The Future of the Kansas City Royals
Thursday January 12th, 2012
Sam Evans: Over the last couple years, the Royals have finally begun the climb towards respectability in the baseball world. Not especially for their major league team, but more so due to the volume of minor league talent they have recently accumulated. In 2011, both Baseball America and Keith Law ranked the Royals first in their annual organization prospect rankings. Now, with some of their top prospects already having graduated to the majors, it’s time to see what these guys can do.
Royals GM Dayton Moore has made some questionable, and to be fair, inexplicable moves since he took over in 2006. For example, he signed Jose Guillen and Gil Meche to contracts where both players were making over ten million dollars a year. On the positive side, Moore has been valorous enough to outbid teams for young, international talent. Despite his somewhat ineffective grading of major-league talent, Moore has acquired the pieces to assemble a playoff contender in the next coming years through his development of the farm.
Sometimes people think that Moneyball was all about on-base percentage. Actually, it is about the A’s finding a way to compete with teams with larger payrolls by exploiting market inefficiencies. It seems that over the last couple of years, other small-market teams have found a way to beat the system by paying more for talented international players. The Royals have used that, along with numerous other scouting techniques, in order to attain the talent that they otherwise could not ordinarily afford.
The Royals have talent everywhere, but most of it is a couple of good years away from making a difference in the majors. Sure, in 2012, the Royals will have young studs like Eric Hosmer and Lorenzo Cain playing every day. But they are definitely not ready yet to compete with the Tigers. Kansas City has an unexciting rotation heading into spring training, that will be probably be one of the worst in the American League, given that too many inexperienced players will be counted on to play above their heads.
The truth is that the Royals have some of the top talented prospects in the game. The top prospects don’t always pan out, while some of the lesser-known ones turn into superstars. You just have to hope to have the right combination of breakout players on your team to succeed. The Royals have built a bottom-heavy organization that is a few years away from competing. Royals fans have a lot to be excited about… in the future. 2012 will most likely be another sub-.500 year for the Royals, but it will be filled with highlights and the promise of a future playoff contending team. At least there is hope and promise!
**Today’s feature was prepared by our Baseball Writer, Sam Evans. We highly encourage you to leave your comments and feedback at the bottom of the page and share in the discussion with our readers. You can also follow Sam on Twitter***
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Posted on January 12, 2012, in MLB Teams: Articles and Analysis and tagged baseball, baseball america, eric hosmer, gil meche, jose guillen, kansas city royals, lorenzo cain, mlb, prospects. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.