Outfield prospect Wil Myers broke the top 20 prospect list with a fifteenth ranking, at least according to MLB.com. One knock on Myers 2011 season is his power seemed to escape him. Not sure if that was because he’s still young for his level or what but his .745 OPS is hopefully a blip on the radar.
He draws walk and even if the power goes in the hole, he could make for a great table setter. Once Myers joins the rest of the great Royals hitting youngsters, they’ll finally have something to cheer about.
1) Mike Montgomery LHP
2) Bubba Starling OF
3) Wil Myers OF
4) Jake Odorizzi RHP
5) Chestor Cuthbert 3b
6) John Lamb LHP
7) Kelvin Herrera LHP
8) Jason Adam RHP
9) Chris Dwyer LHP
10) Yordano Ventura RHP
Utility infielder Yuniesky Betancourt was signed to a one year, $2 million deal by the Royals. The former Royal spent 2011 in Milwaukee where he was the regular shortstop. At least they’re calling him a utility guy because Betancourt has primarily played shortstop through his career. The Royals already had a shortstop though so Betancourt looks like he’ll either be the fill in guy or he could start at second base.
He does have some incentives where if he’s in a full time role, he’ll pick up an extra $500,000. Still, hitting isn’t Betancourt’s strong point. The best season of his career was 2007 and that year he had an OPS+ of 93. His career mark is 82. He doesn’t draw a lot of walks and he has a pretty hollow batting average although the last couple of years he’s been in double digits in home runs.
The Royals shored up their bullpen by signing former Minnesota Twins left handed reliever Jose Mijares. He had a pretty mediocre season last year and the Twins didn’t tender him a contract so the Royals locked him up for $925,000. His best season by far was 2009 when he pitched in 71 games with an ERA of 2.34.
Mijares is a true LOOGY. He has 186 games pitched and just 153 2/3 innings. He doesn’t strike out many games for a reliever (118) but he’s held left handed hitters to a .212 batting average throughout his short career. Righties handle him though with an OPS against of .776. That’s why you don’t see him in there as often for full innings.
The Royals made a nice move by signing former Dodgers closer Jon Broxton to a one year deal. Broxton has had his share of injuries lately and they were able to get him for $4 million with $1 million in incentives. The Royals then announced that Broxton will set up Soria but it gives the Royals one more weapon in the pen.
After a rough 2010 season, Broxton pitched in only 14 games in 2011 and he just had surgery a couple of months ago on his elbow. I like the move because of Broxton thrives and the Royals are still in “building” mode, they can use him as trade bait. Broxton is a power arm and this is a guy who wracks up strikeouts.
The Royals signed Bruce Chen to a two year deal that’ll pay Chen $4.5 million each of the two years. Chen had a solid season for the Royals last year and he was one of their better starters. There’s also $2 million in incentives that Chen can wrack up if he pitches well.
Chen is now 34 but he’s been the Royals top winning pitcher in 2010 and 201 with twelve wins each. He finished with a 3.77 ERA and he really shined against teams in the AL Central where he went 8-3 with a 2.47 ERA.
Not a bad pickup but the Royals still need help. If Chen is the team’s best pitcher, you know they’re not doing much.
The Royals farm system is stacked and it would be even more stacked if not for all of the early call ups last year. According to Kevin Goldstein at Baseball Prospectus in his Top 11 Royals Prospects, the Royals fifth best prospect is still a four star guy.
Topping the list is outfielder Wil Myers, the Royals third round pick in 2009. Myers had a really good year at Double-A and he could be roaming a corner outfield spot for the Royals for some years to come. He’ll start with Omaha but we could see him with the Royals in the second half.
Number two is another outfield prospect, Bubba Starling. The teams first round pick this past season, Starling signed too late to play. This guy is both a power and speed guy so keep an eye on him down at Kane County next year because he should be tearing it up.
Jake Ororizzi (RHP), Cheslor Cuthbert (3b) and John Lamb (LHP) round out the top five. None of these guys are major league ready but it’s looking like 2013 could be the year the Royals start seeing the fruits of their high picks and trades come together.
