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December 3, 2012

Prospects Will Break Your Heart

Kansas City Royals Top 10 Prospects

by Jason Parks

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State of the Farm:I told a girl that my prospects were good and she said baby, ‘It's understood.’”

Prospect rankings primer

The Top Ten

  1. OF Wil Myers
  2. RHP Kyle Zimmer
  3. CF Bubba Starling
  4. SS Adalberto Mondesi
  5. RHP Yordano Ventura
  6. RHP Jake Odorizzi
  7. RF Jorge Bonifacio
  8. 3B Cheslor Cuthbert
  9. RHP Miguel Almonte
  10. RHP Jason Adam

1. Wil Myers
Position: OF
DOB: 12/10/1990
Height/Weight: 6’3’’ 205 lbs.
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Acquired: 3rd round, 2009 draft, Wesleyan Christian Academy (High Point, NC)
2012 Stats: .343/.414/.731 at Double-A Northwest Arkansas (35 games); .304/.378/.554 at Triple Omaha (99 games)
The Tools: Plus hit/power; plus arm

What Happened in 2012: As it turns out, a healthy Myers is a monster Myers, as the 21-year-old put all questions from the 2011 season to rest by mashing at two levels and emerging as a top-10 prospect in baseball.

Strengths: Natural hitting ability; quick/strong wrists; balanced swing; excellent raw strength; plus bat speed; hit tool is easy 6; power potential is 6; middle-of-the-order profile; mature approach; quality athlete; plus arm.

Weaknesses: Not many weaknesses with the bat; swing can get a little wild; two-strike approach could use refinement; hasn’t been tested by high-level stuff yet; needs refinement with his outfield routes; baserunning.

Overall Future Potential: 6; first-division player

Explanation of Risk: Low risk; Myers is major league ready and a high-level talent

Fantasy Future: From a corner spot, Myers is likely to hit for average (.285-plus) with good game power (25-plus HR). Above-average right field profile. 

The Year Ahead: Myers is ready to jump into major-league waters, where his bat is expected to produce immediately. Against high-level pitching, holes that didn’t exist in the minors start to open up, and for Myers, quality fastballs on the inner-third will be a good test of his hand speed. Anything left out over the plate is batting practice, and he doesn’t miss many opportunities to crush mistakes. But the difference between Triple-A pitching and major-league pitching is extreme, and Myers will need to prove capable of hitting quality offerings to live up to his lofty hype.

Major league ETA: 2013

2. Kyle Zimmer
Position: RHP
DOB: 12/13/1991
Height/Weight: 6’3’’ 213 lbs.
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Acquired: 1st round, 2012 draft, University of San Francisco (San Francisco, CA)
2012 Stats: 0.90 ERA (10 IP, 5 IP, 13 K, 0 BB) at AZL; 2.43 ERA (29.2 IP,  34 H, 29 K, 8 BB) at Low-A Kane County
The Tools: 6+ FB; 7 potential CB; 5 CH

What Happened in 2012: An unknown name to some, Zimmer shot up draft boards in the spring and snuck into the top five, where the Royals signed the big right-hander to a slot-friendly bonus of $3 million.

Strengths: Excellent size/strength; fresh arm; clean delivery; excellent arm speed; fastball is easy plus offering and can show plus-plus velocity; can work anywhere from 91-96, and can touch higher; shows both two- and four-seam fastballs; ball arrives on a steep plane; two-seamer with plus sink; can throw strikes; curveball is present 6 and will flash 7; hard breaking ball with heavy depth on 12-6 shape; bat-missing pitch; hard for hitters to track and square; plays well off fastball.

Weaknesses: Limited track record; fastball will show velocity dips; tendency to overthrow the pitch; will throw too many strikes and become hittable; more control than command; changeup can get too firm, thrown in the mid-80s without much arm-side action; fringe at present; amateur slider was second fringe offering.

Overall Future Potential: High 6; no. 2 starter

Explanation of Risk: High risk; limited track record/experience as a pitcher

Fantasy Future: Has the arsenal to miss bats and the body to log innings; could be workhorse starter or could develop into legit no. 2 on frontline team.

The Year Ahead: After a taste of the Midwest League in 2012, Zimmer will look to take a step forward in his first full season, with the arsenal and maturity to start at the Double-A level, but a High-A assignment is more likely. While not a finished product, Zimmer should move fast and could reach the majors by 2014, and perhaps even faster if the changeup develops into an average pitch, giving the soon-to-be 21-year-old a major-league-quality arsenal.

