Here are a few notes from around the Minors for the Royals:
--As you know, the Royals spent around $1.3 million to sign Chelsor Cuthbert--who was ranked Baseball America's #7 international prospect. That blew away the Royals record for most spent on an int. signing (I think Jin Ho-Shin--the Korean catcher we signed this year had the record at $600,000). Also it blew away the most spent on a Nicaraguan prospect. Nicaragua is not exactly a baseball hotbed like the DR, so its possible the Royals got hosed in an emerging market (the week before the signing period, the rumors were Cuthbert would get around $700k--signing bonuses in the international market are skyrocketing) or they got a great prospect flying a little below the radar. Cuthbert is supposed to be a man-child with plus power--but I've heard conflicting thing about the bat. I've heard conflicting things about the glove--that he could be a good defender at 3rd or that he will end up in a corner OF position. Cuthbert and Shin should both be instructional league in the Fall.
JJ Picollo had a chat with fans the other day (I think Retro posted a link). A few nuggets from that session:
--When asked to compare Cuthbert to a major leaguer--Piccolo drops an Adrian Beltre on us. First, Beltre is infamous for lying about his age--only he was younger than he claimed when he signed with the Dodgers--he was 15! He was a huge prospect coming up through the minors--made his MLB debut at 19--was a disappointment with the Dodgers until he had a huge contract year and cashed in with the Mariners and has been somewhat underappreciated in his time in Seattle. I found it a very interesting comparison.
--When asked the pitching prospect he was most excited about he listed Dan Duffy
--Still says he's high on Derrick Robinson and that they think his bat will come around since he is one of the youngest players in the Carolina League--compares to a young Coco Crisp (you know, I think I left Robinson off the last Prospect Pulse by accident--I'm down on him but not so far down that he wouldn't make the Top 50)
--Mentions LHP Brandon Lafferty at Idaho Falls as someone that has surprised and impressed them
On the draft front:
--Still no news on Aaron Crow but apparently his agent will be on 810 tomorrow AM. I had hoped he would sign by now. I probably sound like a broken record but he needs innings. I'm sure he'll get some in the Arizona Fall League but it just seems like pitchers who are out for a year are out of whack for awhile and need to time to readjust.
--As has been mentioned in fan shots/posts, it looks like 3rd rounder Will Myers and 4th rounder Chris Dwyer have agreed to contracts but Bud won't sign off on them because they are way above slot (my guess: Myers a little less than $2 mil, Dwyer $1.4). So they will be announced on August 17th. But don't worry, they are in the fold.
A few other things:
--We traded Tyler Lumsden for Jordan Parraz. Well, Parraz who has been tearing up AA was batting vs. Lumsden who has been very Lumsdenesque this year and Lumsden hit him and Parraz is now out for awhile. Hopefully he will be back soon.
--Jeff Bianchi has cooled down some but still has a 982 OPS at AA
--Tim Melville had his best start of the year a few days ago: 6ip 2h 1r 2w 7k
--2008 3rd round pick Tyler Sample was moved up from AZ Royals to the Burlington Royals (not to be confused with the Burlington Bees)
--Just a hunch: Eric Hosmer is about to get really hot (I wrote this before he went 2-4 Thursday)
--Mike Montgomery had another great start last night
--If the season ended today, the Royals would have the 6th overall pick in the draft.