Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A Minor Miracle.

I have to confess: no matter how many times it happens, it never gets old. I write a column arguing that maybe Dayton Moore isn’t the worst GM in baseball, and I get labeled a sellout by many of my commenters. You guys are the best. Never let go of that passion, fellas.

Maybe I am getting soft. Or maybe my eyes have been opened a little by the events of the last two months. Let me ask a very simple question: have the Royals had a good 2010 so far?

A casual fan, I suspect, would say no, 2010 hasn’t been a good year. The Royals started 11-23, they fired their manager, Zack Greinke is mortal, Gil Meche is toast, Alex Gordon is in Triple-A, and on June 1st the Royals are 10.5 games out of first place.

I would agree. 2010 hasn’t been a good year so far. It’s been a very good year. Maybe even a great year.

It all depends on your perspective. And my perspective all season has been focused on one thing: the minor leagues. The results at the major-league level have been aggravating, but they’ve also been a sideshow to the main event. The business of the Royals this season was the development of what we were told before the season was the best collection of minor-league talent the Royals have had in 15 years.

As you may know if you’ve followed the farm system this season, business has been very good.

It didn’t start that way. In spring training, left-hander Danny Duffy, ranked by both Baseball Prospectus as the team’s #6 prospect and by Baseball America at #8, retired. The Royals’ system is deep, but no system is so deep that they can simply cross off a guy in the middle of their Top 10 list and not feel it. (The Royals are understandably reluctant to talk about Duffy’s situation. However, my gestalt from exploring the situation is that Duffy’s retirement is almost certainly temporary. I am reasonably confident he’ll be back before the end of the season, and would not be surprised if he reports to camp by the All-Star break, if not sooner.)

That happened right after Jeff Bianchi, a Top 10 Prospect and the only prospect in the high minors with the potential to move Yuniesky Betancourt off of shortstop, tore his UCL and was lost for the season with Tommy John surgery. And to top things off, Mike Moustakas, who was facing a pivotal first season in Double-A, pulled an oblique muscle and was expected to miss the first month of the season. I can’t say I was feeling particularly optimistic as the season began.

A lot has changed in the last two months, and I hope to recount the highlights here. I was fortunate to speak with Royals’ Assistant GM J.J. Picollo last Friday, and it’s testament to how many Royals prospects are worth following that despite talking for close to an hour, we weren’t able to cover all of them. I can’t give you verbatim quotes, because my hand simply can’t write fast enough to keep up with everything he told me, but I’ll do my best to give you the main points that I learned from talking with Picollo.

Light broke through the clouds early, thanks to the consensus pre-season #1 prospect in the system, Michael Montgomery. Montgomery entered the season with an exciting combination of future projection and present performance; last year he had a 2.21 ERA split between low-A and high-A ball, and he was didn’t turn 20 until the middle of the season.

Six years ago, some of you remember, some idiot was so excited about a young pitching phenom that he wrote in the pages of Baseball Prospectus 2004, “With apologies to Jon Landau, I have seen the future of pitching, and his name is Zack Greinke.” Okay, I was that idiot. Needless to say, no one has been so stupid as to co-opt that classic quote about Bruce Springsteen to describe a baseball prospect since.

Until this.

“I’ve seen rock and roll future and its name is Bruce Springsteen.”


After watching a Springsteen live show in 1974, Rolling Stone rock critic Jon Landau set off a massive amount of hype with that one sentence. At the time, Springsteen had two poorly selling records. Not long after Landau's comments, Springsteen released “Born To Run”, was on the cover of Time and Newsweek magazines at the same time and made the leap from unknown singer to rock and roll superstar.


I'm not nearly as talented as Landau, and I'm not a scout with a trained eye, but after watching Royals lefthander Mike Montgomery throw against the Kinston Indians, it was hard not to want to yell something equally audacious. You could watch minor league games every day year after year and never see a better outing. Some of the scouts at Tuesday's game were debating if they had ever seen a minor leaguer pitch any better.

Cooper was referring to this start, when Montgomery faced 23 batters, allowing just two to reach base (a scratch single and an RBI double), and struck out 13 of them. Despite striking out 13 batters in 7 innings, he only threw 84 pitches. Those of you who listened to my first radio show of the year heard Cooper himself describe what he saw that night. The big take-away point was that Montgomery used three different pitches – his fastball, his curveball, and his change-up – to record strikeouts at least three times each. Most guys are happy with a single out-pitch; that night, Montgomery had three of them.

Montgomery hasn’t pitched quite that well since, but still plenty good. After four starts for Wilmington – he struck out 33 batters in 25 innings, allowing just 14 hits and 4 walks – he was promoted to Double-A. He’s slowed down a little, but just a little; in 25 innings he’s allowed 22 hits and 9 walks, whiffed 22, and even allowed his first homer of the season. For the year he’s got a 1.98 ERA, allowed 36 hits and 13 walks in 50 innings, and struck out 55. Those are studly numbers, and he’s still just 20.