Major league ETA: 2014

3. Bubba Starling
Position: CF
DOB: 08/03/1992
Height/Weight: 6’4’’ 180 lbs.
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Acquired: 1st round, 2011 draft, Gardner-Edgeton High School (Edgeton, KS)
2012 Stats: .275/.371/.485 at short-season Burlington (53 games)
The Tools: Shows all five tools; 7 run; 6 power; 7 arm; 6 glove

What Happened in 2012: The $7.5 million bonus baby made his professional debut, putting all of his tools on display in the Appalachian League, covering wide swaths of ground in the outfield and showing more aptitude with the bat than expected.

Strengths: Elite all-around athlete; potential for 7 profile in center field; 7 run; 6 glove; 7+ arm; shows plus bat speed; can drive the ball to all-fields; potential for plus game power; highest upside in the organization.

Weaknesses: Questions about hit tool utility; swing can get long and loose; struggles with pitch recognition; fastball swing; soft and spinning can beat him; defense in center is heavily rooted in athleticism; uses speed to overcome poor routes/reads; needs to refine angles to the ball; lacks baseball polish

Overall Future Potential: 7; extreme

Explanation of Risk: Extreme risk because of wide gap between present and future grades; has yet to play full-season ball

Fantasy Future: If Starling hits his ceiling, he could be one of the best players in the game, with speed and power from a middle-of-the-diamond  position.

The Year Ahead: Not many full-season debuts will be as scrutinized as Starling’s, which is a product of his own promise and the initial financial investment used to purchase that promise. While extremely toolsy and one of the best athletes in the entire sport, Starling’s baseball skills are still immature, and the full-season level could shine a light on some of those rough edges, especially at the plate.

Major league ETA: 2016

4. Adalberto Mondesi
Position: SS
DOB: 07/27/1995
Height/Weight: 6’1’’ 165 lbs.
Bats/Throws: B/R
Drafted/Acquired: International free agent, 2011, Los Angeles/Dominican Republic
2012 Stats: .290/.346/.386 at short-season Idaho Falls (50 games)
The Tools: Plus defensive tools; plus run; plus potential hit

What Happened in 2012: The son of former major leaguer Raul Mondesi jumped onto the prospect scene with an explosive performance in the Pioneer League, playing a healthy chunk of the season at age 16.

Strengths: Instincts are off-the-chart; tremendous feel for the game; 6 defensive profile at shortstop; plus arm; plus range; slick actions; soft hands; fluid swing from both sides of the plate; can drive the ball into the gaps despite limited (present) strength; easy feel for good contact; hit tool projects to plus; good baserunner; shows legit baseball skills at very young age.

Weaknesses: Lots of developmental unknowns; athletic body/frame, but needs to add strength; see ball, hit ball mentality in the box; susceptible to off-speed offerings; more bat speed from the right-side; lacks power potential.

Overall Future Potential: High 6; first-division player

Explanation of Risk: Extreme risk; despite game skills and precocious talent, wide gap between present and future; only 17 years old

Fantasy Future: Could hit for a high batting average, with gap power and speed from a premium defensive position.

The Year Ahead: Mondesi has the potential to be a special talent, but his statistical output in the next few years might not accurately reflect the scouting reports. Despite being an advanced talent for his age—with instincts that one source dubbed “Jeter like,” and possessing major league bloodlines—Mondesi is still only 17-years-old and will be playing against much older competition if he jumps to the full-season level. His lack of strength could limit his offensive function for a few years, but his glove work will continue to draw praise, as will his overall approach to the game, which mirrors a major-league veteran more than a player that would be entering his senior year in high school.

Major league ETA: 2016

5. Yordano Ventura
Position: RHP
DOB: 06/03/1991
Height/Weight: 5’11’’ 140 lbs.
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Acquired: International free agent, 2008, Dominican Republic
2012 Stats: 3.30 ERA (76.1 IP, 66 H, 98 K, 28 BB) at High-A Wilmington; 4.60 ERA (29.1 IP, 23 H, 25 K, 13 BB) at Double-A Northwest Arkansas
The Tools: 7+ FB; 6+ CB

What Happened in 2012: After a solid but not spectacular 2011 season, Ventura decided to make it more spectacular, blowing away Carolina League hitters before  a late-season promotion to Double-A.

Strengths: Lighting fast arm; fastball has explosive velocity; can work in the 94-98 range, and touch triple-digits; pitch can show plus movement , with late burst to the arm-side; easy 7 offering; could play at 8 in bursts; curveball is plus offering; two-plane break; tight rotation; plays well off the fastball; true swing and miss offering; flashes as a 7; changeup took developmental steps forward; shows some sink and fade; could be average pitch; delivery allows arm to work well; holds stuff better than body suggests.

Weaknesses: Very slight build; limited physical projection; concerns about stress on body; will overthrow fastball to miss bats; loses plane when he elevates; falls under curveball, causing pitch to slurve; changeup is inconsistent; can get deliberate and will cast the pitch; command comes and goes.

