Kansas City Royals Top 20 Prospects for 2009

All grades are EXTREMELY PRELIMINARY and subject to change. Don’t get too worried about exact rankings at this point, especially once you get out of the top 10. Grade C+/C guys are pretty interchangeable depending on what you are looking for.

1) Mike Moustakas, 3B, Grade A-: I put him ahead of Hosmer right now since he’s played pro ball and performed well.

2) Eric Hosmer, 1B, Grade A-: Nothing wrong with Hosmer, I think he’ll be excellent.

3) Kila Ka’aihue, 1B, Grade B: A tough grade, but I think his breakthrough this year was mostly for real. Could rank anywhere from 3 to 8 depending on how you value pitching vs. hitting.

4) Daniel Cortes, RHP, Grade B: A solid all-around pitching prospect.

5) Carlos Rosa, RHP, Grade B: A solid all-around pitching prospect.

6) Daniel Duffy, LHP, Grade B: Great stats. Worried about fly ball tendency and perhaps durability.

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7) Michael Montgomery, LHP, Grade B: Strong debut.

8) Tim Melville, RHP, Grade B: Want to see some pro numbers before ranking higher.

9) Johnny Giavotella, 2B, Grade B-: Good numbers right out of college.

10) Dan Gutierrez, RHP, Grade B-: Sleeper.

11) Blake Wood, RHP, Grade C+: Great arm, Double-A troubles hurt ranking.

12) Joseph Dickerson, OF, Grade C+: Future fourth outfielder? May still have enough upside to move beyond that.

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13) Adrian Ortiz, OF, Grade C+: Hits for a high average, lots of speed, but still very raw for a college guy.

14) Tyler Sample, RHP, Grade C+: Very high upside, horrible numbers.

15) Chris Nicoll, RHP, Grade C+: Relief sleeper for 2009.

16) Matthew Mitchell, RHP, Grade C+: Good command, stuff may be marginal.

17) Jose Bonilla, C, Grade C+: Promising but a long way off.

18) Kelvin Herrera, RHP, Grade C+: Promising but a long way off.

19) Alexander Caldera, RHP, Grade C+: Throws strikes, stuff?

20) Mitch Maier, OF, Grade C: Should be a reasonable fourth/fifth outfielder. Age prohibits higher grade.

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There are 18 other players who will probably be included in the 2009 Baseball Prospect Book, currently rated at Grade C: Juan Abreu, Greg Atencio, Jeff Bianchi, Ed Cegarra, Gilbert de la Vara, Brent Fisher, Chris Hayes, Blake Johnson, Matt Kniginyzky, John Lamb, Devon Lowery, Chris Lubanski, Julio Pimentel, Jared Plummer, Derrick Robinson, Sam Runion, and Jason Taylor.

If there is someone else that you really think should be included, make your case. I always miss someone. Space is limited and some of the players above will probably get cut.

SYSTEM IN BRIEF:

The Royals have made a lot of improvements, but still need more offensive depth beyond the top elite batters. Focus on pitching has yielded dividends at the lower levels, but injury attrition will hit at some point, and they could use more polished guys to mix with the tools players.

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Full reports on each player in the 2009 Baseball Prospect Book, shipping January 31st, 2009. We are now taking pre-orders for the book!

The next team up will be the Twins, followed by the Braves.