Picollo on Montgomery’s improvement: was throwing 90-93 last year, touching 95…now working 92-95 and touching 97…more efficient with his pitches, saving his fastball for when he needs it…his curveball continues to make strides, as he used to throw a palm curveball his dad taught him, but now throws a traditional curve most of the time.

Picollo on Montgomery’s last start, when he was pulled after 3 innings after his velocity dropped: his fastball ranged from 86-96, was throwing a lot of changeups, admitted to some mild soreness in back of his elbow and taken out. Had similar elbow soreness at end of spring training ’09, recovered fine…probably will miss one start…not particularly concerned.

The first 2-3 weeks of the season were Montgomery’s time to shine. Then the spotlight moved east, to Wilmington, where Eric Hosmer looked nothing like the hitter he was last season, and everything like the hitter he was expected to be when he was drafted with the #3 overall pick.

Hosmer was one of the biggest enigmas in all the minor leagues last season, a can’t-miss hitter who, was doing a lot more missing than hitting – he hit .241/.334/.361 between Burlington and Wilmington. There was the vision issue, and the broken pinky finger issue, but even so most observers were concerned. BP ranked Hosmer as just the #8 prospect in the system (behind Bianchi), while BA had him at #5. Keith Law, alone among the mainstream prospect analysts, maintained that Hosmer’s struggles were entirely health-related, ranking him as the #34 prospect in baseball.

Law won this round, as by the end of April even his ranking looked a little conservative. That’s what happens when you hit an almost unfathomable .421, as Hosmer did in April, in one of the toughest hitters’ parks in the minors. As recently as May 19th he was still hitting .388, but a recent slump (he’s 9-for-42 in his last 10 games) has his overall numbers at .349/.416/.508.

It’s interesting how the narrative of a player is shaped by the sequence of his performance. If Hosmer had started 9-for-42, but then heated and up and then hit .421 in May, he’d be the talk of baseball. But because he hit .421/.500/.618 in April and then “only” .301/.355/.434 in May, some people are starting to get concerned. He’s 20 years old, people! And he’s putting up numbers that compete with the best I’ve ever seen from someone who played half their games at Frawley Stadium. (Hosmer is hitting .325 at home, and .368 on the road.)

The Royals have been affiliated with the Blue Rocks since 1993, I believe – there was a two-year exile to High Desert that thankfully was reversed quickly. I took a few minutes to look up the best seasons by any Blue Rock (including their time as a Red Sox affiliate) hitter with 50+ games and age 22 or younger. Here’s that list:

Michael Tucker, 1993: .305/.391/.456 (age 22)

Johnny Damon, 1994: .316/.399/.462 (age 20)

Mike Sweeney, 1995: .310/.424/.548 (age 21)

Dee Brown, 1999: .308/.431/.568 (age 21)

David DeJesus, 2002: .296/.400/.434 (age 22)

Eric Hosmer, 2009: .349/.416/.508 (age 20)

Dee Brown is a massive cautionary tale for any prospect. He has the highest OPS of anyone on that list, and while he only played 61 games for Wilmington that year, that’s because he was promoted to Double-A and hit even better (.353/.440/.591) there. BA ranked him the #11 prospect in all of baseball the following spring. He never hit remotely that well again, and finished his major league career with 814 at-bats and a .233/.280/.333 line.

If he can avoid what happened to Brown – and I still haven’t heard a good explanation for what happened to Brown – Hosmer should have a very good career ahead of him. DeJesus has had a fine career, and Tucker had a long if not particularly distinguished one. Neither had numbers that matched Hosmer’s, and both were two years older. If he maintains these numbers, I feel comfortable ranking Hosmer with Mike Sweeney and Johnny Damon as the best three prospect-seasons by a Wilmington Blue Rock. Sweeney is arguably the second-best hitter the Royals have ever developed, and Damon is at least a 50/50 shot to make the Hall of Fame.

The other concern I’ve heard boils down to something like this: “sure he’s hitting for average, but where are all the homers we were promised?” I understand this complaint – Hosmer has just two homers this year and eight in his career. I just happen to think it’s ridiculous.

For one, Hosmer is hitting for power. He’s got 16 doubles and 4 triples in just 189 at-bats. Very few 20-year-olds – even 20-year-olds who project to be power hitters in the majors – hit a lot of homers in the minors. But they do tend to hit doubles. Miguel Cabrera hit just 9 homers in a full season of high-A ball in 2002. But he hit 43 doubles, and he was just 19 years old. The following year, after slugging over .600 in Double-A he was called up to the majors and hit 12 homers in 87 games, then 4 more homers in the postseason. The year after that he hit 33 homers.

We know Hosmer has power – he regularly puts on a show in batting practice, and did so even when he was struggling last year. When he was drafted, the book on him was that he had as much power as anyone in the draft, but what separated him from the pack – and why the Royals drafted him over someone like Justin Smoak – was that he was a great pure hitter who happened to have power.

