The Royals' strength, obviously, is pitching. It is evident in the major leagues, and is evident in the Top 10 Prospect lists that are strewn around the internets. GMDM's strong point, without doubt, is discovering pitching, and he has turned our major league staff (and minor league pitching pipeline) from arguably the worst in the majors to a top-half-of-MLB collective unit. This is all well-and-good, obviously, but no matter how good the pitching is, the offense will have to score runs.
And while we have some nice, young pieces in the majors (Gordon, Butler, DDJ, Guillen) and a couple of top draft picks, assuming Hosmer signs, that figure to be cornerstones of the future (Moustakas, Hosmer), the offensive depth of our minor league system is pretty putrid.
Going off of OPS, which I understand isn't perfect with park rates and such but it is the best I can do with MiLB statistics, here is how each of our seven minor league teams has fared thus far this season compared to the rest of their league (admittedly, for the three rookie short-season leagues it is early to make too much of a conclusion from the data, but whatevs):
|AA||Northwest Arkansas Naturals||60||7th||.329||7th||.371||8th*||.701||8th*|
|A-Adv.||Wilmington Blue Rocks||30||8th*||.329||5th||.357||8th*||.686||8th*|
|R||Idaho Falls Chukars||6||8th*||.309||8th*||.355||8th*||.664||8th*|
That is not promising information, at all. Baby Burlington and Idaho Falls are downright putrid on offense, while Wilmington and NWA are almost as bad.
I guess the point of this all is to question whether there is enough offensive firepower in the minors to be added to our plethora of pitching and form a contender in the near future. I mean, we can obviously trade for offensive talent and can sign some FA's, but the scariest part of this all is all of the lower-level teams, the rosters that are stocked with GMDM's draftees and signees, are doing pretty poorly. He needs to be able to draft offensive talent beyond first rounders (and even Moustakas isn't lighting the world on fire) for us to truly take the next step forward and become a perennial .500ish team in the AL Central.
This is open for discussion; I think this could be a big problem in the future of the Royals organization, if we can't have at least some semblance of an offensive force throughout our minors.