It has been a rough season for Dayton Moore. He unexpectedly found Mike Moustakas without a suitor and brought him back in the fold, along with a few other free agents on very cheap deals, hoping to be reasonably competitive this year. Instead, the bottom dropped out and the team has been the second-worst in baseball, on a near-historically bad pace.
This has allowed Moore to pursue a rebuild full-tilt now, and he has begun the process by dealing veterans Jon Jay and Kelvin Herrera. The Jay deal was met with praise, but the Herrera trade seemed more underwhelming considering the market for relievers. In the next few weeks he is expected to trade Mike Moustakas, and Whit Merrifield could possibly be dealt as well.
The Royals were flush with the biggest draft bonus pool in baseball, and they used that to go overslot on 18th overall pick Brady Singer, named the top player in college baseball. It was a very college-heavy draft, perhaps signalling the Royals want to accelerate the rebuild.
The team has begun their international signing period by inking the #18-ranked prospect, according to Baseball America, and they already took advantage of the Braves’ scandal by signing two of their players that were made free agents.
The much-beleaguered farm system has seen a few prospects take big steps this year. Seuly Matias is perhaps the most prolific home run hitter in the minors this year, although his strikeout rate is still very high. Khalil Lee has earned a promotion to AA after a good start, but his power has yet to materialize this year, albeit in a tough hitting environment. Nicky Lopez continues to impress as he skyrockets through the system. M.J. Melendez still shows a lot of promise.
However 2017 first-round pick Nick Pratto has had an inconsistent performance this season and there is a complete lack of pitching in the organization right now. The poor performance by the Major League squad hasn’t allowed the Royals to get a look at many young prospects, because there simply isn’t much at the upper levels.
Off the field, Dayton Moore has had a controversial season. He faced some backlash and mocking for his anti-pornography program for players, then faced a barrage of criticism for his very public consideration of convicted child molester and top college pitcher Luke Heimlich. He has also been very active in the Kansas City Urban Youth Academy that opened this year.
This has been a very critical first year of the rebuild. Dayton Moore has shepherded this franchise from the darkness to a championship before, but do Royals fans trust he can do it again? The man has a championship ring that will immunize him, or at least dampen much of the criticism against him, but a protracted rebuild process over many years could chip away at his legacy.
Do you approve of the job Dayton Moore is doing overall?
Do you approve of the job Dayton Moore is doing?
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