1) 3B Hunter Dozier ETA: 2015
Dozier started slowly at A+ Wilmington but caught fire in May and June, earning a mid-season promotion to AA Northwest Arkansas. Big, strong kid with good plate discipline skills and solid power who projects to be an above-average glove at 3B with solid power.
2) SS Raul (Adalberto) Mondesi ETA: 2017
Mondesis is the opposite of Dozier…. Started red-hot at Wilmington before back spasms derailed him for a few weeks and hasn’t gotten it going since coming back. Scouting reports have been great – defense and speed both improved over the offseason. Still a chance to be an elite SS, with 40 SB speed, plus glove, .300 average and some pop.
3) LHP Sean Manaea | ETA: 2015
Scouting reports outperform the stat line so far. Missing a ton of bats at A+ but not preventing runs like you’d expect to see. Needs to work deeper into games (gradually working about an inning deeper/month so far this year) and improve control. Walks are biggest concern right now, but could be elevated due to work on extra off-speed offerings. Still has No. 2 starter potential, could be higher if the great control he exhibited before his hip surgery eventually comes back.
4) RHP Kyle Zimmer| ETA: 2015
Should be NO. 1 on the list and is probably the Royals most VALUABLE current prospect, but he hasn’t thrown a ball in 4-5 weeks and had only been throwing for 2-3 weeks when he was shut down then.
5) LHP Brandon Finnegan| ETA: 2015
Top 2014 draft choice is an undersized lefty who will start at A+ Wilmington after anchoring CWS run for TCU. Good fastball, better slider, change that needs work to stick as a starter, but if he sticks, No. 2/No. 3 starter upside. Likely a top 10 or even top 5 pick if he doesn’t miss 1 start in the middle of the college season as a precautionary move.
6) RHP Miguel Almonte| ETA: 2016
Have heard some say Almonte is more advanced as a pitcher at A+ than Yordano Ventura was (comparison because both were cheap signs out of Latin America). Really advanced changeup and a curve that is working out well (where the ‘more advanced’ comment comes from). Fastball velo is good but not great – 92-94. Like Manaea, working on his second-best offspeed pitch and leaning less on his bread-and butter (changeup), which has hurt his numbers a bit.
7) RHP Christian Binford 2017
Reverse case of “don’t just scout stat lines.” Based on his stats at A+, you’d think he was an elite prospect, but there are questions about Binford’s stuff playing up at higher levels. Tall righty with great command of fastball, slider and a good and still developing changeup. None of those pitches profiles as better than average, though, limiting his likely upside to back-end rotation guy.
8) SS Orlando Calixte| ETA: 2016
I still like him more than many. Good combination of SS/MI skills and power. Started hot at NWA but in a slump at moment.
9)LHP Foster Griffin | ETA: 2019
Tall, projectable lefty taken in 2014 draft. Viewed as a great value in the sandwich round and probably would have been KC’s pick at No. 17 if Finnegan hadn’t fallen. High school arm who is going to take a while to develop.
10) RF Jorge Bonifacio| ETA: 2016
Hasn’t hit as well as expected in his second go-round at AA NWA. Power still sapped, and average skills have dipped. Once looked like he might be an option in RF at some point in 2015, now looks like 2016 is optimistic. Still young for his level.
11) 3B/2B Cheslor Cuthbert| ETA: 2016
Cuthbert has had better luck at NWA than Boni and is also extremely young for level. HE’s been moved to 2B since Dozier was promoted, which could put a new spin on Cuthbert’s prospects. If he sticks at 2B, bat plays up much better. Good OBP/plate discipline and solid power, but needs to continue improving contact skills
12) C Chase Vallot| ETA: 2020
Young (just 17) C with tremendous power. One of the top prep bats and a great value for KC where it got him. If he sticks at C, expect him to move slowly, but the bat may force the issue (or force him to another position).
13) C Zane Evans| ETA: 2017
GA Tech product has handled Wilmington better than most RH bats and probably is in line for a promotion to NWA sometime soon. Decent pop, decent skills behind the plate. Could be a nice reserve catcher.
14) RHP Scott Blewett| ETA: 2020
Tall, projectable righty with a fresh arm but some injury concerns on his shoulder that slipped him out of Round 1 of MLB draft. Big time potential.
15) CF Bubba Starling | ETA:
Bubba Starling has great tools. Bubba Starling (still) can’t hit. That’s all I have to say about that.
16) 1B Samir Duenez| ETA:
I still like him, even though the attempt to run him through full season ball at 17 did not go well.
17)LF/RF Elier Hernandez| ETA:
Hernandez still pops up in scouting reports but still is very raw and toolsy.
18) RHP Pedro Fernandez| ETA:
Pop-up player on the same track as Ventura and Almonte. Similar signing, similar profile. One to watch over next few years.
19) SS Marten Gasparini| ETA:
Royals’ most expensive international signing likely moves to CF eventually, but his speed and athleticism are intriguing abilities. Early reports from complex ball are very positive on him.
20) RHP Niklas Stephenson| ETA:
Interesting pop-up candidate who found 10 more MPH on his fastball by using a weighted ball during workouts over the winter. Now sits mid-90s with fastball and is dominating at rookie ball (after having an ERA over 8 there a year ago). Likely promoted to a higher challenge soon.
12-19-2013 11:52 AM
12-19-2013 12:03 PM
In to win, baby.
12-19-2013 12:08 PM
Great start on the thread
12-19-2013 12:08 PM
IN! GONNA BE A BIG YEAR, GUYS!
12-19-2013 12:10 PM
In for the playoffs!
12-19-2013 12:11 PM
12-19-2013 12:12 PM
Royals will get be in the playoffs and have a 30 HR hitter.
So what grade do you give Dayton Moore for this offseason?
I like what he's done A LOT. We've upgraded at second base and in right field with players whose strengths are a good fit with the strengths of this team. Aoki looks like an excellent defensive right fielder with speed who can hit for average, and the upgrade to Infante at second base is sensational.
I'm lukewarm about what he's done regarding the pitching staff, primarily because he hasn't done anything about extending James Shields. I'm starting to think that he may deliberately let Shields walk after next season if any of the top 3 upside candidates (Ventura, Duffy or Zimmer) looks like a potential ace for 2015.
I'm practically giddy about the trade for Danny Valencia, simply because he's sending a message to Moose that it's time for him to shit or get off the pot. If Moose doesn't tear it up in spring training, he should start the season in Omaha. Valencia would be a more than adequate replacement, and he could very well be an improvement. I think we got pretty good value for our 6th outfielder, and by the way, I liked David Lough a lot. I just think we probably saw his ceiling in 2013.
As of right now, I would give Dayton Moore a grade between A- and B+. If he were to sign James Shields to a contract extension, I'd change that to an A.
12-19-2013 12:35 PM
How do you only have 6000 post in 13 years? Did you take a decade off?
12-19-2013 12:36 PM
I can't quit them.
12-19-2013 12:39 PM
What if James Shields has absolutely no desire to extend, and wants to test free agency? You can't really blame a GM for not extending someone, unless you know for a fact that a player would have extended at a reasonable price, like with that Beltran debacle years ago.
James Shields did not grow up a Royals fan, and he has never had a choice about where he can play. He might like KC fine just as he tried to enjoy living in Tampa Bay, but if I were a player, I'd like to be able to choose where I play at some point in my career.