Last Friday, we took a look into the future of the Kansas City Royals in making a prediction of the Opening Day rosters for the next five seasons. It was a fun exercise, but certainly nothing you want to take to the bank.
To begin with, we made no allowances for the players the Royals would receive in return for Zack Greinke, David DeJesus and Billy Butler. Secondly, and most importantly, the 2015 roster was made up of 24 homegrown players and Joakim Soria. We all know that no organization has ever been so good as to be able to field a competitive roster made up exclusively of their own drafted talent.
So today, we will take a look at the probability of the many prospects we used for our five years of rosters actually making it AND becoming the players we proposed they might be over the coming years.
Our 2011 Opening Day roster did not have much earth shaking information, but we do have three ‘prospect types’ that make their Opening Day debuts:
- Kila Ka’aihue – I had Kila in the Opening Day lineup for the next three seasons, hitting well enough to make Billy Butler expendable when Eric Hosmer is ready no later than mid-2012. Chances that Kila hits major league pitching and sticks at either first base or DH for the next three seasons: 35%.
- Jarrod Dyson – I had Dyson as the starting centerfielder next spring, but off the roster by the start of 2012. Chances he does indeed get the 2011 Opening Day nod: 75%. Chances Dyson holds the position all season and beyond: 10%.
- Tim Collins – We have him in the bullpen to start 2011 and pretty much becoming Soria’s primary setup man from 2012 all the way through 2015. Chances Tim does just that: 60%. Chances that Collins is a regular member of the bullpen for at least the next two to four seasons in some role: 90%.
Now, by 2012 the real prospects began to dot our roster. I had Mike Moustakas, Wil Myers and David Lough as members of the starting nine beginning in 2012.
- Mike Moustakas – My thought was that Mike would be in the majors by June of 2011 and hold down third base through 2013, when he would move to DH to accommodate Cheslor Cuthbert. Chances that Moustakas is the Royals Opening Day 2012 third baseman: 98%. Chance that Mike becomes a middle of the order impact bat: 50%.
- David Lough – I have always thought of Lough as something of ‘DeJesus-type’, but never have quite been sure if he is poor man’s DeJesus or a more talented DeJesus. At any rate, I think the actual DeJesus gets traded in 2011 and will be replaced by Lough, who should hang around for at least a couple more seasons. Chances Lough opens 2012 in the starting lineup: 50%. Chances he develops into a year in year out everyday regular: 25%.
- Wil Myers – Here’s the guy with the bat good enough that the Royals are thinking of moving him to the outfield just to get him to the majors before he can legally order a drink. Chances Myers moves to the outfield: 99%. Chances he is in the 2012 Opening Day lineup: 60%. Chances Wil Myers is that good: 70%.
The pitching staff in 2012 is littered with prospects, the majority of whom would have gotten a partial season under their belt in 2011. It is a pretty optimistic projection given that the starting rotation is Luke Hochevar (a Greinke trade has happened), three guys who have not pitched above AA and Will Smith who shouldn’t have.
- Mike Montgomery – Yes, I do have him as the number one starter in 2012 and for the three seasons after that as well. Chances we see Montgomery in KC next season: 90%. Chances Montgomery is a member of the rotation for multiple seasons: 70%. Chances Mike is an ace: 20%.
- John Lamb – I put both Montgomery and Lamb in the 2012 rotation simply because they seem to be the more sure bets than Danny Duffy and Chris Dwyer. Chances Lamb makes the Opening Day 2012 rotation: 50%. Chance that John is a rotation member from 2013 to 2015: 70%. Chances that Lamb is an ace: 25%.
- I am not going to go through this exercise for Everett Teaford, Will Smith and the bullpen guys individually. I view Teaford and Smith as guys who will bounce in and out of the rotation over the next few seasons. I would say there is a 20% chance that one of them becomes a solid number four type for multiple seasons. As for the bullpen crew of Barrera, Coleman, Hardy and Holland: pick two, then pick two more out of the organization and add a veteran free agent every year or two. On the mock rosters from Friday, I have 12 different names (not counting Soria or Tejeda) between 2012 and 2015. You could probably make a case for six or eight other arms in the system as well. Chances that half of the Royals bullpen over the next five years is homegrown: 70%.
Now we are into 2013, and the quasi-educated guessed made above are quickly deteriorating into flat stabs in the dark. I am going to touch on the big names that make their appearance on the 2013 Opening Day roster and a couple of positions that are critical for the Royals due to a lack of options in the system.
- Eric Hosmer – In what was mostly an overly optimistic projection on Friday, Hosmer might be the player that people thought I was being too pessimistic with. I would be inclined to agree, given that it is not out of the realm of possibility that Hosmer could be in Kansas City in late 2011 not April of 2013. My projection was based on Ka’aihue and Butler hitting, giving Hosmer plenty of time to develop – which was really being optimistic more than pessimistic. Anyway…. Chances Hosmer is in the lineup in April 2013: 90%. Chance that Eric is up sooner: 75%. Chances that he is a middle of the order impact bat: 50%.
- Christian Colon – Lots of questions when it comes to Colon, who might be the most important prospect of all when it comes to the Royals needing him to come through. Chances Colon sticks at shortstop for even one major league season: 60%. Chance that Christian is in the lineup before 2013: 50%.
- Bret Eibner – No one has seen enough of Eibner to know if he can even come close to being the Royals centerfielder for 2013 and beyond. Given the flaws in all the other centerfield types in the system, it would be awfully nice if Eibner could be THE guy. Chances of Eibner being an above average offensive and defensive centerfielder at some point: 25%.
- Salvador Perez – If Wil Myers is moved, Perez moves to the top of the list of Royals’ catching prospects (at least in a long-term point of view). He will move to AA for 2011 and we will see if he can build on his promising 2010 campaign. Chances Perez becomes a fixture behind the dish for the Royals: 25%.
- Danny Duffy and Chris Dwyer – On Friday, I left Dwyer out of the future simply because it would be an almost unheard of stroke of luck for all four of the Big Four to make it the majors and be effective. Perhaps I should have done this with Montgomery and Lamb as well, but we’ll run our percentages for these guys as a pair. Chances one of them makes the majors no later than 2013: 90%. Chances one of them becomes a number two/three type starter: 40%. Chances they both make the rotation and stick: 10%.
- Aaron Crow – When he was drafted a lot of us expected him to be in the majors by now instead of being, at best, the fifth best starting prospect in the Royals’ system. Chances Crow makes the majors before 2013: 50%. Chance that Aaron can stick in the rotation for multiple seasons and be effective: 33%. Chances he still develops into a top of the rotation guy: 8.738%.
Well, that is what the master computer here at Royals Authority HQ spit out, feel free to add in your odds on the above or some of the names I did not mention in today’s post.