The Royals and Homegrown Talent

The homegrown talent that Dayton Moore has stockpiled is intriguing, isn't it? With some key players already producing (Moustakas, Perez, Holland, Crow, Herrera), a future Hall of Famer just waiting for his time to shine (Hosmer), and big time prospects waiting in the wings (Myers, Odorizzi, Carl) the future looks bright. Even with all this talent, it is abundantly clear that our esteemed general manager will have to supplement his in house talent with players developed by one of those other twenty nine franchises that pale in comparison to the Royals when it comes to tradition.

With this being the case, I thought a fun exercise would be to look at where the players since 2000 who have provided a positive WAR number while wearing a gorgeous Royals uniform have come from. As of yet, I have only crunched the numbers for the Royals over the last thirteen seasons of disappointment. (Hey, what about 2003? NEVER FORGET!) In a time yet to be determined, I will go over the WAR numbers for the other franchises around the league to see how the Royals compare. For now though I've just got the numbers for the Royals, and here they are.

Year Record Positive WAR Total Homegrown Positive WAR Homegrown WAR %

2012 38-51 22.4 14.1 61.57%

2011 71-91 41 19.6 47.80%

2010 67-95 29.7 15.8 53.19%

2009 65-97 32.9 17.5 53.19%

2008 75-87 34.5 16.5 47.82%

2007 69-93 31.5 6.0 19.04%

2006 62-100 31.9 5.5 17.24%

2005 56-106 24 15.3 63.75%

2004 58-104 24.9 13.7 55.02%

2003 83-79 34.5 21.4 62.02%

2002 62-100 31.6 20.3 64.24%

2001 65-97 30.1 18.9 62.79%

2000 77-85 36.8 21.7 58.96%

So, what does it all mean? The easiest and most obvious observation is that the Royals will never be able to win with a completely homegrown team. This is a pretty easy observation, but with the reservations most of us have about Moore's ability to bring in the right talent from outside the organization, a troubling one nonetheless. It will be interesting to see what more successful franchises in the same area resource wise as the Royals have done, but that will have to wait. The franchises that come to mind worth looking at will be the early 2000s Athletics and Twins, and the current wave of success the Rays are riding. For now, I have a couple observations.

#1: Allard Baird really let himself go.

For all the complaining done about the job Moore has done as general manager in Kansas City, at least the minor league system is producing talent at the big league level. After six years with Baird at the helm, he had only David DeJesus and Jimmy Gobble to show for his efforts in the draft and international signings. Six years without Baird around and this is still mind boggling. How was Baird so incompetent when it came to drafting and developing? One has to imagine the budget that David Glass laid out for Baird was somewhat responsible, but it is still shocking to see a farm system produce that little talent. What is interesting about Baird is that it would seem if you could mix his skill for low priced free agent signings and Moore's skill at drafting players, you just might have a winning team in Kansas City. Sadly, current science has only taken us so far and this isn't possible yet, but we can dream.

#2: The "Dayton Moore only has Baird's players to show for himself" line doesn't hold much water anymore.

Sure, Alex Gordon and Billy Butler are nice neon lights still flickering from the Baird regime, but the talent Moore has brought in is burning brighter now. While it might still be true that Baird's players are still the two best players on the Royals, they are all that is left to show from the Baird era. In 2012, of the 14.1 positive WAR produced by homegrown Royals, 67.38% of it comes from players developed by Moore. The sad part of this little factoid is that the Royals are still terrible now that the majority of talent is players developed in Moore's system. Even so, the idea that Moore is using mostly Baird players needs to die. The thought still had some credence in 2011 when 47.96% of the Royals homegrown WAR came from Baird players, but it 2012 is a new animal. At this point Moore is going to sink or swim with his guys, plus two guys from the Baird regime.

Other than those two observations, I don't have much to conclude here without looking at how franchises that win go about constructing their roster. Overall, it seems that under Moore the Royals are seeing a steady increase in the amount of positive WAR that homegrown players are producing. Baird saw a similar increase but quickly saw that talent disappear as it ended up being inept at the major league level. The same thing can obviously happen to Moore as it is not guaranteed that his current and future waves of talent will amount to anything while in Kansas City, but we can all hope that this won't be what the future holds.

Fun Facts

  • Former Royals great Brian Anderson was the #3 overall pick by the California Angels in the 1993 amateur draft. Anderson had an okay career and all, but I was shocked to see he went that high when he came out of the famed program at Wright State. The Royals took Jeff Granger fifth overall in that draft.
  • The Royals have had a player developed by the Braves produce positive WAR for them in every year since 2000. See, Moore isn't obsessed with former Braves, David Glass is.
  • Dynamite is sometimes made from peanuts. Peanut oil can be processed to produce glycerol, which can be used to make nitroglycerin, which is used to make dynamite.

This FanPost was written by a member of the Royals Review community. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the editors and writers of this site.

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