What will the Royals of the future look like? Here's my best guess:
3B: Cuthbert (2-time all-star by this point)
Now the pitchers.
As you can see, we don't have a lot of the team of the future in the system right now.
The Royals management decides to call up every worthwhile prospect during the 2011 and 2012 seasons as they make a push for the World Series. Service times be damned, Moore is under too much pressure to save his job and win now. It works, and Clint Robinson hits the game winning homerun in Game 7 of the 2014 season. Yay.
Now back to the team of the future. Without knowing who is extended, the only Royals currently in the minors that make it to the big leagues are Cuthbert, Antonio, and Crow.
Cheslor Cuthbert rises steadily through the system as there is no real rush for him to make it quickly, making year long stops at Burlington and Wilmington. He absolutely mashes the ball in NWA, and stops in Omaha before making his debut late in 2014. He starts 2015 in Omaha, gaming his service time, and splits time with Mike "bigger-bust-than-Alex-Gordon" Moustakas. He makes the all-star team in 2016 and 17. Cuthbert poops his pants when he's anointed the next George Brett.
Michael Anotonio is forced to move to 2B as his defense does not develop, but he is able to get on base and steal bases at a great clip. He makes his debut with the Royals in 2015 when the Royals release Mike Aviles (who has two more Tommy John surgeries).
Aaron Crow is demoted to Burlington, then to Idaho Falls, then to R Burlington before things finally click. He rises slowly through the system, spending an adequate amount of time at each level so as not to be rushed, before making his major league debut in 2015.
I realize the giant hole in my analysis which has been harped upon dozens of times here: all prospects do not work out (see: Maier, Mitch). You hit and you miss. I do not think 90 percent of these guys will make it.
Therefore, I think it would be fair to say that at LEAST one of the players I listed above will not make it to the Royals major league team. Sorry Anotonio, but your time is up. Might as well hang up the cleats.
Hopefully, Dayton Moore fills this need soon. I don't really care how; the draft, trades, free agency, or international signings, we need to be thinking about the future.
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