In 2012, the Kansas City Royals failed to make the postseason for the 27th consecutive season. Kansas City is starved for good teams, and the Royals are the flagship example for a city whose baseball and football teams have combined for 1 playoff victory in the last 20 years. This is why it makes it so hard to watch the Cardinals baseball magic and endure the insufferable arrogance that so many St. Louis fans seem to exude. Why can’t it be us?
It can’t be us because of one man and his staff: Dayton Moore. In a series of articles I hope to highlight Dayton Moore’s incompetence in a number of different areas and argue that Dayton Moore will never lead the Royals to sustained excellence. Therefore, I believe that Dayton Moore should be fired immediately.
Here is part one.
As we all know, Dayton Moore has put huge emphasis into the draft. Under the previous collective bargaining agreement, there was no cap to the draftee signing bonus. Moore convinced Glass to open up his pocketbook and spend on the draft, as it is the only way for a small market team like the Royals to begin winning on a consistent basis. The farm system was rated in the beginning of 2011 as the best farm system in baseball.
Unfortunately, Dayton Moore and his team has been unable to develop talent from the draft. The year 2013 will be his seventh full year, making his full tenure 7 and ½ years long. This is the full list of Dayton Moore position player draftees and their career fWAR who have played in the majors:
Eric Hosmer, 0.5
Mike Moustakas, 4.2
Johnny Giavotella, -0.8
David Lough, 0.2
Clint Robinson, -0.1
That’s a combined 4.0 WAR. Not great. What’s also not great is the fact that Moose’s 2012 season compromises 87.5% of that number. A season in which Moose hit .242/.296/.412 compromises almost 90% of Dayton’s draftee WAR. Oh, and there’s the slight fact that Moose and Hosmer have combined for a .256/.305/.404 triple slash in 2140 Pas. But surely there’s nothing to worry about because Moose and Hosmer are good players and Myers is right around the corner, right? I'm sure Myers will be great from day one.
Here’s a full list of starting pitchers and their fWAR as drafted by Dayton Moore:
Danny Duffy, 1.1
That’s right, folks, Dayton Moore has drafted one starter who has started a game in the major leagues. In other words:
Dayton Moore has not drafted one above average position player or starter pitcher in the draft in six full seasons.
You can argue with me that Moose acquired 3.5 WAR this year which is above average, and I would tend to agree with you if not for the massive swing in UZR/150 from 1 in 2011 to 15.2 this year, and the fact that a .301 OBP starter is unacceptable. You can also argue that the starters have a potential to become above average players next year and that more time is needed to evaluate. At a certain point, though, one must evaluate on performance, and the record speaks against Moore at this point. (Yes, yes, Moore did get Salvador Perez, but he did not draft him, and therefore should be judged differently. I’d also like to point out that Perez is the only international Moore signee to reach the major leagues in six full seasons anyways.)
Moore’s cupboard has become very bare. He has saved Wil Myers for this upcoming year, but I don’t think Myers will succeed out of the gate, as one only has to look at the performances of Moose and Hosmer. Christian Colon might also make the majors, but his ceiling is decidedly much lower than the Big Three. Meanwhile, Dwyer and Montgomery continue to flounder. Their success at the major league level is exceedingly remote.
I look forward to hearing debate on this topic. I purposefully began with this because it is likely the weakest of the coming arguments because of the potential for greatness that still exists somewhat. However, I do think that Moore’s position of a “great drafter of major league ballplayers” is a myth that is false until proven otherwise.