3rd Party Account from Surprise

Although I am unfortunately stuck in the wintry blust that's mericlessly attacking the Eastern Seaboard right now, a lot of the news I have heard recently from Arizona has kept me warm.  I have a friend who has a front-office job crunching statistics for the Rangers and he relayed to me over the phone what their scouts have been buzzing about after observing our Good Ol' Boys in Blue.  He's a displaced Midwesterner like myself, so I trust that although he works for a rival team, he's been following the Royals closely.

A few things surprised me - positive comments on JDLR and Gathright - negative comments on Shealy.  And most surprisingly, the guy thinks that if Butler doesn't make the 25 man roster out of spring training, it would be foolish not to call him up by July at the latest. I kept notes during our call on each player, I apologize if they seem choppy because I'm writing this two days after our call by retyping my notes.



Greinke - Outstanding during observed bullpen session.  Filthy, hitting spots with four different pitches. No slow curves.  Never missed a spot in 30 pitches. Made it look effortless. Fastball 90-93.

Meche - Didn't see him throw, but body looks better. Scouts buzzing that his mechanics are more consistent than they ever were with Seattle.  

Dotel - Completely overpowering hitters in ST. Fastball hitting 98 at times with plenty movement. Hitting spots. Swagger (don't really remember how this came up but it's in my notes).

Soria - Came out of nowhere. Best pitcher at Surprise complex right now. Big mistake if not in rotation. Superb control. Deceptive delivery, repeats mechanics well. No fear on mound - beyond his years.

Gobble- Reports better mechanics, especially higher arm slot that's keeping his balls low. Fewer mistake pitches.  Velocity good, avg 91-93 fastball. Curveball tighter than end of 2006.

De La Rosa - Great movement, throwing hard - 93-95. Command still an issue, but missing spots in strike zone in ST instead of out. Mechanics, delivery repeating better than at end of '06.  McClure's project/baby.


Perez - Lost velocity. Hittable. Nibbling too much. Lost weight but looks fatigued on mound. Questionable whether attidude issues from Dodgers are gone.

Wellemeyer - Command/control has been horrible. Regressed to old habits. Arm slot not consistent. Off speed stuff lacking tight rotation.

Position Players


Teahen - Body looks great. Always has great attitude. Position change won't be an issue - glides in outfield. No signs of delayed recovery from surgery. More confident at plate than '06 ST. Bat speed better than ever - pulling more balls. Strike zone judgment no longer an issue. Murdering RH off speed stuff. Has added more loft to swing = more power.

Gathright - Hungry for roster spot. Still no power, never will be, but more controlled at plate than in past, working counts. Speed as good as ever. Jumps in outfield noticeably better than in past.  

Butler - Possibly best hitting approach he's seen at the plate for any 20 year old. Gap to gap power. Incredible bat control, quick wrists. Pitch recognition better than most veterans, never looks foolish. Quick adjustments. Reminds scout of right handed Travis Hafner with more patience at plate at his age. Hitting well enough to break camp on the roster.

Gordon - Star in the making. Reminds scout of young Mark Teixeira at plate. Defense better than scouting reports - cannon arm, with accuracy. Great footwork in field. Better athlete than scouting reports. No holes in swing - can't be fooled. Lays off breaking stuff well. Mashes fastballs. Doesn't reach. Veterans' balance at plate. Smart baserunner - long strides. 5-tool talent with instinct.


Shealy - Lost bat speed from end of '06 - swing too long. Reaches too much. Inconsistent uppercut. Pounds mistake pitches but can be exposed by good pitchers. Range in field terrible.

Berroa - Slimmed down, but no results. No confidence. Questionable desire. Looks lost at plate. Still no pitch recognition. Easily fooled. Tweaking with swing too much.  Bat speed worse than ever. Footwork slightly improved in field from end of '06, but lost range. Miraculous drop off in speed does not help mediocre field awareness. Still possesses strong arm but due to loss of range can't position himself well in field. Seems like he doesn't react well to competition. Baseball skills never quite there, tools have diminished remarkably.  

Sanders - Aged. Speed not there - doesn't seem fully recovered from off-season surgery. No longer base-stealing threat. Decreased bat speed = decreased power. Jammed inside easily all spring. Noticeable hitch in swing, possibly from adjustments to try to make up for lost bat speed. Field ok. Good recognition off the bat but speed will continue to diminish.

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.