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2008 WAR Totals of Five 2005 Draftees from www.baseballprojection.com

  1. Jay Bruce -0.2
  2. Ryan Zimmerman 0.9
  3. Troy Tulowitzki 1.2
  4. Ryan Braun 2.1
  5. Alex Gordon 3.3

Gordon's hip will not require a second surgery

According to this Mellinger report, doctors think he'll be at about 100 percent when he's back in late June/early July. Still, I'm glad he wasn't in a car accident.

Fangraphs ranks the Royals System

Overall: C- The Royals are a clear step ahead of the previous three teams, but still have an awful lot of work to do before they could ever be considered a legitimate World Series contender. Unfortunately, the moves the team has been making over the last year don’t inspire an awful lot of confidence that the team is going to make the necessary transition in philosophy, and filling out the roster with replacement level veterans is simply never going to work. With a smaller paryoll, they have to emulate the Cleveland/Oakland/Minnesota/Atlanta philosophies of getting big returns on small invetments, and right now, that’s just not happening in Kansas City. Suffice to say: Ouch.

BtBS on Three Facts about the 2009 Royals, or, R. J. Anderson is Stealing All My Best Lines

Part of a cool, efficient, season preview series at Beyond the Box Score. Worth checking out, if for no other reason than to read R. J., a relatively "neutral party," re: the Royals (he's a Rays guy, and yes, from before last season), basically echo three things I beat into the ground this whole offseason. What are those three things? You'll have to read to find out...

Top 5 Most Valuable Royals in 2008 According to Fangraphs' Wins Above Replacement

  1. Gil Meche, 4.8
  2. Zack Greinke, 4.7
  3. Mike Aviles, 4.3
  4. David DeJesus, 3.7
  5. Alex Gordon, 2.6

RBI for Fielders and the 2008 Royals

This is an interesting article by Sky Kalkman at Beyond the Box Score. His idea is to understand defensive production on an RBI scale, "which even BBWAA members can understand." That's an excessive optimism, if you ask me, but commendable nonetheless. Kudos to you on your faith in your fellow humans, Sky Kalkman (and compliments on the killer name). I came across it a couple weeks back, but for various reasons held off posting it. Obviously, it doesn't have the season's final stats, but I'm sure things haven't changed dramatically. You can read the details for how he comes about doing it in the post. He is not recommending RBI as a way to evaluate players. Here are some notes of interest for those who follow the Royals, particularly given the well-documented defensive struggles of the team this year. No Royals are on the list of players who "gain" the most "RBI" from their fielding. On the list of those whose RBI are impacted most negatively by their defense: Alex Gordon: -23. The Smirk's defensive struggles have been much-discussed this year. UZR had him as the 3rd best defensive third baseman in the AL in 2007 (Gordon was at +4, Beltre +5, Inge +12). But the problems were real. Hopefully, he's at least somewhere between both seasons. I do think that Gordon will progress enough as a hitter that his bat will be an asset anywhere. Obviously, it would be best for the Royals if he could play 3rd. Ross Gload.: -23. OMG this disproves defensive statistics OMFG!!!111 Just kidding. Fortunately, defense at first doesn't matter that much and G-Load's bat totally carries him.* * Update by Pozterisk! To go along with Royals Review's acclaimed Andy Sisco and Mark Quinn Awards, I propose that Royals Review add a Gload Glove Award, given annually to the player whose primary reason for making the is ostensibly his great defense, but actually isn't good at that, or at the very least can’t possibly still be worth having around (let alone extending). Ross Gload would (naturally) win this year, although TPJ, from most reports, would have had a shot. In most organizations, and probably KC, too, the inevitable veteran catcher brought in will win (e.g., the Law of the Defensive Backup Catcher.), but every once in a while, an exceptional man like Ross Gload comes along and surprises us all. Thoughts? Jose Guillen: -24. Note that neither Adam Dunn nor Pat Burrell make the list. Bobby Abreu, whom Rany thinks the Royals should pursue, leads this list at -47. Kalkman also generates lists of players who, when defense is taken into consideration, are the most underrated and overrated by their RBI totals. On the underrated list: Mike 'Avilanche' Aviles. Was there ever any doubt? I realize that some people on here think that I "hate" Jose Guillen. He sometimes bugs me, but I think that I've also shown that I appreciate JoGui's (limited) offensive abilities and entertainment value. I do think the signing was a mistake. What really gets me going, however, is not JoGui himself but people defending his alleged "leadership," or who say that he's one of the Royals better players this season. Um, no, he's not even close. Every decent stat shows that he's been, at best, the 4th or 5th best hitter on the Royals, and maybe not even one of KC's top 10 players. But he leads the team in RBIs, so that must mean something! Sigh. Whatever. I'm not going to repeat the criticisms of RBI as a measure of offensive skill that go back to at least Branch Rickey. Most people do have at least an understanding of defense, though... With that said, the Royals can be proud that, when Kalkman posted this, one of their own did lead the majors in something. Tied in first (with Ryan Howard) among "MLB Players Most Overrated by their RBI Totals" is the Pride of Kansas City: 2008 All-Star Final Vote Candidate Jose Guillen.

