So the fun news out on Twitter last night was Hunter Dozier's promotion to Northwest Arkansas. This is seemingly going to present some sort of a logjam at Northwest Arkansas depending on how you either A) define a prospect or B) rank Royals prospects.
Currently at the hot corner in Northwest Arkansas is former Top-100 prospect Cheslor Cuthbert. The 21 year old Nicaraguan star shined the brightest after 2011 when he hit .267/.345/.397 and a 114 wRC+ as an 18 year old in A-ball. Since then he's struggled slightly as he's moved up the affiliate ladder and has since dropped out of the Top-100 realm.
Cuthbert has literally never played any other position, even for a game, than third base. That's interesting considering Cuthbert isn't a very good defender at third base (so far this year he's committed 17 errors in 55 games). You would figure they'd perhaps try him at first base or maybe a few games in left field, but alas, they haven't.
Okay, maybe they are going to play Dozier at SS. It's unlikely, but let's just entertain that offer. That would require Orlando Calixte, a defensive wizard/warlock/any other fantasy magician you'd like to use, off of the position. Like Cuthbert, Calixte's bat has been woe-some at times, but unlike Cuthbert his glove has been fantastic. Orlando has seen a resurgence this year with his stick though as he currently has a 128 (not park adjusted) wRC+ as a 22 year old in AA. He's hit nearly as many home runs so far in 30 games this year (6) as he did in 123 games (8) last year.
Seems like the best move would be to slide Cuthbert to first, which would in theory allow him to focus on his bat, and keep Calixte at SS.
This move would come with minimal fodder as currently manning first is 24 year old 25th rounder Mark Threlkeld. Threkeld is likely a future journeyman or AAAA player who could max out one day as a bench bat for a season or two. If you absolutely wanted to keep Threkeld in the lineup then he could DH.
Dozier has continued his success of the low minors so far this season hitting to a tune of .295/.397/.429. The power isn't as strong as you'd like it to be as far as the over the wall numbers go, but he plays in the Gettysburg of minor league parks for right handed batters.
Despite his lack of home run power Dozier has still been able to supply numbers for the calculation of the flawed slugging percentage category. Of his 66 hits so far this season 18 have been doubles. That's 27% of his hits.
On the plate discipline side of things, perhaps Dozier's strongest tool, he's sporting a 13.1 B% and 21.0 K%. The strikeouts have been up, but the walk rate is still strong.
Dozier has also swiped 7 bags so far this season just for the heck of it.
His promotion to AA has got me a'wonderin where the other 2013 first rounders are at. I personally know where every player for every team is at every level, but since you probably don't I'll fill you in.
I think we need some filters on this though. Hunter Dozier attended college. At college he played baseball. Since age-to-league relativity is in fact a thing, let's just keep this to college players.
|Overall Pick #||Name||Age||League|
Dozier is the second oldest first rounder taken that year and he joins four others from that round who are currently in AA.
Now this list is being compiled at or near the respected All-Star breaks for the minor leagues so soon we could see this list change dramatically.
Breaking down performance a little more, since that ultimately outweighs any scouting report or draft slot, here's just the hitters and their non-park adjusted wRC+.
|Overall Pick #||Name||League||wRC+|
Bryant is clearly the crown jewel of this class and it's reasonable to say he'll be the best player to come out of this draft given the information we have so far. He's done basically everything you want out of a player: .355 average, 14 BB%, .458 OBP, 22 home runs, and stolen eight bases. It has all come with a 25% K-rate which could keep him from being a .300 hitter in the majors, but no one is going to complain about him being a .280 hitter with 30+ home runs at 3B.
Moran was touted as the best pure hitter in the class, or at least on the college side, but had a slow start to his season this year.
Peterson brings almost no defensive profile, but has a solid bat. He's hit for good power and average this season, mixed with a few strikeouts, and will need to continue doing both for him to be valuable in the majors.
Renfroe was one of my favorite players in the draft last year who I would have loved at #8 for KC. Hunter had some of the best power in the 2013 draft and he's certainly flashed it with 16 home runs so far on the year. Like a lot of power hitters it has come with a high K-rate. Renfroe also offers a very strong arm out in right field.
Anderson is an athletic middle infielder who could play on either side of the bag but strikes out a little too much for someone who doesn't hit for power.
Unlike Anderson, Jagielo does hit for power, but like Anderson he strikes out a lot and can be seen chasing at outside pitches almost every game.
Ervin had a really strong pro debut where he hit for average, power, and stole 14 bases in 46 games. So far this year things have gone the other way as he's lacked the power and average while his walk rate has gone down with the k-rate going up. The impressive stolen base amount is still there as he's swiped 17 in 65 games.
Dozier has made a strong push for AA as he's hit .373/.431/.644 and a 196 wRC+ since May 30th. That includes nine multi-hit games where six of them came in consecutive games. More than 50% of his hits over than span have been home runs and doubles.
Dozier likely won't make it to Springdale for a few days given the drive from Wilmington, but his debut is much awaited for Royals fans.