This Might Be A Royal(s) Pain
The Kansas City Royals are embracing a tough 2011 season. With Cy-Young winning right-hander Zach Greinke gone, there’s not much for the average Royals fan to be excited about. But you might forget what their farm system holds. It holds the key to victory.
The Royals are stacked with potential to succeed for many years. Here I break down the Royals potential line-up for 2012, as 2011 will be a debut for most of these guys.
Catcher: Brayan Pena, Age: 29
- I’m predicting that Jason Kendall will be out as catcher. As Wil Myers has been moved to the outfield, the Royals don’t really have a catcher at the moment. They could pick up one in free agency but Pena has shown power in his brief career with the Royals.
First Base: Eric Hosmer, Age 21
- Eric Hosmer, reguarded as the top first basemen prospect in baseball, is the real deal. The power and glove are enough to get hyped about. In 2010, Hosmer showed the promising pop in his bat, belting 20 homeruns in 137 games between A+ and AA. However, his average was very impressive. With an average of .338, Hosmer will be knocking on the door this season as September call-ups come around. The Royals have a lock here. He’s hitting .667 with 4 hits in just 7 at-bats.
Second Base: Christian Colon, Age 22
- With the acquisition of Alcides Escobar in the Greinke deal, I see Colon moving to second base due to the glove of Escobar. Colon, drafted in the first round of the 2010 MLB Draft out of Cal St. Fullerton, has potential to be a power hitting second basemen. In many ways, he reminds me of Freddy Sanchez, as they both have a similar build. Colon is likely to start the year off in either A+ or AA depending on how fast the Royals want to move him. He’s a legitimate prospect.
Shortstop: Alcides Escobar, Age 23
- People have seem to forget about this slick fielding shortstop. Due to a disappointing rookie debut with Milwaukee, people have been debating if he is worth the hype. I still have a ton of confidence in Escobar and has room to build. He’s hitting .429 in Spring Training.
Third base: Mike Moustakas, Age 22
- Moustakas led the minors in homeruns with 36 in 2010. I see him debuting this season around June or July. He’s come a long way. He’s hitting .222 in Spring Training right now with 1 homerun and 4 runs batted in.
Outfield: Alex Gordon LF, Wil Myers CF, Jeff Francoeur RF
- It’s hard to believe Alex Gordon has been moved to the outfield. And it’s a shame that Jeff Francoeur has dropped as hard as he has. Two once promising young prospects, who fell victim to the league getting to know them. Depending on the pairs production, they can stay there. The Royals are on the verge of giving up on Gordon and Frenchy still has to prove he can still play. The only thing keeping Francoeur in the Majors is his arm and attitude.
With Wil Myers, he was recently moved from catcher to outfield to preserve him. I’m projecting him as a centerfielder based on his outstanding arm. He’s similar to Bryce Harper except without so much upside. 2012 might be aggressive but if Myers has a big year, the Royals will move him quick as they already have him on the fast track.
1. Luke Hochevar, RHP – He might have turned a corner with his improvements in 2010.
2. Mike Montgomery, LHP – My favorite pitching prospect in all of baseball. He has every tool to become successful. He could be a #1 if he stays healthy.
3. Vin Mazzaro, RHP – Acquired in the David Dejesus deal this off-season, Mazzaro is nothing more than a third starter. Depending on how confident the Royals are with their young talents, he could be booted to the bullpen. I see Daniel Duffy taking over his role later in his career.
4. John Lamb, LHP – Another youngster, Lamb is another talent. He projects as a #2 starter, but so does Daniel Duffy, Aaron Crow, Chris Dwyer, Jake Orodrizzi…
5. Daniel Duffy, LHP – If he didn’t take time away from baseball, he could have been on the same page as Lamb and Montgomery.
Closer: Tim Collins, LHP – Soria will be out. The little yet mighty lefty is a feel good story and a Disney movie in the making.