Home: Schwenskville, PA
Drafted: 2003 #5 Overall
PA HR K/BB SB vs CS BA/OBP/SLUG
'04 537 9 104/43 16 11 275/336/414
'05 581 28 131/38 14 1 301/349/554
'06 613 15 112/72 11 7 282/369/475
'07 WIC 274 8 43/28 3 5 292/359/475
Baseball Prospectus lists two comparables as Grady Sizemore and Carlos Beltran. Some players have emerged from the 2003 draft as big leaguers thus far. A few interesting picks taken after Chris include Aaron Hill, SS for the Jays with good pop in his bat (#13 overall). Also, Braves catching prospect Jarrod Saltalamacchia was taken in the supplemental round. (After Mitch Maier I might add)
But anyways, I'm not concerned with the pick of Lubanski at #5. He was called the premier high school hitter in the northeast, and his combination of size and speed must have been incredibly alluring to scouts. After the draft many said that he was a CF in the mold of Johnny Damon. That has proven to be a little off base as Chris's speed has not panned out how many hoped. It has also been said that Chris has "good makeup". This quality among draftees' seems to becoming a positive trend in the Royals organization.
Looking at his numbers, the most encouraging thing I see is his K/BB. Despite 2004 to 2005, his plate discipline looks to have really improved. It is also noteworthy that Chris is still only 22. He played last year at Wichita a full year younger than Alex Gordon. This makes me very optimistic. We would all love to see Chris replicate something similar to his HR explosion in hitter friendly High Desert. I still thank that in the next 2-3 years he could develop into a plus plus power hitter. It will be very interesting to see how Chris responds to AAA pitching. I'll also be looking at who's batting around him in the lineup. It is clear that Wichita has become a black hole this year as nearly all "prospects" have moved up to the O Royals club. If he can maintain his plate discipline, I think that Chris could potentially hit as many as 15-18 HR's during the second half in a better Omaha lineup.
Longterm, I look for Chris to crack the big leagues sometime in 2008 and be the Royals starting LF come opening day 2009 at 24 years old.
To finish, a scout told BP in 2006 that, "There's no prospect with a less certain future; Lubanski might become a superstar or he might become Todd Dunwoody." Only time will tell. I'd love to read comments about what you guys think about Chris's future, and especially the future outfield of the Royals.
Some Chris Lubanski links:
http://www.omaha.com/index.php?u_page=3923&u_sid=10071034 - Omaha World Herald story
http://video.aol.com/video-detail/id/2954289410 - Talks about "Skill Show"
http://www.chrislubanski.net/fanclub.htm - An invitation to join his fanclub
http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/PN/public/BtCheck.cfm?txtType=HTM&sessYr=2003&sess Ind=0&billBody=S&billTyp=R&billNbr=0104&pn=0923 - The Pennsylvania State Senate issues a formal congratulation to Chris after being drafted