If you are a real prospect hound, then you already know what you want or need to know about Cheslor Cuthbert, Orlando Calixte and Lane Adams. In fact, just the other day, Hunter Samuels at Kings of Kaufman gave you some insight on Cuthbert.
A few posts back, I touched on how I used to pour over prospects and dream of what they would become. Not so much anymore, for a myriad of reasons. Among those is very simply that a more successful major league team holds my interest a great deal more than one that loses 106 games and makes me begin to believe that Justin Huber is going to win a major league batting title (or that a fat guy named Hernadez will be as good as the fat guy named Colon).
Anyway, here we are with three guys on the 40 man roster that have zero chance of making the major league club out of spring training and three that you should hope don’t see quality action for your Kansas City Royals during the 2015 season. That’s not a criticism of these three, just a fact of where they are and where we, as fans, want the Royals to be this year.
In Cuthbert, you have a still young (22) player who still hints at some power potential, but slugged just .413 splitting time between two hitters’ parks in 2014. He is no longer the third baseman of the future, spending time at first and even a little at second last year. There is talk of extended work at second this spring, but moving to second when one was not a very good defensive third baseman is certainly bucking tradition.
Trust me, I am not against the attempt. When the organizational depth chart is Omar Infante to Christian Colon to whatever utility infielder gets cut on March 26th, I am all for trying Cuthbert. If the bat doesn’t play at one of the corners, then it would look a lot better at second…..assuming the glove is at least better than Albert Callaspo or Esteban German. Of course, you could always try Calixte.
There is little doubt that Calixte can field: be it second, short or third. After seasons full of slick fielding alternating with a stack of erros, Calixte has limited the error total to a reasonable amount (for the minors), but it is the bat: oh the freaking bat!
Calixte’s career minor league on-base percentage is an even .300. That is ON-BASE PERCENTAGE, not batting average, not anything that equates .300 to being good. The now 23 year old flashes intriguing pop for a middle infielder who can flash the leather, but intrigue does not a major league regular make. It might make for a utility infielder. Hey, Andres Blanco has managed to make a major league living, Calixte might too.
Lane Adams, a 25 year old right handed hitting outfielder, has never been to Omaha, but he did get to have some fun last fall in Kansas City. His career minor league triple slash of .267/.344/.406 is pretty representative of his journey through the system. Adams is athletic, has very good speed and translates that into stolen bases. He can field and sort of maybe can hit. Adams ceiling might be a poor-man’s Alex Gordon or he maybe it’s just being the next Paulo Orlando.
If Alex Rios falls on his face and the baseball gods give Ned Yost a lightning bolt infusion of how to actually use a platoon, you could see Adams (or Paulo Orlando!) platooning with Jarrod Dyson, but again, if you want the Royals to make 2015 exciting that is not the scenario that makes it happen.
In the end, these are three guys that I would almost guarantee will someday log some time in the Majors (more than Lane Adams’ three at-bats). It likely won’t be this year. If you are a Royals’ fan, you better hope it is not this year.