And that, frankly, is what we’re seeing. Hosmer isn’t a power hitter – he’s a pure hitter with power, and I love guys like that. It’s a lot easier for a pure hitter to learn to elevate the ball and drive it out then for a slugger to learn to hit for average. Alberto Callaspo didn’t hit a single homer in his first three seasons and 399 at-bats in the majors. Last year, he hit 11, and he already has 7 in 51 games this year. Callaspo didn’t learn to hit for power until he was 26 years old – we’re supposed to be worried because Hosmer isn’t hitting for home run power (but doing everything else) when he’s 20?

I haven’t seen this comparison, but I think it’s instructive to compare Hosmer to Adrian Gonzalez, another top pick who was considered a terrific pure hitter with power as opposed to the other way around. Gonzalez showed more power at age 20, but when he was 21 he hit just five homers in 120 games. His lack of power led two different organizations to trade him. He finally landed in San Diego in 2006, when he was 24, put in the lineup everyday, and his homer totals since read 24, 30, 36, and 40.

Hosmer’s success this year, along with Kila Ka’aihue’s resurgence, presents a happy dilemma for the Royals: with Billy Butler entrenched at first base (or DH), the Royals may have to find a place for all three of them by 2012. There is an intriguing albeit messy solution: move Hosmer to right field. Hosmer is a good athlete for a first baseman (which, yes, is like saying someone is fast for a catcher.) He’s already swiped 7 bases this season – and hasn’t been caught – and has an arm that is frankly wasted at first base. Could he play right field?

If he could, you could imagine this in the middle of the Royals’ lineup in two years:

2) Gordon, LF

3) Butler, 1B

4) Ka’aihue, DH

5) Moustakas, 3B

6) Hosmer, RF

It’s not the greatest defensive alignment in the world, but…damn. That looks like all kinds of fun.

So I asked. Picollo on the idea of moving Hosmer to the outfield: it has been talked about…he’s the most athletic of the three [Butler, Ka’aihue] and the only one who could handle the move…he will sometimes take fly balls during batting practice…it’s too early to think about now, but after Hosmer’s Double-A season, if everything aligns it’s something we will consider.

One guy who did hit for power at 20 – and even at 19 – was Mike Moustakas. The problem was that he wasn’t doing a whole lot else – Moose hit .272/.337/.468 in the Midwest League in 2008, and just .250/.297/.421 at Wilmington last year. Just as Hosmer had extenuating factors, so did Moustakas – namely the ballpark – but it was hard not to be concerned about the performance from the former #2 overall pick. BP ranked him the #3 prospect in the organization and #79 overall, BA #4 and #80. He wasn’t written off by any means, but he wasn’t living up to expectations either.

But just as Hosmer started to cool down, Moustakas started to heat up, and I mean “heat up” the way you might say “the space shuttle heats up upon its return to the atmosphere.” He recovered from his oblique muscle strain in time to make his season debut on April 22nd. In his first at-bat, he homered. In his second at-bat, he homered. He walked his third time up, and his fourth time up he crushed a double off the wall. Two games later he homered again.

And then he got really hot. In 8 April games Moustakas hit .324/.378/.735 with three homers and 9 RBIs. In May, he hit .393/.486/.775 with 9 homers and 32 RBIs in just 25 games. His month came to a premature end last week when he banged up his knee chasing after a foul ball. The injury wasn’t deemed serious – I don’t think he even needed X-rays – but he’s missed a few games waiting for the swelling to dissipate. For the season, he’s at .374/.459/.764. He leads the Texas League in all three rate categories, and despite missing nearly 40% of the games on the schedule, he’s second in the league in homers, fifth in doubles, and first in RBIs.

And keep in mind, even with all his struggles last year, scouts still marveled at his bat speed. His performance this season might be a surprise, but I don’t know anyone who thinks it’s a fluke.

As impressive as the power has been, the improvement in his strikeout-to-walk ratio may be more significant. Last year Moustakas struck out 90 times against just 32 walks; this year his ratio is a much more balanced 20-to-17. The improvement is mostly in his walk rate, and some of that is illusory. Six of his 17 walks this season are intentional, and I’m sure some of the other 11 are of the unintentional intentional variety.

That’s not entirely a bad thing – there’s a clear connection between walks and power, as pitchers are more likely to work around a hitter if they’re afraid he might hit the ball 400 feet. Moustakas’ walk rate is still not where you’d like it to be – but it’s no longer so low that I think it might inhibit his ability to develop as a hitter.

It’s hard to overstate how much Moustakas has improved his future projection in just 32 games. Six weeks ago he looked like a fine player but destined to be known as the guy the Royals drafted instead of Matt Wieters or Rick Porcello or a half-dozen other better players the Royals could have taken in the first round. Now? Hold the phone.

Between Montgomery, Hosmer, and Moustakas, the Royals have a trio of prospects that are rivaled by only a few organizations in the game. Both Hosmer and Moustakas made Law’s revised Top 25 Prospect list from two weeks ago. Montgomery didn’t make the list only because, as we all know, Law hates the Royals. (If you want to know the real reason why, listen to this week’s radio show, as I plan to ask him.)