Overall Future Potential: 6; no. 2/3; 7; frontline setup/closer.

Explanation of Risk: High risk as a starter because of unrefined command and immature changeup; moderate risk in relief; now arsenal to compete.

Fantasy Future: Could prove doubters wrong and end up in a major league rotation, with bat-missing stuff; body unlikely to hold 200-plus innings; in relief, could rack up strikeouts and holds/saves.

The Year Ahead: Ventura will return to the Double-A rotation, where the development of his changeup and refinement of his command will dictate his fate. On paper, Ventura looks like a reliever, with a near elite fastball and a curveball that shows 7 potential. Add to the mix his junior-high body and up-and-down command and the profile looks like it was poured in concrete. But don’t rule out his potential as a starter, as he can pitch with feel despite pitching with intensity, and he can hold his stuff better than you would think. It’s a massive player to live up to, but some sources think Ventura has some Pedro Martinez to his game and could develop even higher than this projection indicates.

Major league ETA: 2013

6. Jake Odorizzi
Position: RHP
DOB: 03/27/1990
Height/Weight: 6’2’’ 185 lbs.
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Acquired: 1st round, 2008 draft (Brewers), Highland High School (New Douglas, IL)
2012 Stats: 3.32 ERA (38 IP, 27 H, 47 K, 10 H) at Double-A Northwest Arkansas; 2.93 ERA (107.1 IP 105 H, 88 K, 40 BB) at Triple-A Omaha; 4.91 ERA (7.1 IP, 8 H, 4 K, 4 BB) at major-league level.
The Tools: 6 FB; 5+ CB; 5 CH; 5 SL

What Happened in 2012: Odorizzi’s deep arsenal was too much for the Double-A level, and after 18 solid starts in Triple-A, the 22-year-old made two starts at the major-league level, setting himself up for a run at a roster spot in 2013.

Strengths: Plus athlete; clean delivery; repeats well; fastball works in the low-90s and can touch a little higher; shows some sink when spotted lower in the zone; curveball looks plus more than it looks average; good shape and vertical action; changeup is similar; is plus offering when he finishes the pitch; shows some arm-side fading action; slide piece is adds another average or better pitch to the arsenal; shows feel for strike-throwing; feel for sequence and situation.

Weaknesses: Lacks knockout pitch; arsenal is solid-avg, but lacks upside; fastball can flatten out when elevated; secondary offerings aren’t consistent enough to back hitters off fastball; gets loose in the zone and struggles to put hitters away.

Overall Future Potential: High 5; no. 3/4 starter

Explanation of Risk: Moderate risk; already achieved major-league level; mature arsenal; athletic with good mound IQ.

Fantasy Future: Nothing fancy, but athletic enough to make adjustments and strong enough to log innings; won’t be big bat-misser at major-league level, but will compete and take ball every fifth day with intensity.

The Year Ahead: Odorizzi is ready for an extended major league look, and with some pitchability and a deep solid-average arsenal, he showed be able to stick around for a long time. He will often walk a tightrope, as the sum of his parts is greater than any one attribute. But as long as expectations are properly managed, Odorizzi should be a player Royals’ fans can get used to seeing penciled in as a no. 3 or 4 starter for the next decade. It’s not going to be flashy, but it’s going to be something positive.

Major league ETA: 2012

7. Jorge Bonifacio
Position: OF
DOB: 06/04/1993
Height/Weight: 6’1’’ 192 lbs.
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Acquired: International free agent, 2009, Dominican Republic
2012 Stats: .282/.336/.432 at Low-A Kane County (105 games)
The Tools: 6+ raw power; 7 arm

What Happened in 2012: Bonifacio moved to the full-season level at age 19 (same age as Starling), and showed the ability to hit for average as well as power, knocking 36 extra-base hits, including 10 home runs, in a pitcher-friendly environment.

Strengths: Big raw power; could play at 6 or higher at maturity; swings the bat well for power threat; shows very good bat control; will use all-fields; definite hitability; big present strength; mature frame; athletic enough for right field; arm is very strong; not afraid to use it.

Weaknesses: Not overly athletic; 4+ runner; body has potential to get thick, especially lower-half; limited on defense; swing can get hitchy; shows excellent hand-eye coordination and recovery skills, but approach can get too reactionary; will chase sliders off the plate; questions about bat against plus velocity, especially on the inner-third. 

Overall Future Potential: 6; first-division player

Explanation of Risk: High risk; teenaged prospect with wide gap between present/future; questions about hit tool utility.

Fantasy Future: Fits the mold of prototypical right fielder, with big power potential and a big arm. Has the raw to hit 25-plus bombs.

