Durham or Kansas City?

I like tormenting Matt Klaasen, and as such, I’m going to expand on a question I asked him earlier: is the Durham Bulls’ lineup better than the Kansas City Royals’ lineup?

If the season started tomorrow, Kansas City would have something that resembles this:

C Jason Kendall
1B Billy Butler
2B Chris Getz
3B Alex Gordon
SS Yuniesky Betancourt
LF David DeJesus
CF Scott Podsednik
RF Rick Ankiel
DH Josh Fields

Meanwhile, depending on what the Rays do over the next two months, the Durham lineup could look like this:

C John Jaso
1B Dan Johnson
2B Elliot Johnson
3B Chris Nowak
SS Reid Brignac
LF Fernando Perez
CF Desmond Jennings
RF Justin Ruggiano
DH Ryan Shealy

There’s an outside chance that Matt Joyce and/or Sean Rodriguez also wind up here, or some other minor league free agent types. Let’s go position by position.

C: Kendall has the edge defensively and in grit, but Jaso is the better offensive player no matter the level.

1B: Butler.

2B: CHONE thinks Getz is about 20 wOBA points better in 2010. Both are probably best suited for a bench spot in the Majors.

3B: Gordon.

SS: A simple “Brignac” would suffice, I’ll expand anyways. Brignac is left-handed, hits righties well, and fields the ball. He may not be the slayer of foreign worlds like many hoped a few years ago, but he’s better than Betancourt.

LF: DeJesus.

CF: Ignoring contractual status, I think you have to go with Jennings. He may be the best prospect in the American League East and he’d debut on Opening Day in some other organizations. Here he’s stuck behind Carl Crawford and B.J. Upton.

RF: Ankiel, although Ruggiano did work with the same swing mechanic who made Ben Zobrist into BZA.

DH: Amusingly, Shealy was a member of the Royals organization until just recently, yet he appears to be a better player than their DH; unless their DH is Butler, then he’s obviously not.

It appears the Royals get the nod, for now, but if Joyce and/or Rodriguez show up, you would have a hard time convincing me the Royals lineup was better on a spot-by-spot basis.

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