If those three were the only prospects worth following, the Royals would still be in decent shape. But what makes this season so exciting is that there’s more where that came from. I’ll review the rest of the system next time.

58 comments:

Christopher said...

Great stuff, Rany. It's terrific to hear such positive reports on these guys.

Let's face it: the Royals are an organization that cannot afford to miss like they have over the years on the myriad of top ten picks they've had. It sounds like, for all his faults, Moore is starting to reverse this.

Anonymous said...

As cool as that 2-6 sounds, and it sounds exceptionally cool right now, there is an inherent weakness.

2) Lefty
3) Righty
4) Lefty
5) Lefty
6) Lefty

I know it seems like a small problem to have, but left-handed specialists are going to be regulars against this lineup. If they all pan out, it is worthwhile, even if the defense is weak--we are pretty used to that already.

What are your thoughts on Greinke's future? His contract expires in 2012, so by the time these youngsters get a chance to be MLB productive, he will be gone. I don't think he will get extended for what the Royals can afford. My question is: do they trade him sooner, later, or never?

Gordon said...

If Rany's feeling positive, then I'm feeling positive.

Edwin said...

And Myers is probably having a better all-around year this year in Burlington than Moustakas did at the same age.

gbewing said...

ok on board with the analysis except Kila. He's what 26 now? -I just don't see him in the Royals future, he's already buried we just haven't read the offical notice. So at 28 we suddenly give him a starting role? he'll be ruined by then. DM has no place for Kila, I'm afraid he doesn't value what Kila represents.

AB Aird said...

What would be the downside to moving Hosmer to the outfield? Wouldn't you want the player to be playing 1B as the last resort? In the AL, there are 2 spots for players with less than stellar defense. And the Royals seem to have a surplus at those spots. Let's just hope GMDM doesn't resign Jose Guillen to another 3 year deal.
Didn't get a chance to comment on your "praise" of GMDM, but anyone not calling for his head needs to have his own head examined. Getting 3 good players in 5 years with plenty of top 5 picks is OK. But doing it with the PODS, Ankiel, Guillen, Meche, Jacobs, etc makes me think, err, know that we would be better off with another GM.

Terry said...

Nice read, Rany. My wife had to put a bibb on me as I was reading this, as the drool was dripping onto the couch!

Man, it sounds too good to be true, to a Royals fan that has suffered through more ineptness than any man deserves to.

Anonymous said...

Nice try Rany. Don't think we have forgotten your last article, sellout. Shouldn't you and Dayton be off praying or discussing Yunis plus range?

Hardway Jay said...

Sigh... Anonymous.

The "sideshow" comment is right on the money. It's painful to watch the MLB team some nights, but the franchise is enjoying a top to bottom health that it hasn't seen since the mid 80's.

I will continue wearing my Royals hat night in, night out where I tend bar and listen to the snickering masses, and I will probably heave a few unkind words in the direction of the Royals' front office during broadcasts this season.

However, it will be a sweet moment to see *IF* Moore's plan works itself out positively. And I can hang on for the ride until then.

Thanks for the tireless work, Rany. I appreciate everything and a new post on here is a day-maker for me!

Bryan said...

Good stuff, Rany.

I have followed the minors passively, but it is good to see someone like you excited about them.

How much of this success is related to the hiring of Arbuckle?

Moore is to be credited for getting guys like him around. I just wish he could get someone on board who could help him put together the major league roster.

Guillen went deep tonight, but I would much rather be watching Kila bat in his place.

When does Gordon get called up? I think Pods is a fine player, but who thinks he is playing for the Royals next year. Why not get Gordon up and get him going?

And what are they going to do with Ankiel when he is healed? If he takes at bats away from any young guys and especially Maier I think I will scream.

Go with the youth Dayton. Why not bring Moose up soon? Although I have really been impressed with Callaspo both offensively and defensively at third.

It is much more fun to root for a team that has promise, than to root for them and know nothing is on the way. I think a corner has been turned and I think we will at least be competitive for some time to come.

Anonymous said...

A minor miracle......would be Dayton ever approaching a .500 season. Rany quit acting like you care. Dayton could sign a bag of goat balls to a multiyear contract and you would support it. Sellout. You lost a lot of fans this week.

Oh I like the opening paragraph of this last piece of journalistic waste- you are just as condescending now as your Daddy Dayton. Process this, Rany, you tool.

Anonymous said...

Let's see how "unconcerned" people are about Montgomery come August, when he still hasn't pitched.....

Gaines said...

First, what is wrong with this guy Anonymous or Gobble for Cy Young or whatever. Bud, apparently Rany hasn't lost you yet or you would go away. Here's hoping that happens here and on Royal Review.

As for the last two articles, excellent takes Rany. Saying that DM is not a great GM, but is better than about 4 others so far rings true. And some of those minor leaguers are incredible so far this year. I like the three guys you talked about very well, but I can't wait to hear what you have to say about Lamb, D. Robinson, Osuna, Keating, Myers and the rest. There are some really good players down there.