The Year Ahead: The Carolina League isn’t exactly a hitter’s paradise, so the young Dominican’s numbers might not set the world ablaze. His swing can show some length, and the better the arm the better the test, so it will benefit Bonifacio to work in an environment that favors the mound. He has all the ingredients to develop into a first-division right fielder, but that reality is a long way off, and the utility of his bat will be tested all along the way.

Major league ETA: 2015

8. Cheslor Cuthbert
Position: 3B
DOB: 11/16/1992
Height/Weight: 6’1’’ 190 lbs.
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Acquired: International free agent, 2009, Nicaragua
2012 Stats: .240/.296/.322 at High-A Wilmington (124 games)
The Tools: 6 raw power; 6 arm

What Happened in 2012: A year filled with assorted injury and on-the-field setback helped retard his prospect status, but the tools are still there to blossom into a top tier talent in the system.

Strengths: Quick hands at the plate; shows plus bat speed; raw power is a 6; can square velocity; hips are explosive; torque-heavy swing; very good present strength; good fielding fundamentals; 5 glove; arm is strong; makes all the throws; feel for the game.

Weaknesses: Lacks plus athleticism; body was slow and sluggish at times in 2012; speed is already well below-average; range at third is fringy; hit tool is schizophrenic; shows plus potential against quality stuff but then can’t square fringe-velocity; struggles with fastballs above the hands; will expand and chase on secondary stuff; struggled with failure in 2012; lost focus at times.

Overall Future Potential: 6; first-division player

Explanation of Risk: High risk; will player 2013 season at age 20; lots of developmental room; good makeup

Fantasy Future: Could be 5 hit/6 power third baseman, with average all-around defensive profile. 

The Year Ahead: When players are faced with setback for the first time in their career, the adjustment process can take time and take its toll on the stat sheet. Cuthbert wasn’t very good in 2012, but it wasn’t because he lacks talent or lacks a bright future. The Nicaraguan then-teenager was in an advanced league and an often dreary place to play, making his struggles with nagging injury and poor fitness all the more difficult to rebound from. I think he needs another round of High-A action before moving onto the Texas League, which he could reach by summer if he can stay healthy and find some offensive rhythm.

Major league ETA: 2015

9. Miguel Almonte
Position: RHP
DOB: 04/04/1993
Height/Weight: 6’2’’ 160 lbs.
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Acquired: International free agent, 2010, Dominican Republic
2012 Stats: 1.44 ERA (50.0 IP, 34 H, 46 K, 8 BB) in Dominican Summer League; 2.33 ERA (27.0 IP, 22 H, 28 K, 5 BB) at AZL
The Tools: 6 FB; 6 CH; 5 CB

What Happened in 2012: In relative obscurity, Almonte blitzed through the complex league Dominican Summer League before turning stateside heads with electric performances in the Arizona League and Fall Instructionals.

Strengths: Easy stuff; delivery is simple/repeatable; arm is extremely loose; almost whippy; fastball works at 92-95 with some run; ball is a creeper; just pops on the hitters; changeup is best pitch; consistent mechanics and arm speed; pitch has good velocity separation and plus action; curveball works fringe-average; flashes above-average potential; tight rotation; some depth; can show big hook; throws strikes; shows pitchability; athletic with room for more strength.

Weaknesses: Limited track record against quality opponents; velocity would dip in longer outings; tendency to lose curveball early out of the hand; break was too exaggerated and loose; needs to add strength; needs to log innings

Overall Future Potential: 6; no. 2/3 starter

Explanation of Risk: Extreme risk; limited professional record; has yet to escape complex level; will be 20-years-old in 2013.

Fantasy Future: Has the stuff to miss bats, the pitchability to limit damage; lacks ideal body for heavy workload, but arm is silky smooth; full-arsenal.

The Year Ahead: Almonte is still an unknown commodity to those that don’t frequent the complex facilities, but the arm strength, arsenal, and feel for pitching are undeniable. With an advanced changeup and a plus fastball, the young Dominican could make the jump to the full-season level, where the curveball will need to tighten to be successful. It’s clear that Almonte’s raw abilities rank him among the best arms in the Royals’ system, but he will need to bring his complex league heroics to the bigger fields if he wants to win over a larger audience. This guy is legit, and it’s just a matter of time before every source is jumping on board the bus to champion his status.

Major league ETA: 2016

10. Jason Adam
Position: RHP
DOB: 08/04/1991
Height/Weight: 6’4’’ 220 lbs.
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Acquired: 5th round, 2010 draft, Blue Valley Northwest High School (Overland Park, KS)
2012 Stats: 3.53 ERA (158 IP, 148 H, 123 K, 36 BB) at High-A Wilmington
The Tools: 5 FB; 5+ CB; 5 CH

What Happened in 2012: Opting for slow and steady rather than slick and sexy, Adam spent the entire season grinding it out in the Carolina League, logging innings and using a three-pitch mix to limit damage.

