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Kevin Goldstein Ranks the Royals System 16th Overall

Goldstein pegs the Royals at 16th, right in the middle of the pack, though up from last season's rank of 22nd:

16. Kansas City Royals
Last Year's Ranking: 22
Why They Might Be Better Than This: We haven't seen what Eric Hosmer is capable of in a full season; Kila Ka'aihue's tremendous 2008 campaign was for real; young arms like those of Tim Melville, Daniel Gutierrez, and Mike Montgomery provide plenty of cause for optimism.
Why They Might Be Worse: Mike Moustakas might not really be an infielder; Daniel Cortes' inconsistency continues to frustrate; after the big two sluggers in the system, their team is rail-thin as far as position players.
Outlook For 2010: The Royals don't have a top three pick for the first time in five years, but even the 12th overall pick should net them a significant talent; they have so many young players with room for growth that it's hard to see them moving anywhere but up next year.

Where do you put your beloved Royals?

  • At 16th, the Royals now rank ahead of every single division rival, save the Indians, who are obviously over-rated, because Shapiro is too much of a stats guy and wasn't reared in the Braves system. Goldstein rates the Twins at 20th, the White Sox at 24th and the Tigers at 27th.
  • Longtime readers will know that I'm a staunch Twins hater, but it's hard to say that the Royals have now necessarily passed the Twins, who in the last two season's have promoted a ton of young players out of their system, which understandably is now a little thin.
  •  We may not have fully realized it, but Dayton Moore, as hinted at by Goldstein, has officially entered the second phase of his rebuild. Hosmer and Moustakas are top prospects and the foundations of the future, but they were also top three picks. To a certain extent, a blogger with a Baseball America subscription could have drafted them from his mother's basement. As the Royals fall back to the middle of the pack (in draft order) Dayton's top picks will reflect a more complicated matrix of risk/reward and signability.

So, tell me what you think, since many of you know more about this stuff than I do.