I have been religiously reading the posts from Schaum and others and listneing to a lot of the games. There is a lot to be hopeful about in Royals land.

Oh, and I am looking forward to seeing what Arguelles does, and how about that Giavotella, and...

Anonymous said...

Wait.....their arguably best prospect hits his knee so hard it SWELLS up, he is out for over a week and counting- and they don't even bother an xray and MRI?

Swelling generally means something, Mr Dermatologist. You might want to investigate this a little more...

Anonymous said...

Way back in the 40s the Blue Rocks were a Phillies affiliate. I somehow think that Robin Roberts would be the best Blue Rock prospect ever. Curt Simmons was pretty, good too.

kcghost said...

First, we need a feature that baseball-fever has letting posters block the posts of a poster whose garbage that don't want to read.

It is nice to get some good news from the farm. Last year was ugly. The report did omit that Aaron Crow is stinking up the joint in AA.

To get Gordon up we need to get rid of Pods or DDJ. We do not need a veteran hanging around sucking up Gordon's playing time. In a perfect world Moore would unload Pods, Ankiel, and Guillen and let Gordon, Maier, and Kila show us what they can do.

Anonymous said...

shouldn't the angels be interested in kila?

Bill L said...

Rany, I certainly agree with the analysis in both your posts today.

Re: Dayton Moore's performance todate, the major league product has been terrible, almost historically so, but the most important issue facing this organization now is integrating prospects into the majors and assembling appropriate parts around them.

Re: the Minors, how rare is it to have one of the top 8-10 hitting and pitching prospects at Double A (Osuna, Moustakas), High A (Hosmer, Montgomery), and Low A (Myers, Lamb), going on the level at which each player began the season, and all of them left-handed?

Anonymous said...

Why does this line-up look good if Gordon is in it...What has he done to prove that he add value to the team? Nothing. So, DeJesus in the 2 spot looks a lot better then Gordon....

2) Gordon, LF

3) Butler, 1B

4) Ka’aihue, DH

5) Moustakas, 3B

6) Hosmer, RF

Anonymous said...

More Pro-Dayton fluff from the Sellout, Rany. What's next Rany? Is Dayton going to cure cancer will saving ten children from a burning building?

Nice to know that performance at the major league level means nothing anymore. As a season ticket holder I guess I have no right to see improvement in half a decade. I mean we have some guys in AA who have been playing good for 6 weeks! Oh, and are injured and still haven't played.....

Thanks for another crap piece, Rany. So while we are at it-I mean, you claim to be fair (more fair weather IMO)- why aren't you mentioning last years garbage draft class?

Nathan said...

I think you should turn off anonymous comments.

James said...

Yeah! Turn off all comments that aren't pro rany and pro Dayton! Yeah! Silence all views that aren't in line with ranys (latest) position!

KCDC said...

Wouldn't it be nice if all of these 'Annonymous' comments had a handle attached to them so we could see that they all come from the same, batshit crazy person who likes to post the same, batshit crazy content over and over and over?

Not that I want the content to go away. I got a good laugh out of the SWELLING comment. Getting hit with a baseball causes a bruise, or at worst, breaks bones. MRI's are for soft-tissue damage. Pretty sure you can detect the bruise without the magnets. An x-ray would be good if you think there might be broken bones, but again, you can make that determination without the radiation. But next time you get a bruise, you should definitely try going to the ER and asking for an MRI.

Anonymous said...

KCDC- Reading your comments are indeed, enlightening.....he didnt get hit with a baseball. His knee hit a fence when chasing a foul ball. Obviously this could cause all sorts of bad thing, many of which would require an xray at a minimum, and probably an MRI. Swelling after 2 weeks? Yeah thats a little more than a little bump on the knee. And since he is the top prospect, you would think that the organization wouldnt be so cheap as to not do at least an xray.

Isaac said...

I hope that Rany catches whoever has hacked his site and is writing in his name. Did you get on some medication Rany? The difference between you now and you in October is night and day.

Regarding DM, he has made his 8 year statement, but to me that sounds like the talking points of the day. What was he thinking in the off-season prior to 2009 when he was saying everything about making us a winner now? Do you remember than Rany? As I have said in the past, DM has to make up his mind and he can only listen to one of them.

In regards to the overall analysis of DM, I have also said that in order to be post-season competitive, every team must make deals at the major league level. Only in the rarest of cases does a team get by with their own talent plus players who haven't had more than a cup of coffee in the majors with other teams. DM has shown a nice ability to trade for players who aren't finished with their cup of coffee yet but has been horrible with almost every signing or trade he has made for someone with any time in the majors. Bannister, Soria, and Callaspo were the players who come to mind that hadn't played much at all in the majors and have done well. I actually look at Meche as a good signing who was basically destroyed by Hillman. Everyone else who has had time in the majors has been awful to say the least.