The Royals offense was in the top half of the American League last year and while that by itself isn’t going to put them in contention, the fact that they have some building blocks isn’t definitely a good thing. They had a few holes but with Alex Gordon and Billy Butler, they have a solid one-two punch for at least the next couple of years. Melky Cabrera had a nice season and Eric Hosmer showed the league why he was a blue chip prospect.
Second base is a hole and Chris Getz had just an OPS+ of 68. Alcides Escobar also had a tough year the plate. Mike Moustakis also struggled but he’s only 22 so he gets a free pass. If Moustakis is the man and can pull it together, that may be the lynch pin the Royals need.
The strikeout to walk ratio is a problem and you hope some of these kids can get some plate discipline. They also didn’t show much pop with just 129 home runs but they were second in doubles and first in triples.
The Royals aren’t playing for much these days but they got it done today with a 4-0 win over the hapless (more hapless) Twins. Bruce Chen improved to 11-7 and he gave up just two hits and a walk with eight strikeouts in eight shutout innings. It was one of his better wins of the season in a good but not great season for Chen. Louis Coleman pitched a shutout ninth to close the game out.
Alex Gordon went three for five with his 22nd home run. Johnny Giovotella went two for three in the win.
There’s just a couple of more weeks in the season. This is another snooezer for Royals fans but baseball will be gone soon. Let’s hope things pick up next year now that some of these kids have a year under their belt.
Bruce Chen got it done for the Royals tonight with another solid start and he improved to 7-5 on the season. He gave up one hit and three walks with four strikeouts in six shutout innings. Greg Holland pitched the final two frames and while he gave up the lone run, he still picked up his second save of the season.
Melky Cabrera and Brett Butler went yard in the win. Cabrera drove in three runs and Butler drove in one. Alex Gordon also had a nice game and he went two for two with two walks, a stolen base and two runs.
The Royals are getting some company down at the bottom because the Twins are sinking fast. While I thought the Royals would be a little better this year, I also didn’t expect them to be at the bottom with the Twins. Maybe a fouth place finish is in the cards this time around.
Bruce Chen had a nice start on the mound and the Royals got it done against the White Sox in their rubber game. Chen improved to 5-2 and he gave up just a run on four hits and three walks with four strikeouts in six innings. Joakim Soria pitched a shutout ninth and he picked up his 15th save of the season.
Eric Hosmer went two for four with his eighth home run in the win. Alex Gordon continued his successful season with a pair of hits and two runs.
Next up for the Royals is a four game set against the Tigers heading into the All Star Break. As we get closer to the end of the month, it’ll also be interesting to see what the Royals do as we get closer to the trade deadline.
The Royals are falling fast. After a solid April they now find themselves in dead last. Not only that, they have the worst record in the American League. On April 19, they were 11-6. Since then they’ve gone 22-42. That’s not good.
Yesterday’s game was another road loss. The Padres aren’t a good team but they handed the Royals a sweep. Bruce Chen gave up four runs in six innings but all four runs were unearned. Louis Coleman pitched two shutout innings of relief to close out the game.
Alex Gordon went two for four. Mike Moustakis went one for three with a walk.
Next up are the Rockies. It’ll be Danny Duffy on the mound for the Royals in the opener.
After a solid April, the Royals hit the skids in May and they’re now six games under .500 after a 10-17 May. They’re nine games back, which isn’t insurmountable, but the team has plenty of problems. One of their biggest trading chips, Joakim Soria, has been awful and he’s no longer the closer.
One of the bright spots has still be Alex Gordon. He’s hitting .288 although now that he’s an outfielder, he’s not nearly as valuable. He went three for four with two runs in the Royals win yesterday.
Jeff Francis improved to 2-5 yesterday and while his record is pretty bad, his numbers aren’t horrible and they might be able to get something for the left hander at the deadline if the Royals are sellers. Blake Wood threw two shutout frames to close out the game.