Top 5 2008 Royals Second-Half, non-September Callup Hitters by OPS+

  1. The Smirk 133 (.888)
  2. Avilanche 120 (.840)
  3. Bam Bam BIgelow 113 (.817)
  4. DDJ 109 (.792)
  5. Meredith Lucille Bluth Callaspo 106 (.778)

"Jose Guillen was pinch-hitting for…Alex Gordon. Alex Gordon, who’s hitting .280/.365/.492 again...

"Jose Guillen was pinch-hitting for…Alex Gordon. Alex Gordon, who’s hitting .280/.365/.492 against right-handed pitching. Gordon, who’s just a tick behind David DeJesus as the best hitter on the team against right-handers. With Guillen, who’s hitting .257/.275/.420 against RHP. I dare say it’s unusual to deliberately give up the platoon advantage when pinch-hitting in any situation, unless the batter is a pitcher or his dad used to manage the club but quit in the middle of the night or something. But to pinch-hit for one of your best hitters in a key situation and surrender the platoon advantage at the same time…I’m sorry, but this doesn’t add up. I suspect there is more to the story here. After the game Hillman said, "I didn’t really like the way Alex was swinging the bat today." O-kay. If you say so, Trey. Gordon walked in the first inning. He struck out in the third inning – both those at-bats against a left-hander, and we all know Gordon has had trouble against left-handers this year. Against Carrasco in the fifth, he hit a soft line drive that Cabrera caught – not a screaming line drive, but certainly one that would have gotten through for a hit had it been placed better. Miguel Olivo, to that point, had a worse game than Gordon – and he’s garbage against right-handed hitters. But for some reason Hillman decided that Gordon was the problem. There has to be more to the story here. Maybe Gordon wasn't showing enough effort, or he was insubordinate, or he made a pass at one of Hillman’s relatives. But somehow he has gotten on Hillman’s bad side. That’s the only explanation that makes sense here. Whatever the explanation is, it’s not good for Royals fans. Either we have yet another clubhouse crisis that needs to be defused, or our manager is just astonishingly stupid. There’s no way to spin this as a positive going forward. But today, it was brilliant. Rarely in the annals of Royals history has such a clearly bad move played a more significant role in helping the Royals win." Anyone else notice Rany trying to one-up RR with "Hillball?" How weak is that? We all know the proper term is "Treyball." As in, "Love that Treyball," or "*&&^% Treyball, we want COSTA NOW!"

Rany on the Royals, Royals Today: 7/20/2008

Rany: There's plenty of hope for Gordon

I'm sure most have read this article, but it's worth linking to anyway. In conjunction with NHZ's fine piece, it provides a bit of respite from the increasing anxiety regarding Captain Forearms that Royals fans are understandably feeling. Discussion? I, for one, think Rany's absolutely right on the "facial expression" thing. Moreover, I insist that The Smirk will radiate quiet confidence that unnerves opponents once It starts to rake.

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