Strengths: Good size/present strength; plus pitchability; good delivery; fastball works in average velocity range (90-92), but has shown more meat in bursts; pitch has good vertical action; curveball will flash plus; works in mid/upper 70s with some bite; changeup made big strides during season; flashes above-average potential; thrown well off fastball with some sink; body of workhorse starter.

Weaknesses: Lacks true plus offering; fastball can be hittable up in the zone; lacks big punch; changeup and curveball are nice complement pitches, but can’t own the stage; reliant on sequence and command; will struggle with present stuff at higher levels without grade bump or additional offering (cutter).

Overall Future Potential: 5; no. 4 starter

Explanation of Risk: Moderate risk; mature frame, mind, and arsenal; big makeup; no injury red flags.

Fantasy Future: Fits the profile of a backend innings workhorse, with enough stuff and pitchability to limit damage and enough projection for a slightly higher ceiling.  

The Year Ahead: Adam will move to the Texas League, where his solid-average stuff will be put to the test by better bats in offense-friendly environments. He will need to continue to work lower in the zone, establishing his fastball and using his two secondary offerings to induce weak contact from poor, unbalanced swings. He is unlikely to miss a high number of bats with the current arsenal, but he has the potential to tick up a bit, with a smooth delivery and excellent arm strength.

Major league ETA: 2014

Prospects on the Rise:

1.LHP Sam Selman: A second round pick from Vanderbilt, the 6’3’’ lefty has solid now stuff and a frame that offers some additional projection. The 22-year-old was too much for the Pioneer League, and will face his first professional test in full-season ball, where his stock could soar or stagnant depending on his transition.

2.RHP Kyle Smith: Limited size, but excellent pitchability and a plus curveball allowed Smith to cruise in his 13 Midwest League starts. A fourth-round pick in 2011, Smith will need to maintain his sharp stuff and sharp feel as he climbs the ladder, with the microscope on his profile at every stop.

3.C Cameron Gallagher: Catchers with sustainable defensive profiles behind the plate and power potential in the bat are always in high demand, and Gallagher could end up with that description. A second-round pick in 2011, the 6’3’’ 210-lb. catcher is still very much a raw product behind the dish, but he has the necessary tools to shape at the position, and the bat has already turned heads at the short-season level.

Factors on the Farm (Prospects likely to contribute at the ML level in 2013

1. LHP John Lamb: Remember this guy? Once considered in the top tier of pitching prospects in the Royals system, Tommy John surgery helped derail his rise to the majors. When fully healthy, Lamb could bring a plus fastball from the left side, with a good changeup and curve combo, but the entire package will need to return to form before Lamb becomes an option at the highest level.

2. LHP Mike Montgomery: It was only a year ago that Montgomery was widely considered the top prospect in the Royals organization, primed for a promotion to the majors in 2012 and well on his way to solving some much needed problems in the rotations. But the 23-year-old lefty’s season was a disaster, and he ended up back in Double-A, where he couldn’t miss barrels. But all hope is not lost, as the southpaw is still within striking distance of the majors, and sometimes all it takes is a mechanical tweak and a few positive outings to turn the ship around. If healthy, you can’t count Montgomery out for some form of major-league contribution.

3. IF Christian Colon: When you take a player fourth overall in the draft, you expect a first-division talent at worst, and an all-star if everything falls into place. With Colon, the Royals are unlikely to get either outcome, but they should get a major league contributor, either as a second-division second baseman or a utility option.

Top 10 Talents 25 And Under (born 4/1/87 or later)

  1. Eric Hosmer
  2. Mike Moustakas
  3. Wil Myers
  4. Bubba Starling
  5. Kyle Zimmer
  6. Adalberto Mondesi
  7. Salvador Perez
  8. Danny Duffy
  9. Yordano Ventura
  10. Jake Odorizzi

For years Royals fans have feverishly waited for the minor-league system to bear fruit. For the most part, the plan still seems to be in place. Hosmer and Moustakas have struggled to adjust to the highest level, but the club has seen others develop into studs (Billy Butler, Alex Gordon), while others have turned into above-average regulars (Alcides Escobar, Kelvin Herrera). The lack of talented pitching depth at the major-league level has long been a concern, but Zimmer, Ventura, Odorizzi, and Jason Adam make up a solid crew of young arms that could make the jump over the next two seasons. Danny Duffy has shown promising signs of utilizing his upside, and his return from Tommy John surgery could have a strong impact on the club in 2013.

