Royals.

    When looking at KC’s success rate I would only judge those players drafted by the current regime, so 2007 draftees and later. It’s way too early to say that the Royals have a lower success rate.

    Comment by rbt — February 14, 2012 @ 4:59 pm

  16. Second prospect list to show Dwyer as a righty this offseason (Kevin Goldstein did too). Has Dwyer changed something that we don’t know about?

    Comment by rbt — February 14, 2012 @ 5:01 pm

  17. This may be beyond the scope of prospect lists, but has there ever been any consideration for doing a “top prospects and current non-arbitration eligible major leaguers” combo list? It seems unfair to punish the Royals for graduating a pair of top-25 (top-10?) prospects in Moustakas and Hosmer.

    Comment by skippyballer486 — February 14, 2012 @ 8:11 pm

  18. 1. It took a “horrible” season for BOS to miss the playoffs … on the last day of the season.

    2. MIN wasn’t a strong contender, IMO. I had MIN as being about equal to CWS. Turns out both sucked.

    Here’s my thinking, KCR won 71 games last year and every one of their OF’s had a great year (relative): Gordon 6.9, Melky 4.2, Frenchy 2.9. every one is due for some negative regression and Melky is now with SFG. So, maybe -3 WAR to the OF.

    They have 4-5 batters that appear to league average, so 8 WAR there, maybe +3 or +4 over last year.

    Sanchez and Chen project to be close to league average, but no one else.

    In other words, when we ask “What will it take for the Royals to contend?” and “How likely is that to happen?”, were left with very small odds. Simply put, they need more things to go “right” than are reasonable to expect.

    I really like the Royals and their prospects, but it’s realistic to expect ~half of them to not produce as expected. They still have a top minor league system, but that’s drastically different than having a contender MLB roster.

    It is possible that they bring in quality FA in the future to fill in the gaps, but that’s also possible of DET, CLE, CWS, and MIN.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — February 14, 2012 @ 8:28 pm

  19. 4 relievers project as better than league average.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — February 14, 2012 @ 8:37 pm

  20. you can read all about it here:

    Comment by Dexter Bobo — February 14, 2012 @ 8:39 pm

  21. Could be that’s why his ERA was so high.

    Comment by dk — February 14, 2012 @ 10:48 pm

  22. That’s the most conservative defensive projection I’ve seen for Starling. I’m pretty sure that I’ve read that his speed would project him as an above-average CF and not RF.

    Comment by rob — February 14, 2012 @ 11:16 pm

  23. What do you mean “punish”?

    The purpose of evaluating/ranking the minor league systems it to….

    ….evaluate/rank the minor league systems.

    This isn’t supposed to be an org ranking or a young talent ranking it’s simply a look at each team’s farm system. No one is “punishing” the Royals, they are just evaluating the talent in their minor league system.

    Can you explain what you mean by “punish”? And how this is “unfair”?

    Comment by Joe — February 15, 2012 @ 1:10 am

  24. Here’s an example of how teams “surprise” from a projection standpoint.

    Eric Hosmer was 1.6 fWAR last year based in part on an absurd UZR range factor that will be corrected this year. That along with a reasonable projection for his 2nd season, and VIOLA, OF regression offset. SURPRISE!

    How about the increase from a full year of Giavotella at 2B (Chris Getz was a lot worse than the numbers look) and Moustakas at 3B vs. what was there last year (including a completely feckless performance by Moose for the first 6 weeks he was up). Then there’s catcher. A full season from a heavily regressed Perez is still quite an upgrade from Treanor/Pena.

    The starting pitching needs to take a major step forward, but if you want to regress the OF, you also need to account for the projected increases from everybody else to see that the offense will hold sway. Some of us do not agree that the OF is going to regress that much.

    The starting pitching is why I don’t see them as remotely a contender this year, but there’s no reason why their combination of prospects and guys they currently have in the system can’t get them there without going heavily into free agency.

    Comment by Paul — February 15, 2012 @ 6:28 am

  25. Starling definitely has a better-than-average chance to stick in CF… but his arm might make him more valuable in right field if the team eventually finds a worthy speedster for centerfield with as-good-as, or better, range.

    Comment by Marc Hulet — February 15, 2012 @ 9:27 am

  26. So basically, everyone needs to [1] play to their potential (i.e., outperform their projections) and [2] be healthy.

    I looked at Zips projections for 2012. I didn’t use my gut feeling.

    They also have to jump 3 teams in the standings, another big obstacle.

    Having the Royals have a 26U All-Star team win the division would be great for baseball, great for the royals, and tremendous for the fans. But, realistically, it’s not going to happen. They would have to be incredibly lucky to have so many prospects come close to their potential and remain healthy. IMO, we’re already seeing some of them fall of the track.

    Eric Hosmer was 1.6 fWAR last year based in part on an absurd UZR range factor that will be corrected this year. That along with a reasonable projection for his 2nd season, and VIOLA, OF regression offset. SURPRISE!

    I thought Hosmer’s skill was hands/scoops, not range (so his UZR isn;t improving). I’m not expecting improvement + UZR correction to result in a 5 WAR Hosmer sophomore season. To me that’s a Cub fan projection, not a reasonable projection.

    I said in a previous post …

    “Here’s my thinking, KCR won 71 games last year and every one of their OF’s had a great year (relative): Gordon 6.9, Melky 4.2, Frenchy 2.9. every one is due for some negative regression and Melky is now with SFG. So, maybe -3 WAR to the OF.

    They have 4-5 batters that appear to league average, so 8 WAR there, maybe +3 or +4 over last year. ”

    I included an overall +3 or +4 WAR for the entire offense over last year. That moves them to within maybe 20 games of DET. It also assumes that KCR replaces Melky’s 4 WAR with a 2.5-3 WAR CF and that’s generous.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — February 15, 2012 @ 10:00 am

  27. Yup, Starling is, by all assessments, an above average CF prospect. If you think he’s moving to RF, you should say why the Royals would move him or you lose credibility (as in I think you don’t know what you are talking about). Myers and Gordon will almost certainly (If Gordon signs an extension) be manning the corner OF positions when Starling is set for call-up in 3-4 years anyways.

    Comment by Alex — February 15, 2012 @ 11:15 am

  28. Scratch that…didn’t see your above reply.

    What are the chances that the royals find a “speedster centerfielder with as-good-as, or better, range” and a bat? Starling has incredible speed. He runs a 4.36 electronically timed 40 yard dash. If he can hit at the MLB level, it seems nonsensical to stash him in RF.

    Comment by Alex — February 15, 2012 @ 11:43 am

  29. All I’m saying is that his arm and range give him a ton of value in RF… possibly gold glove potential. But yes, early in his career he could definitely be an above-average defender in center.

    Comment by Marc Hulet — February 15, 2012 @ 1:02 pm

  30. I don’t give a shit about any of these guys, I wanna learn me more about Salvatore Perez. I have a sneaking suspicion he could be a good one, but most if not all articles are focused elsewhere.

    Anybody have any good info on Perez?

    Comment by Franklin Stubbs — February 15, 2012 @ 5:31 pm

  31. might not wanna give up on christian colon so quick (like every other website!) batting .316 now! drafted in 2010 – how EVERYONE could give up on him so quick? is beyond me!thats why all these websites blow! 10 different NEW guys each yr! i know he is 23, but might wanna be a little more patient – had nick castellanos the 45 best prospect? (im tiger season tix holder for 20 yrs – loved the kid before drafted) thought that was a terrible spot before season and now a month into season and batting over .400 all yr! i KNOW it was a horrible forecast! just like colon

    Comment by john — May 14, 2012 @ 7:25 pm

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