The MLB team is still boring.
With Moustakas, Hosmer, Montgomery, Lamb, Dwyer and Myers, the Royals have 6 players that are consensus Top 50 prospects (and if each has a second half that resembles their first half, they could easily all wind up in the Top 25). Though even elite prospects sometimes fail, each of these players is more likely than not to contribute at the MLB level. With these 6 elite prospects leading the farm system and considerable depth following, it's safe to say that younger Royals teams are ahead. The wins may or may not ever come around, but a younger team should at least be more fun to follow.
So when might this crop of younger talent reshape the MLB team, and what sort of contribution should we expect from them in their early years? Here are some guesses (in order of arrival):
Moustakas: Debuts with the MLB club in June 2011 after his service time is sufficiently gamed. Shows little patience early in his careeer, resulting in few walks, but compensates for the lack of walks with excellent bat speed that suppresses his strike out numbers. Low strikeout totals allow him to hit for good average given his power stroke. Will display 15-20 HR power for his first couple years, but could improve on those totals if he's able to become more patient at the plate.
Rookie line: .270/.315/.440
Montgomery: Finishes 2010 healthy and starts 2011 in AAA. Gets a lot of press in Spring Training and rumors suggest he may start the season in the Majors. Heads to AAA to game his service time till June. Finds immediate success when he is called up, striking out 6.5 batters per 9 innings while walking only 3. In 200 professional innings to date, Monty's given up a grand total of 4 HRs. He'll continue to enjoy (reduced) success at the MLB level in limiting HRs, and will finish 2011 as the Royals most promising rookie.
Rookie line: 6.5 K/9, 3 BB/9, 4.0 FIP
Hosmer: Begins 2011 in Omaha with AAA club and earns promotion to Kansas City in August 2011a couple months ahead of his 22nd birthday. Hosmer shows natural patience at the plate, and despite having a slightly longer swing is able to keep his strikeout numbers relatively low with excellent bat control and hitting to all fields. Will have natural power, but won't match Moustakas's HR totals initially. Will combine patience with line-drive stroke and limited strikeouts to both hit for good average and churn out high walk rates. Could show Billy Butler-like development at the plate.
Rookie line: .280/.340/.440
Dwyer: Finishes 2010 with the AA club and begins 2011 in Omaha. Continues to improve command and earns call-up in September of 2011. Moore decides the time is right to make a run in 2012, and calls up Dwyer from AAA when the schedule necessitates a 5th starter rather than gaming service time. Piles up strikeouts in his rookie season with heat from the left side, but is less successful than teammate Montgomery in limiting walks.
Rookie line: 6.5 K/9, 4 BB/9, 4.5 FIP
Lamb: Earns late-season promotion to AA in 2010, and spends the greater half of 2011 in NWA before being promoted to AAA. Begins 2012 in Omaha, and reaches the Majors in July when injury or underperformance opens a spot for him in the starting rotation, conveniently gaming his service time. Lamb enjoys young-Greinke-esque success in his rookie season with promising strikeout numbers but even better walk prevention.
Rookie line: 6.2 K/9, 2.5 BB/9, 4.3 FIP
Myers: Finishes 2010 in High-A. Sticking at catcher delays his advancement through the system, and he spends all of 2011 in AA despite having the best bat in the system. Begins 2012 in AAA, and earns call-up to the MLB team in August as the team tries to stay in the playoff hunt. Bat is immediately a great asset at the catching position, and he shows good power and plate discipline upon arrival owing to his slowed advancement through the minor leagues.
Rookie line: .275/.330/.440
Whew, that took a while.....I wouldn't count on any of those things to happen.....Anyway, it's more fun to think about than Pods's caught stealing numbers piling up. When do you think these players will hit the MLB scene and what kind of numbers do you think they'll put up when they arrive?