The Royals and Angels have their rubber game this afternoon. Felipe Paulino is trying to pick up his first win and the Angels have Tyler Chatwood on the mound.
The Royals finished this week with a loss earlier today, bringing their record for the week to 2-6. O’Sullivan did not start because manager, Ned Yost, likes “to keep the first four starters in a five-man [schedule], it keeps them sharper the first month. They’re all healthy, they’re all strong. I try to sharpen them up as much as I can. Then I look at the second month and give them days here and there. But the more they pitch, the sharper they’re going to be.” With such a young team, Yost said he is always keeping an eye on the Triple-A club in Omaha. With the season being so young, it is hard to tell with a young squad. Yost can’t make any changes yet. As the season goes on, this young squad may change a little.
Over the past week, the Royals are 5-2, having swept the Twins and winning a three game set aginast the Mariners. Although the season is still early, this week the Royals and Tribe will be playing a 4 game set that could decide who takes the lead in the AL Central. “They probably would’ve thought our numbers would 4-and-10, not 10-and-4,” Royals reliever Kanekoa Texeira said. “I’ll guarantee that. It’s good to see us two teams battling for the top. It hasn’t been that way for a while. So it’s time for a change.” Royals manager Ned Yost down played the 4 game series saying it’s way too earlier in the season to worry about the standings.
The Royals are off to great start 9 games into the season. With a 6-3 record, all six of their wins came with at least 10 hits. With the Tigers beating the Royals Friday at the Tigers Opening Day, that is really all the noise, offensively, that the Royals allowed the Tigers. On Saturday, Chen threw 6 innings without an earned run. The only run the Tigers scored came from a solo homerun hit by Ryan Rayburn in the bottom of the 8th. Earlier today, Hochevar threw 7 innings with 3 earned runs. The Royals beat Detroit 7-3, moving them into 1st in the Central early on in the season.
The Royals are 2-0 to start the 2011 season. The Royals won the first two games of a three game series against the Angels. Kila Ka’aihue launched a solo walk off home run in the bottom of the 9th to deep right center to give the Royals a win in their first game of the season. Yesterday, Chris Getz knocked in the go ahead run in the bottom of the 8th to put the Royals up 5-4. Manager, Ned Yost, has to be happy with the way his young team has opened the season at home. A good sign of team camaraderie is also taking place in the Royals bullpen. Most of the bullpen pitchers, especially the younger ones, are sporting “Fauxhawk”, a hair do that is a mo-hawk but with longer hair on the sides. The Royals are off t he a great start so far.
Royals outfielder, Lorenzo Cain, was optioned to Triple-A earlier today so he could be in the lineup every day. He was competing for a fifth outfielder spot, but manager, Ned Yost, didn’t want him sitting on the bench all the time. “He has the ability to be an everyday player, a young player that needs the at-bats Has Lorenzo Cain played well enough to make this club? Sure he has. But, for me, I don’t rest well knowing I have a kid like Lorenzo on my team playing once or twice a week,” Yost said. He is obviously impressed with Cain because he wants him to get his reps and at-bats in everyday down in Omaha. The Royals are looking forward to the Season Opener with thius young roster.
With the Opening Night of the 2011 season only 11 days away, Royals manager, Ned Yost’s job only gets tougher. Joakim Soria and Robinson Tejeda are the only definite pitchers in for the Royals bullpen. There are eleven or twelve pitchers still pitching for only six or seven spots left for the bully. Yost expects Tejeda to be the leader in the bullpen. He had a 2.05 ERA in his last 44 appearences. “I feel more relaxed than ever,” he said on Saturday. He also said he doesn’t feel any pressure on the mound anymore. He just goes out and pitches. This relaxation seems to be helping him hit the stike zone with accuracy, which has been one of his weak spots in previous seasons. With the beginning of the sesason just around the corner, it will be interesting to see how the Royals bullpen ends up pitching.