Overall, the Royals’ process is the same today as it’s been for the past several years. They continue to load the system with high-upside talent with the hopes that something sticks. If Starling and Mondesi can access their potential, the Royals could be dangerous for a long time. Hudson Belinsky

A Parting Thought: While success at the major-league level has eluded the Royals organization, they continue to help their chances in that pursuit by keeping the minor-league system stocked with premium talent that could ultimately benefit the team through developmental maturity or trade.

Last year's Royals rankings

Special thanks to Nick Faleris, Mark Anderson, Chris Mellen, Jason Churchill, and Hudson Belinsky for their input and influence on this list.

Jason Parks is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Jason's other articles. You can contact Jason by clicking here

55 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links


I've seen a wide range of scouting reports on Starling this year, mainly in terms of his hit tool. Some have gone so far as to call his swing terrible, and dont seem optimistic about his projection at all. I do think everyone recognizes his insane upside, but what makes you rank him #3? And what do you believe will eventually happen with him? Is he Elijah Dukes 2.0 or closer to BJ Upton? Drew Stubbs? Thanks in advance. Great work once again.

Dec 03, 2012 05:55 AM
rating: 1

Dukes's hit tool was never the problem.

Dec 03, 2012 07:47 AM
rating: 1

Well I suppose it was a problem for his girlfriends...

Dec 03, 2012 09:08 AM
rating: 26

he was a career .242 hitter?

Dec 04, 2012 07:25 AM
rating: -1


Dec 04, 2012 08:20 AM
rating: 1

interesting. more offensive future potential - myers or hosmer? both about a 6 (plus) in terms or power and the hit tool?

Dec 03, 2012 06:58 AM
rating: 0

err, "of power and the hit tool" not "or"

Dec 03, 2012 06:59 AM
rating: 0
BP staff member Jason Parks
BP staff


Dec 03, 2012 09:57 AM

What a bunch of studs. Insert uncomfortable Parksian sexual reference here.

Very excited to see I share a birthday with Kyle Zimmer - and HOFers Larry Doby and Ferguson Jenkins. 12/13 Baby!

Where did Mondesi come up with Kevin Mench's hat? What is that, a size 9?

Dec 03, 2012 07:04 AM
rating: 0
BP staff member Jason Wojciechowski
BP staff

That last question is on-point. I do hope we can get to the bottom of this.

Dec 03, 2012 08:47 AM
BP staff member Hudson Belinsky
BP staff

Looking into this now.

Dec 03, 2012 09:00 AM

Has Odorizzi's stock fallen in the last year? He started slow in his initial run at AA in 2011, then reclaimed strong ratios early in 2012 at that level. He saw a similar decline in his initial stint in AAA in 2012. He seems like a guy that adapts pretty well. Where do you see his K/9 stabilizing at the MLB level?

Dec 03, 2012 07:22 AM
rating: 0

The under 25 list has got to be the most surprising thing in my opinion. I'm interested to know what you expect out of Perez and why Moustakas ranks ahead of Myers. In fact, on a tools comparison, I would think Perez would line up against almost any Royal hitter, especially with the defensive reports. He may not have the power, but his pure hit tool has to be at, or above anyone else in the system.

Dec 03, 2012 07:25 AM
rating: 2

So, as a prospect, Zimmer rates ahead of Starling, but, as an under-25 talent, Starling rates ahead of Zimmer? I guess I can understand the thinking, but would you please explain?

Dec 03, 2012 07:27 AM
rating: 0
BP staff member Hudson Belinsky
BP staff

There's a smaller emphasis on risk when we're talking about talent alone. I'd take Starling if we're leaving out the fact that he's miles away from tool maturation.

Dec 03, 2012 07:51 AM

That's about what I figured. Thanks.

Dec 03, 2012 08:07 AM
rating: 0
BP staff member Hudson Belinsky
BP staff

First off, this is a special group, and variations of the U25 list can and have been argued for. Moustakas' overall tool package excites me more than Myers' does. If Moose refines his tools he could be fantastic defender at the hot corner with 35 bombs per season.

Perez is a tough guy to peg. If he continues to hit like he has at the big league level thus he'll be a perennial all-star. But there's a good argument for every player being ahead of him.

-Mondesi could be a plus defender at SS with a plus hit tool and bag-swiping ability.
-Zimmer could be a #2 starter.
-Starling could break baseball with his tools. If he maximizes his tools, he's going to be one of the most exciting players in baseball.
-Myers can do it all and he plays up the middle.
-Moose has elite power and a laser arm.
-Hosmer is a legend. Insane offensive upside.

I love Perez for his defense alone. If the bat turns out to be better than average he could be special, but I'm not so sure yet.

Dec 03, 2012 07:46 AM

Great explanation, thanks a lot.