I don't think it is realistic to say that we can produce a competitive team without needing some FA signings or trades and so far DM isn't just bad in that area, he's downright awful. Do you Rany, honestly see every one of these prospects not only making the majors but being successful at this level? In order to look at things realistically, I cannot, and therefore need someone who I can depend on to fill those holes that are left on the roster. DM doesn't do it in my mind but I hope your optimism pans out. I'll believe it when I see it.

Chance said...

There is plenty of room here for all commentators, both those who agree and those who disagree with Rany. But to make your commentary worth reading, please try to make your point intellectualy.

If you think Rany is a blind homer, I suggest you re-read his posts from last season, Anonymous. Or this off-season. To his credit, Rany was willing to investigate and research and afterwards, he changed his mind about GMDM. And, by the way, Rany is not nominating him for GM of the year, he is merely adopting a wait-and-see apporach based on the performance of some prospects, which is a change from his previous opinion that GMDM should be fired.

So, what is your REAL complaint, Anonymous Chickenshit?

Anonymous said...

Rany- Are you going to do a draft primer? Or just wait and see who Dayton selects, then prounce that the best pick?

Dayton Moore...Ranys Daddy since June 2010.

Chris said...

And in yet another prophetic moment by Rany, Dany Duffy has reported to extended spring training.

Bill L said...

My kudos, too, for your prescience, Rany! Danny Duffy is back, and that is fantastic news!

Bill L said...

Rany, are you hearing the Royals connected with any of the top international talent BA highlighted recently?

Brian said...

Of course Rany hears things early now! He and Dayton are boys.....

Sellout.

Bill L said...

Here are the top 11 picks from KC's 2010 draft: 1) Aaron Crow, AA, 5.04 ERA; 3) Wil Myers, A-, .833 OPS; 4) Chris Dwyer, A+, 4.03 ERA; Louis Coleman, AA, 2.27 ERA; 6) Cole White, injured (I believe); 7) Buddy Baumann, A+, 2.51 ERA; 8) Dusty Odenbach, A-, 4.78 ERA; 9) Ben Theriot, C, WIL/NWA, .675~ OPS; 10) Geoff Baldwin, 1B, XS; 11) Ryan Wood, A-, SS, .567 OPS; 12) Nick Wooley, A-, 5.58 ERA.

I don't have a lot of statistical context, but with two pitchers enjoying varying degrees - with at least some - success in AA and one of the best five hitters in the Midwest League (at age 19), I think most would call it at least a limited success to this point.

Anonymous said...

WE don't have to wait for the all-star break. The good news just got better as Danny Duffy has reported to extended spring training.

http://royals.mlblogs.com/archives/2010/06/danny_duffy_reports_to_extende.html

Anonymous said...

How does Rany become a homer and a sellout for saying Dayton is worse at his job than all but 4 of his peers? I think he made his point well: GMDM has not done well at most of what he has done, but his drafts are producing some impressive prospects. There is no telling what those prospects will become, but--for now--the Royals have one one the most exciting minor league systems in baseball. Besides, it gets really old doing nothing but complaining. Enjoy what is good. I still think Moore should be fired, but I will credit him with getting some talent in the minors.

Brett Christie said...

Do any of you "anonymous" posters claiming Rany is a sellout ever consider the guy just gets tired taking the negative perspective on this organization? Obviously there is ALOT wrong with this organization, notably at the major league level, but you don't need a baseball statistician to tell you that in a flaming blog post. So, instead he has chosen recently to evaluate and report/write on the positives of this organization, which are coming from the young minor league prospects. Is the Moose injury concerning? Yes. But the fact that he's hitting .374/.459/.764 is more notable and more POSITIVE, then analyzing why the Royal's medical staff supposedly didn't X-ray a knee bruise. Nothing wrong with being frustrated with the big league product, it stinks, but no need to attack Rany and others for taking some positives from a so far, lousy tenure under Dayton. For now, help appears to be on the way and I appreciate getting a knowledgeable point of view on what's about to arrive. But, by all means, flame away.

KCDC said...

Tee-hee. Let's talk more the need for MRI's when you bruise your knee. I understand that if I hit my knee on a fence and it swells, then I definitely need an MRI, but what if I get a cut instead? If I fall and skin my knee and there's mild swelling, is it MRI-time? Other body parts are important too--what if I bite my tongue and it swells? Do they make MRI's for tongues? Is the machine fun-sized?

Anonymous said...

I think the Teahen trade, though the results right now are not very good, shows the direction DM needs to go in over the next few months.

He said 2013-14 are the target for the Process to be up and running throughout the organization, which coincidentally are the final two years of his contract. That's probably accurate, assuming his prospects continue progressing the way we all hope they do.

In 2006, when Teahan was raking and Butler and Gordon were hot on his trail, I thought 2010 would be the year the Royals could contend. But now even a best case scenario for 2012 looks like "surprising division/wild card chase that falls short."