Outfielder Alex Gordon drove in six runs in yesterday’s matchup against the Dodgers. Three of the RBI’s came off a three run homer that towered over the right field fence. The Royals scored nineteen in a 19-7 over the Dodgers. Royals starter O’Sullivan pitched 3 1/3 innings and gave up 3. O’Sullivan’s pitch location seemed to be off as there was alot of contact made agianst him, but look for a rebound the next time he’s on the mound. The Royals face the Brewers next.
When Royals’ manager, Ned Yost, was asked about starting pitcher, Sean O’Sullivan, he leaned back in his office chair and didn’t seem to want to say fantastic, but that’s exactly what he said. “He’s looked fantastic,”Yost finally said. After a 3-6 record for the Royals last year in 14 appearences, with a 6.11 ERA, O’Sullivan came back to Spring Training 20 pounds lighter. He said he needed a change and for him that was cooking his own meals and not going out to eat. While O’Sullivan has impressed Yost, other pitchers like Everett Teaford and Vin Mazzaro have started Spring Training with rocky appearences. It is still very early, so there is still plenty of time for this young roster to get ready for the season opener.
Though Royals’ manager, Ned Yost, has already stated he doesn’t plan on contending this year. “I think we’re going to surprise a lot of people with our team. I think we’re going to have a much better team than all the ‘experts’ think we’re going to have,” Yost said to the press recently. Yost seems confident in his team, where shortly he will be carving the 65 man roster down to 25. Yost has already stated his probable Opening Day line-up, but it could be a move to make the youngsters step up their game and have a good Spring Training. Yost is definetly optimistic about this season, and the Royals don’t have anything to lose with the youngest team in the AL Central
There are still some question marks as the Royals Spring Training gets underway. Everything from starters in the infield to the starting rotation, to bullpen pitchers. Mike Aviles is slated to be the Royals starting 3rd baseman, after spending last season at 2nd base and playing shortstop in 2008. His 2009 season was shortened due to a reconstructive elbow surgery midseason. Now that his arm is full strength, the Royals expect him to be gunning down runners at 3rd base. Aviles says his arm is “back to normal”, and he can just pick up the ball and throw again. Former-first round draft pick Aaron Crow is looking for a spot with the Royals starting rotation. After having a stellar performance at he Royals 2010 Sping Training, he spent the season struggling at Double-A Northwest Arkansas with too many walks. Ned Yost, though, is optimistic that this season will be better than last stating he thinks the kid was just thinking too much instead of playing. Hopefully Aviles and Crow come out and play in Spring Training to prove that the young Royals have some talent.
Royal’s owner David Glass is confident that his 2011 Royals will reverse their losing ways of past seasons. He is optimistic and excited to see his young team start playing in Arizona. Royal’s general manager Dayton Moore has focused on building a quality farm system for the Royals future, and he seems to be building well. Baseball America gave the Royals’ farm system the best rating for 2011 and mlb.com rated the Royals as having six of the Top 50 prospects, which is a record tying number. The Royals traded away their star starting pitcher Zack Greinke to the Brewers for 4 prospects, Jeremy Jeffress and Jake Odorizzi, both pitchers, shortstop Alcides Escobar and center fielder Lorenzo Cain. Though, the Royal’s farm system seems to be glowing with the shine of future stars, it will still be hard in 2011 to make any noise in the AL Central with the Chi Sox, the Twins and the Tigers.
With the Royals trading AL Cy Young winning Zack Grienke away to the Brewers, it looks as if without their biggest star, the Royals will be battling it out with the Cleveland Indians for fourth place in the AL Central. Veteran Pedro Feliz signed a minor league contract with an invitation to Spring Training. Feliz is a career .250 hitter but is known for his glove at third. General manager Dayton Moore believes that Feliz will provide depth at the third base position that, like the rest of the positions, will be dominated by new, young players. Having a veteran invited to Spring Training will not only influence the attitude of the players around him in the field, but Feliz could also be a key guy in a clubhouse full of players new to the Bigs. The Royals finished last in American League defense in both 2009 and 2010. With a veteran at third base who has a strong glove and throwing arm, Royals could improve defensively starting in 2011.