Dec 03, 2012 08:05 AM
rating: 0
Richard Bergstrom

It may be a special group, but you have a special group of busts too. Even the prospects who have made it through the majors have had quite a few warts on them. How does a guy like Gordon, who was supposed to be the next George Brett, forget to hit for a few years? Where did Hosmer's and Moustakas' bats go? etc. Sure, you expect some prospects to fail, but so many?

Don't even get me started on the Royals pitching prospects either...

Dec 03, 2012 11:10 AM
rating: 0

It's a bit early to put the "bust" label on Hosmer and Moustakas. As for Gordon, he didn't "forget to hit" for a few years. Scouts knew he has a huge hole in his swing that major league pitching would exploit. Until he demonstrated a willingness to change his swing to eliminate that hole, hitting, especially for average, was going to be a problem for him.

Dec 03, 2012 13:35 PM
rating: 0
Richard Bergstrom

Scouts appear to know that Bubba Starling has problems with his hit tool too. Shouldn't that temper his expectations? I mean, no one ever has a perfect swing or approach, but some are better than others and I imagine it's hard to go from "swing can get long and loose; struggles with pitch recognition; fastball swing; soft and spinning can beat him; " to "Overall Future Reality: 7; extreme"

Dec 03, 2012 16:17 PM
rating: -1

Presumably that's why the current problems with the hit tool are repeatedly pointed out, but the potential is there for a ridiculously good player if these issues can be resolved - thus the high OFP combined with the extreme risk.

Dec 04, 2012 02:10 AM
rating: 2

Wait, so risk isn't considered when you rank top talents under 25? Perez isn't risk free but can you really say with a straight face that if given the choice you would pick Mondesi/Zimmer/Starling/Myers over Perez. Who looks at worst like a MLB average starting catcher and could be a perennial all star?

Dec 03, 2012 19:19 PM
rating: 3

I would take Myers over Perez. I don't know if I would take Zimmer over Perez. I wouldn't take the other two.

Dec 04, 2012 02:11 AM
rating: 0
BP staff member Hudson Belinsky
BP staff

RIsk is considered minimally, but this list is mostly about talent.

Yes, I can say with a straight face that I'd pick those players ahead of Perez for a talent list. Read Jason's reports on those gentlemen; it's not a knock on Perez at all.

I love Perez and I wouldn't blink if you told me in a decade that he turned out to be a stud, but I also wouldn't blink if you told me the same about anyone ahead of him.

I respect this group's opinions. Given all the information I have to go on, this is how I chose to rank these players. There was a lot of thought put into this, and I'm sticking by those thoughts.

Dec 04, 2012 07:58 AM

Going by straight upside. I see where you are coming from. Still puzzling to essentially skip risk. But hey, it's YOUR platform, not mine. Thanks for the explanation.

Dec 04, 2012 09:29 AM
rating: 1
Richard Bergstrom

Sometimes I just think the potential should be tempered a bit.

Let's say you have a player who can hit, can take a walk, and doesn't strike out much but hasn't learned how to hit for power. Maybe, right now, he's done .300/.360/.440 after a year of A. If he learns to hit for power and maintains everythng else, he could be a .850-.900 OPS player in the mjaors.

Let's say you have another player with amazing tools, the potential to hit 50 HR, great body and all that jazz... drafted in the first round but scouts still question his hit tool and he hasn't played full season ball yet. Sure, he can learn to be a .900-.950 OPS player but he has a heck of a lot more to learn and prove before he gets there.

I still think, in that kind of case, the first player should be rated higher. It's one things to have potential to do a lot of things, but there should be a lot of credit for what's already been accomplished.

Dec 04, 2012 11:26 AM
rating: -1


If you were running the Royals, would you offer Starling to the Mets for RA Dickey?

Dec 03, 2012 07:53 AM
rating: 0
BP staff member Jason Parks
BP staff

Hell no.

Dec 03, 2012 09:58 AM

Sal Perez at #7 on the top 10 under 25 list is puzzling. Health concern?

Dec 03, 2012 07:54 AM
rating: 1

Read the above explanation to my question. It's not an insult towards Perez so much as a compliment towards the system in general.

Dec 03, 2012 08:06 AM
rating: 1
BP staff member Hudson Belinsky
BP staff


Dec 03, 2012 08:10 AM

Myers' potential as a 6 surprises me.

Dec 03, 2012 08:17 AM
rating: 0

Surprises you as too high or too low?

Dec 03, 2012 09:29 AM
rating: 0

It's hard out there for a corner guy. Still, a basically major-league-ready 6 is nothing to scoff at.

Dec 03, 2012 09:31 AM
rating: 1

Me too....the way other people talk about him, you'd think that he was a 9 prospect or something :)

Reading through the analysis, it does make sense though. And as jpaternostro commented, a major-league ready 6 is nothing to scoff at....

