I am new to Royals Review and having reread this post I've realized that it is overly negative, and that is not the direction my future posts will take, but this is what happens sometimes when your mind gets going. I'm currently studying in the hell hole that is Newcastle, Australia where it's 3:18 A.M. so I apologize in advance for the rant which is about to transpire..
The Kansas City Royals don't need their AAA ballclub in from our little brother, Omaha. Seriously. The Royals in recent years have completely and I mean completely ignored all contributions their AAA players have been making to their club.
The Royals have become a "direct high draft pick AA to the bigs" pipeline. Alex Gordon made the big jump most recently and famously. AAA has become the "if one or our catchers has a baby and we need a back up" team. (Belated Congrats to Mr. Buck) What I am saying is hell if we aren't going to even pay attention to the team, and if KC only needs a player to occasionally sit on the bench we might as well bring up a AA player or hell some kid from Blue Valley West.
What does a player in Omaha have to do to get called up and play for the big club? I'm sure Craig Brazell is still wondering in Japan. (How funny is it that the Royals have been prolifically poor power hitting franchise while Omaha has had some of the best power hitters in the Minors) It would have been nice to have some of his 32 homers come be for the big club. Mike Aviles finally got the call up but will he ever see the field for a consistent playing time? I doubt it. It's not like guys from AAA would be replacing the irreplaceable. Tony Pena is not making major dollars and is not hitting particularly well. Mike Aviles is hitting quite well in AAA and will probably never get the shot to see if that translates in the Majors. What if Aviles is the middle infielder who can actually hit the Royals have been desiring since...I don't even know who the last was, Greg Gagne maybe?
The Royals seem to be so invested in their current players that they are afraid to make changes. Why? The Royals have a core group who has played in the big leaugues for multiple seasons, non of which have been at a high level. Honestly the young player with the best year in the bigs is in AAA playing SS. Teahan has underperformed. Gathright...well I like him sitting on the bench as the 4th outfielder so he can stay. Buck is consistently a poor hitter. Gordon and Butler have less service time and more potential, although I hate the word potential, and I will not go after them for the time being. If a player consistently underperforms in the majors while a player consistently overperforms in AAA shouldn't the club at least look at the switch. Why is Tony Pena so near and dear to the Royals hearts, simply because he put on the big clubs uniform before Mike Aviles. And that is stupid.
AAA has become a zone where no player wants to go. AAAA was once the label for a player who was not good enough for the majors but too good for AAA. That is no longer the case. If a player even plays AAA he is looked at as a decent player, but doesn't have that superstar potential. What the hell is up with that! Hello!!! The Royals have ZERO superstars! No player on our roster will become one! Our offense is filled with below average hitters! If AAA has players who right now could hit for a higher average but were deemed by some scout in 1999 to have less of an upside than Ross Gload was in 1989 I don't care! My goodness when will this team realize that just because years ago one player was not sought after, but this player was a number one pick eventually means nothing. If you give no rewards to successful players in the form of promotion, then why even have the club. I find current minor league stats much more compelling than scouting reports from high school. If a A ball player is dominating, AA should be the next step and so on. Just because a player was a high draft pick doesn't mean he should get an easy pass to the big leagues. Who cares about money invested!! The best players should play.
Mitch Maier is having an excellent year as is Shane Costa. Billy Butler just flat out should not be in AAA but that is a different story.
Everyday I wake up and say a prayer that the Royals have traded David DeJesus, Mark Teahan, Ross Gload, TPJ, John Buck and Grudz for a player. Others will get bent out of shape about this comment, but the truth is non of their stats are spectacular and most are below average. But because we hold our players to such a low offensive standard that batting .275 with 11 homers is a Royals Player of the Year season.
If we traded ALL those players for just ONE player with power, how could our team be anything but better. Who cares if we lose Teahan, Maier is now in the OF probably doing better than Teahan was before him. German or Callapso is now at second. Butler is back at first and Costa can DH or OF. Olivo is now the starting catcher. Berroa can be the new backup infielder.
Because the Royals have plenty capable guys to fill their spots in AAA, why not try and create an opportunity to get a truly above average player with our expendable talent.
Hell even Angel is hitting for average and power again. Do you ever think Pena will be as good as his counterpart in AAA? I don't. The front office got so mad at Angel for not being more disciplined at the plate that they forgot to realize that he is still better than TPJ!!! Do you think Mark Teahan will hit more home runs than any of the outfielders in Omaha? I don't. I'm completely rambling now, but it is frustrating to see good performances wasted because of over commitment to certain players for whatever reason.