Beginning in 2009 the Royals were Bruce Chen’s tenth major league team during his career. Now the Royals signed him to a one year, $2 million deal and he’ll join Jeff Francis in the Royals rotation in 2011. This is only the second time Chen has played for the same team three years in a row since his career began in 1998.
Chen had a good but not great season for the Royals. He won a team high 12 games but his 4.17 ERA and 1.375 WHIP were decent enough. Chen would probably be a back of the rotation guy for most teams but until some of the Royals younger talent steps up, Chen will most likely be a front of the rotation guy for the Royals.
The Royals are close to filling the void after the Zach Greinke trade as they look to be closer to a one year deal with Jeff Francis. Money wasn’t released but Francis is a quality left hander who’s number may be a little overblown after he’s pitched in the more hitter friendly Coors Field. Francis missed all of 2009 and came back in 2010 to a mediocre season. His last good year was back in 2007 when he won 17 games.
Francis isn’t a front of the rotation starter anymore like Zach Greinke was but it provides us with a reliable stop gap until some of these prospects we traded for move up the ladder. On top of that, it’s low risk because it’s only a one year deal so it’ll be interesting to see how Francis pitches in the more pitching neutral Kauffman Stadium.
You knew this was happening, but the Royals dealt their ace, Zach Greinke, for an impressive list of prospects. While short term, you’d think this hurts the team, long term it’s another matter entirely. In return for Greinke (and Betancourt), the Royals are getting Alcides Escobar (your new starting shortstop), Lorenzo Cain (who could make the big league club in the outfield), Jeremy Jeffries (a pitcher and the Brewers first round pick this year) and the Brewers’ top pitching prospect in Jake Odorizzi.
We wish Zach Greinke the best of luck, but now it’s time to move on. We have a nice crop of talent waiting in the wings and the AL Central is still one of the weaker divisions so I like the Royals chances beginning in say, 2013, of finally competing with the likes of the Tigers, Twins and White Sox.
Royals second baseman Chris Getz hasn’t played in over a week after getting his concussion but he’s on the way back into the Royals lineup. Ned Yost says he has to run outside and if he can pass that test, he should be in the lineup in a day or two. What’s interesting is that Getz’s replacement, Mike Aviles, has been playing so it’ll be interesting to see who the Royals go with in the final two weeks of the season.
Royals continue to struggle getting through the middle innings in every game they play. Even with a 5-0 lead going into the 7th the Royals can’t seem to buckle down and pull out a W. Looking to get revenge against the Tigers, who won the first series match-up, the Royals came out with an urge to win. Kansas City was first on the scoreboard with a David DeJesus solo homerun, followed by hits from Butler and Guillen, which led to a single from Callaspo who plated 2. Knowing the Tigers wouldn’t put up a goose egg, the Royals continued to attack Dontrelle Willis. Jose Guillen hit a bomb in the 5th inning making that his 4th HR in 3 games. The Royals snagged another run in the 7th which made the score 5-0. Getting to the late part of the game, the Royals thought this game was in the books. But the Tigers had different plans and continued their streak of comeback wins this season. This was a result…of the KANSAS CITY BULLPEN. Starter Brian Bannister left in the 5th inning and could only sit and watch as 3 of the Royals bullpen pitchers, who held off the Tigers for awhile, let up 6 runs in the bottom half of the 7th inning. That would be all the Tigers needed to pull out the victory leaving the home crowd standing on their feet and the Kansas City Royals gleaming out in disbelief. ESPN quoted Royals manager saying, “it was disheartening, disappointing, unbelievable and a lot of other words that I don’t want to use.” This just goes to show the irritation in the Royals clubhouse which needs a little help. Hopefully the Royals can turn it around and pull out a victory against the Tigers today, but as of now the Royals stand 3-5, 1 win ahead of the Indians for last in the AL Central.
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