The List marches on. We are starting to get to some very talented but very raw players in these rankings. We begin to see the trickles of the Royals increased investment in international scouting. The Royals have a lot of 16-19 year old players from all over world. If just one or two of them develops that will be huge. The Royals did just sign Adam Frost from the Independant League. It's really tough to know where to rank a guy like that. I would probably put him at around #45-50.
Next week we I will cover #37-30 and then we get to the Top 30 Prospects--which is where things start to get really interesting.
53-Nick Van Stratten
|2009||24||2 Teams||2 Lgs||AA-A||KCR||358||315||9||5||0||19||46||10||32||68||.276||.345||.337||.681|
The Royals have been trying to talk this guy up but I don't see it. He has no power, doesn't get on base, isn't particularly young. The Royals say his defense is amazing in center. I have two problems with that: first, I'm not sure any amount of defense if going to make up for a guy who isn't even Gathright at the plate. Second, why should we believe the Royals can properly evaluate defense? He could develop into a 5th outfielder/pinch runner. He is filling in for an injured David Lough in the AFL and is not doing great there. I'm not sure if he will start 2010 in AA or AAA but if we see him playing CF for the big league club anytime soon it will mean we are in trouble.
Here is our big international signing from 2008. We gave him $250,000. Blanco is a toolsy OF. He played CF last year in the DSL and hit 240/340/353 (as you will see, I'm not able to import tables from players who debuted in rookie ball last year) in about 200 plate appearances. He stole 8 bases, caugt 3 times and struck out 40 times. I like this kid-even though he is miles away from being ready--he was young last year even for the Domincan League. Hopefully, he'll be ready to come to the Arizona League in 2010.
The Royals signed their first Korean prospect last March. We gave Shin Jin-Ho $600,000 which was a record for our international signings at the time. Shin Jin-Ho is a 6' 3" catcher who is supposed to have power and is agile behind the plate. He was at instructional league this month in Arizona so hopefully we'll hear some news on how he looks. At this point, he's pretty much a mystery. I assume he'll probably debut in Arizona next summer.
43-Manny Pina-C--Age 22
Pina came over from the Rangers in the Dan Gutierrez trade in September. He's known as a defensive catcher who struggles with the bat. This year he got off to an amazing start at AA--with something like a 1200 OPS the first month and then returned to earth the rest of the year. He also had some crazy home/road splits--hitting much better away from home. That probably means nothing. He profiles as a backup catcher and will probably be in AAA to start 2010.
42-Ben Theriot-C--Age 21
The Royals took Ben Theriot out of Texas State in the 9th round of this year's draft. He was known as a defensive catcher--he threw out 75% of base-stealers last year in college. He got about 100 abs in Idaho Falls before getting some kind of injury. He hit 290/389/355 during that time. I think this is a kid to watch--good defense and gets on base (I know the sample size is small but he got on base at a decent clip in college). It will be interesting to see where he plays next year as the Royals have a ton of young catching--we'll see if that quantity turns into some quality.
41-Dusty Odenback-RHP--Age: 22
|2009||21||2 Teams||2 Lgs||A-Rook||KCR||2.54||17||2||39.0||1.282||8.1||0.2||3.5||7.8||2.27|
Odenback went to UCONN and was a fringy late round prospect last year until late in the year his FB went from 90 to 94MPH. He complimented that with a decent slider and suddenly he is drafted in the 8th round. He went on to have a successful debut at both Burlingtons. He is a ground ball machine and could become a valuable reliever. He will start 2010 at either Burlington, Iowa or Wilmington
|2009||21||2 Teams||2 Lgs||A-Rook||KCR||253||223||15||2||4||32||18||10||28||34||.278||.360||.417||.777|
Taylor began the year suspended for drug use--again. He ended up playing most of his time in Burlington, Iowa. This was his second go at low-A and his numbers got worse. He's got talent and he's got some on-base skills but the question is if he can get his head screwed on straight. He mainly played 3rd last year but wasn't very good over there. On talent alone, he should rank higher on this list but he seems to be squandering his talent and his opportunity. Assuming he doesn't get suspended again, he should be at Wilmington next year.
One of our big 2007 international signings. Beltre signed as a toolsy SS but he got moved to CF as his fellow international signee--Yowil Espinal--surpassed him. He is, as the numbers show, very raw. He showed some pop last year. He will probably got to Idaho Falls next year but could get a full season assigment to low-A if performs well in the spring.
Cegarra was an international signee from Venezuela. He pitched well at low-A in 2007 while being extremely young for the league. In 2008, he dominated low-A and was promoted to High-A where he was so-so. Cegarra missed 2009 with an injury--and in fact I forgot about him intially and added him in as "38b" on this list. When healthy, Cegarra has a good fastball/curve combo that he commands very well. He's a flyball pitcher so it will be important for him to keep the ball in the park. If healthy in 2010, he probably will pitch in Wilmington.
Bonilla is the oldest and most advanced of our hoard of young catchers (Bonilla, Perez, McCauley, Myers, Theriot, Jin-Ho). He needs to continue to work on his defense behind the plate but should be able to stay there--which is good because his bat probably won't play at any other position. His arm is his best defensive tool. His offensive numbers at Burlington were not very good--he needs to make more contact. He will probably start at Wilmington in 2010.