We know who are the cornerstones of a contending Royals team in 2013. But we don't necessarily know who will make up the rest of the squad: the role players, bench/platoon guys, back of the rotation and bullpen. The organization is deep, but not in the high minors, where cheap, decent, replacement level players should make acquisitions such as Kendall/Betancourt/Podsednik/Bloomquist even more unnecessary than they already are.

Teahen brought in two guys who are young, cheap and could still be around to help when the kids are ready. Bannister and Dejesus are similarily situated (productive vets not making ridiculous money) players who could bring in another handful of those guys. Banny and DDJ are good guys, but they deserve a chance to play in October and they don't figure into the Process, so trade them.

As for Greinke? DM's phone will keep ringing, but I'm OK with keeping an affordable ace until a worthy batch of prospects is on the table.

kingofkansascity said...

Danny Duffy...
http://www.kansascity.com/2010/06/02/1986945/royals-pitching-prospect-duffy.html?pageNum=1&&mi_pluck_action=page_nav#Comments_Container
... is BACK!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Guess Rany is too big time to answer our posts now. Or he just doesn't have time to educate us. Maybe we should do our own research?

Fans made this blog what it is, turncoat. Now you are too good? You have become everything you used to complain about with your new BFF, Dayton: Arrogant, condescending, and incompetent.

Hooligan said...

It's pretty clear to me that most of the Anonymous posters are only here because they feel sold out. To them this was the home base of Royals negativity. As soon as Rany mentions there are some positive developments in the organization he's bashed for not keeping the stream of hate and defeatism alive.

I think it's pretty cool that Rany called for Hillman's head and it happened like two days later... now he says Duffy will be back and here he is the next day.

Rany - I have one question... what are the next Powerball numbers?

Anonymous said...

For all you people freaking out about Moustakas, he played tonight and went 1-for-5 with 2R, an RBI and a double. Hopefully, that'll calm some people down.

If he's so damn hurt like everyone thinks (which evidently helps them bitch at Rany), he wouldn't be on the field.

Anonymous said...

Yep, Moose is healed. The Royals would never misdiagnose an injury and let the player play.

KCDC said...

Anon, you're taking the wrong angle on the Moustakas injury. It's not that he's playing while still injured (you don't want to set yourself up to be proven wrong pretty soon); it's that they caved to fan pressure and finally got that MRI he needed, and that healed him. So the Royals were stupid for not doing it earlier, and worse yet, they don't even have the fortitude to stay the course in the face of fan blog comments.

In other words, thank you for healing Mike Moustakas.

Jason Dixon said...

"As cool as that 2-6 sounds, and it sounds exceptionally cool right now, there is an inherent weakness.

2) Lefty
3) Righty
4) Lefty
5) Lefty
6) Lefty

I know it seems like a small problem to have, but left-handed specialists are going to be regulars against this lineup"

What left-handed specialists? The Royals appear to be trying to be to left-handed pitching what the Hunt bros were to silver and corner the market on them. I'm kidding, but should the Royals take either Pomeranz or Sales in the upcoming draft it will give them about ten lefties who have a reasonable chance to make it to the bigs; Pomeranz or Sales, Montgomery, Duffy, Lamb, Osuna, Arguelles, Hardy, Sisk, Bauman, Dwyer, and Teaford. That's an impressive group.

And I agree, Nathan, anonymous posts should be done away with, entirely; amazing how people choose their words and check the validity of their thoughts when they put their own name to them, isn't it? At least have the creativity to make something up for a name.

FTAListCom said...

Yes, remove anonymous posting, please. For everyone else, remember that Ignore isn't just a button; if you don't respond then you aren't feeding the troll.

About all those lefties and the position logjam, the solution is obvious. Trade one of those guys for a good, young right-handed second baseman. Or add an excess pitcher to get a good, young right-handed RF/CF who can field and hit.

To me, DM has until August. If he's waiting to dump the weak veterans to avoid Super-2 status on the guys he'll bring up to replace them, this is not a problem. If Guillen is still in the DH slot on September 1, that's a problem.

Anonymous said...

Another fluff piece from Daytons biggest fan. Now Dayton does no wrong. Every prospect an AllStar, every draft pick a future HOF'r.....Bloomquist, Yuni, Guillen, and Kendall? No problem! They are mere stopgaps until the farm saves the day. Because in baseball, all prospects work out.

Dayton is a visionary. He plays young players who have earned the right to play. He never shows favoritism with his own free agent signings. How refreshing!

Best if all, he respects his fans. He is never condescending. He embraces change and new trends in the game. His groundbreaking choice of Trey Hillman- revolutionary. Damn the Mr Glass for not seeing that once in a generation baseball mind!

Thanks Rany. Now in addition to reading hard hitting, fair pieces from Dutton, Kaegal, and Mellinger- now we can hear you sing Daytons praises and many virtues. Thank God. With a record as solid as Daytons, any negativity is simple ignorance.

So Rany, when is the parade?

Major Woody said...

Sure, there's no better way to suck up to someone than to state that they are, at best, the fifth worst person in the world at their job. I'll bet Rany is getting lots of dinner invitations from the GM right about now.