Dec 03, 2012 10:23 AM
rating: 1

What OFP number would Kelvin Herrera get?

Dec 03, 2012 08:44 AM
rating: 0
BP staff member Jason Parks
BP staff

Probably a 5

Dec 03, 2012 10:15 AM
BP staff member Jason Parks
BP staff

But maybe a 6. Stuff is worthy of a 6.

Dec 03, 2012 10:16 AM

Jason, I know you discussed this on the podcast (RIP) but it is slipping my mind. What is the difference between control and command (as you stated with Kyle Zimmer)?

Dec 03, 2012 10:10 AM
rating: 0
BP staff member Jason Parks
BP staff

Control is the ability to throw stikes. Command is the ability to throw quality strikes (or balls; hitting spots outside of the zone is equally important).

Dec 03, 2012 10:14 AM
BP staff member Paul Sporer
BP staff

Control is simply placing the ball in the zone. You'll see this manifest itself in someone with a low walk rate, but a home run issue. They can pound the zone, but too hittable. Command is placing the ball where you want within the zone over and over again so as to avoid both walks and home runs. Quick & dirty explanation, but I think that gets to the point. Jason will correct me if I'm way off.

Dec 03, 2012 10:18 AM
BP staff member Paul Sporer
BP staff

Not only did he beat me to it by posting as I was typing, but his explanation is more concise & better. I hate my life.

Dec 03, 2012 10:19 AM

In what seems like a perfect marrige of young teams that need eachother's strengths, Jason, doesn't it just sound like the M's and Royals need to get together to do something like a Paxton+Hultzen(Or T.Walker?) for Myers trade?

Trade rumors keep coming up including older pitchers(Dickey?? lol), and I don't understand that at all given the Royals clear peak time horizon of 2014-2017.

Dec 03, 2012 10:42 AM
rating: 0
Richard Bergstrom
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You're assuming the Mariners and Royals want to win...

Dec 03, 2012 11:34 AM
rating: -4

You're assuming teams need balance to win. Sam Miller debunked this pretty hard a few days ago. There are no bonus points for balance.

Dec 18, 2012 08:02 AM
rating: 0

Not a knock, but I was surprised Orlando Calixte did not make one of the last couple spots on this list. Scouts seem to really like his D at SS, and the bat has a fair amount of pop for a middle of the diamond guy. I came away really impressed from the 3 looks I had at him at Kane County this year.

Dec 03, 2012 13:19 PM
rating: 0
Pat Folz

Could you clarify the comment on Cheslor Cuthbert's makeup, or makeup in general? In the "Explanation of Risk" he's specifically commended for good makeup, but there are also comments on lost focus and poor conditioning. I thought makeup was, well, basically the opposite of those things -- being very dedicated to baseball and always working to improve. I don't mean to knock Mr. Cuthbert specifically, I can't imagine how difficult the professional/cultural adjustment is, but the makeup comment seems incongruous with some of the assessments of his weaknesses?

Dec 03, 2012 13:21 PM
rating: 2
BP staff member Jason Parks
BP staff

Cuthbert has good makeup; outside sources and team officials will comment on it. But he did have a setback season where he struggled on and off the field. It happens. He's very young and playing at an advanced professional level. But his quality make up should allow him to overcome these setbacks. I think there is a difference between maturity and makeup.

Dec 04, 2012 08:04 AM

Kevin Goldstein who? Great Job Jason and Staff. Jason you were down on Cuthbert over the summer, but now he is still ranked in the top 10. Is that more of a looking back and your reactions over the summer were overreactions or is it more the promise and tools are still there and it was more of the frustration at high A. Where Moose and Hosmer both sucked it up there too. Wilmington where bats go to die!!!

Dec 03, 2012 13:43 PM
rating: 1
BP staff member Jason Parks
BP staff

It's a tough place to play. Cuthbert wasn't very good in 2012, but his potential is still legitimate and worth acknowledgment.

Dec 04, 2012 08:05 AM

Thanks for the reply.. the only thing missing is a PODCAST discussing the Royals Top 10 List... I do miss up and in...

Dec 04, 2012 09:51 AM
rating: 2

It really did makes these lists that much more fun.


Dec 04, 2012 20:15 PM
rating: 0

a Moment of Silence for U&I!!!

Dec 05, 2012 08:23 AM
rating: 0

Thoughts on Giavotella? He rose on the strength of his bat, but hasn't hit in two ML trials while his glove has improved at least modestly. Can he finally put both pieces together long enough to overtake Getz, or will 2013 hold more of the same (platooning, demotion risk)?

Dec 06, 2012 11:43 AM
rating: 0
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