KCDC said...

"Anonymous said...
A minor miracle......would be Dayton ever approaching a .500 season. Rany quit acting like you care. Dayton could sign a bag of goat balls to a multiyear contract and you would support it. Sellout. You lost a lot of fans this week.

Oh I like the opening paragraph of this last piece of journalistic waste- you are just as condescending now as your Daddy Dayton. Process this, Rany, you tool."

" Anonymous said...
Wait.....their arguably best prospect hits his knee so hard it SWELLS up, he is out for over a week and counting- and they don't even bother an xray and MRI?

Swelling generally means something, Mr Dermatologist. You might want to investigate this a little more..."

"Anonymous said...
More Pro-Dayton fluff from the Sellout, Rany. What's next Rany? Is Dayton going to cure cancer will saving ten children from a burning building?

Nice to know that performance at the major league level means nothing anymore. As a season ticket holder I guess I have no right to see improvement in half a decade. I mean we have some guys in AA who have been playing good for 6 weeks! Oh, and are injured and still haven't played.....

Thanks for another crap piece, Rany. So while we are at it-I mean, you claim to be fair (more fair weather IMO)- why aren't you mentioning last years garbage draft class?"

" Anonymous said...
Guess Rany is too big time to answer our posts now. Or he just doesn't have time to educate us. Maybe we should do our own research?

Fans made this blog what it is, turncoat. Now you are too good? You have become everything you used to complain about with your new BFF, Dayton: Arrogant, condescending, and incompetent."

" Anonymous said...
Another fluff piece from Daytons biggest fan. Now Dayton does no wrong. Every prospect an AllStar, every draft pick a future HOF'r.....Bloomquist, Yuni, Guillen, and Kendall? No problem! They are mere stopgaps until the farm saves the day. Because in baseball, all prospects work out.

Dayton is a visionary. He plays young players who have earned the right to play. He never shows favoritism with his own free agent signings. How refreshing!

Best if all, he respects his fans. He is never condescending. He embraces change and new trends in the game. His groundbreaking choice of Trey Hillman- revolutionary. Damn the Mr Glass for not seeing that once in a generation baseball mind!

Thanks Rany. Now in addition to reading hard hitting, fair pieces from Dutton, Kaegal, and Mellinger- now we can hear you sing Daytons praises and many virtues. Thank God. With a record as solid as Daytons, any negativity is simple ignorance.

So Rany, when is the parade?"

Wouldn't it be weird if the same person kept loading this page every day to post the same crazy comment and launch the same ad hominem attacks over and over again? But nah, no one would do that. There must be a LOT of people who hate Rany now that he's sold out!

PS: Sorry to anyone else who's still reading these comments, but this is just too much fun.

Anonymous said...

I like the 2-6 projection, but seriously... let's go all the way:

1. Robinson CF
2. Aviles 2B
3. Butler 1B
4. Kila DH
5. Moose 3B
6. Hosmer LF
7. Gordon RF
8. Myers C
9. Who's the SS of the future?

I would like to see an article about Robinsons sudden ability to take a walk and get on base. He has no history of doing it before this year. Can we chalk it up to education? I mean, that's what the minors are about right?

Dave said...

SS of the future? Manny Machado! Draft primer, please!!!

Anonymous said...

Machado it is! So with Gordon having played both Rf and LF in Omaha, and Maier playing as a servicable major leaguer isn't it time to start moving the dead weight?

Pods, Ankiel, DDJ and Guillen can all move along. I love DDJ, but time is running out for him. Callaspo needs to move too, but he can wait until next year when the Moose is really ready.

rey rey said...

most if not all of the anti-Rany posts (under anon) are the same guy. What a pleasant life this guy must live.

skeptic said...

Against the Tigers in the 8th, Getz comes in to play 2nd and Aviles moves to short. Betancourt out.

I didn't see the game, so maybe Betancourt was hurt, but I'm hopeful that Yost recognizes that Betancourt is a defensive liability. If so, we might be witnessing the last of the Royals trying to claim that Bentancourt is a good major league shortstop.

skeptic said...

Alas, Yost said Betancourt was sick and would be back out there tomorrow. What a bummer.

Ned Yost said...

Actually, we do recognize Betancourt's a defensive liability. To solve this problem, we've asked Kila Kaaihue to begin taking ground balls at short, and we plan to convert him into a shortstop.

Anonymous said...

Great article Rany. It's refreshing to read somebody who is intelligent write about the Royals farm system. Really interesting comparisons with Hosmer too. It's amazing how many stupid fans hit the panic button way too early and are complaining that he only has 2 home runs when the rest of his stats are pretty much god-like. Especially the retards the infest royalsreview.com. You pretty much made them all look like idiots.

RanySoldOutBigTime said...

Rany says "you're welcome Dayton, and thanks for the season tickets. BFF forever!"

RanySoldOutBigTime said...

Rany says "you're welcome Dayton, and thanks for the season tickets. BFF forever!"