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Monday, March 25, 2013

Newhan: K.C.‘s 21-6 Record: Illusion or Reality?

If I’m not mistaken…that was John Newland’s spooky intro for OSB’s “The Devil’s Laughter” episode.

Was it important for the Royals to win in the spring, to prove that the enthusiasm created among the young players by the veteran additions, translated to the field?

“Absolutely,” Moore said in our interview.

“The Royals haven’t been to the playoffs since 1985 (and have had only one winning season since ‘95), and so we’re consistently reminded of the need to create a winning culture.

“We know that on April 1 our record goes back to zero, but winning as we have in the spring is definitely, I believe, a reflection of our talent and quality depth.”

...“I feel like our younger, position players responded immediately,” Moore said. “The rotation now has a presence to it, and our entire camp had a more stable feel and sense of stability.

“The one thing that should allow our young players to continue to mature at their natural rate is the better starting pitcher. We should be able to compete more effectively from the first day to the last.”

Moore and staff took over in mid-season of 2006. Gordon and Butler were in double A, “and I thought we were looking at an eight to 10 year process of building from within and developing the waves of players that would allow us to make a move of the type we did in trading Wil Myers.

“As I mentioned, it’s a narrow window in which you have quality young players under club control or signed to long term contracts, and we felt we had reached the point where we could enhance that nucleus by creating a veteran presence in our rotation that would enable us to build a winning culture that the city has been without for too long—at least on the baseball field.”

Repoz Posted: March 25, 2013 at 03:59 PM | 67 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 25, 2013 at 04:09 PM (#4396079)
and I thought we were looking at an eight to 10 year process of building


I'm sorry, but this is a crock of ####. There is no reason it should take ten years to build up a minor league system. Especially when you inherit assets like Zack Greinke, Alex Gordon, and Billy Butler.
   2. Eric Ferguson Posted: March 25, 2013 at 04:27 PM (#4396099)
"... building from within and developing the waves of players that would allow us to make a move of the type we did in trading Wil Myers."


So it's not even 8-10 years to win? It's 8-10 years to get the players that allow you to trade for a guy who might "enable us to build a winning culture"? How long does the winning culture-building process take?
   3. Mattbert Posted: March 25, 2013 at 04:34 PM (#4396111)
Whoa, a more stable feel and sense of stability? Start printing those playoff tickets now!
   4. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: March 25, 2013 at 04:37 PM (#4396116)
In the last two years alone, 13 of the 30 teams have made at least one postseason appearance.

10 of them just last year.
   5. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 25, 2013 at 04:40 PM (#4396118)
10 of them just last year.

And I predict no less than 8 will make it this year.
   6. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: March 25, 2013 at 04:42 PM (#4396119)
and I thought we were looking at an eight to 10 year process of building


That's awesome. If we say that players start to really contribute at 24 and it takes 10 years to build a winning culture, then the Astros (for example) need to be concentrating on kids who will be finishing the 8th grade in a couple of months.
   7. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: March 25, 2013 at 04:45 PM (#4396121)
And I predict no less than 8 will make it this year.
I'm going to go out on a limb and say it'll be at least 10.
   8. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: March 25, 2013 at 04:46 PM (#4396123)
I'm going to go out on a limb and say it'll be at least 10.


For a long time, in most years, fully half of the postseason teams were the Yankees.
   9. SG Posted: March 25, 2013 at 04:46 PM (#4396125)
I'm going to go out on a limb and say it'll be at least 10.


This is madness.
   10. PreservedFish Posted: March 25, 2013 at 04:51 PM (#4396134)
I don't think that 8-10 year number is outrageous. Let's suppose you are an expansion team, zero assets, but you are awesome at developing minor leaguers. How long before your team is good? In that first draft class you'll have some guys that are only 2-3 years away from contributing above average MLB play, but you have other guys that are a good 6 years away, and international FA's that might be 8 years away. And that's just the fruits of your first year, you'll need a few years of acquiring prospects to build that system.

But I guess Moore did have some plum prospects that were already almost MLB ready. So yeah, that probably is a crock of ####.
   11. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: March 25, 2013 at 04:55 PM (#4396140)
This is madness.


THIS!

IS!

THE CURRENT MAKEUP OF THE MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL PLAYOFFS!!!!!!!

*Kicks SG into a pit*
   12. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 25, 2013 at 04:56 PM (#4396143)

I don't think that 8-10 year number is outrageous. Let's suppose you are an expansion team, zero assets, but you are awesome at developing minor leaguers. How long before your team is good


Dayton doesn't really have to look far to see an expansion team that was good in five years.
   13. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: March 25, 2013 at 05:00 PM (#4396151)
i have seen multiple rebuilding efforts and if a team is going to focus almost exclusively on internal resources then yes, it will take in excess of five years.

first, you have to draft very good players and most will need 1-3 years in the minors

then the players will need to settle in at the major league level. that takes 2-3 years

so let's say you get really good at drafting and get 1-2 guys a year over a 4 year period as the core of a team. figure different development rates, possibly an injury here or there it's year 6-7 before they are playing together in the major leagues, with their sea legs and capable of contending for a division title
   14. geonose Posted: March 25, 2013 at 05:18 PM (#4396183)
The Tigers were mostly awful from 1989 through 2003, culminating with 119 losses that year. In 2006 they won 95 games and went to the World Series. They have been an above .500 team every year but one since then. And they did it largely by building from within; Miguel Cabrera wasn't added until after the 2007 season. So yes, it's crap.
   15. zack Posted: March 25, 2013 at 05:26 PM (#4396191)
I'm going to go out on a limb and say it'll be at least 10.

Since the day the new system was announced I've been imploring people to recognize that the losers of the play-in games are not "playoff teams", so yes, it's only 8.
   16. madvillain Posted: March 25, 2013 at 05:26 PM (#4396194)
they did it largely by building from within; Miguel Cabrera wasn't added until after the 2007 season. So yes, it's crap.


Not really sure the Tigers are an example of anything other than "this is what happens when you have an owner on his deathbed and the payroll expands 50%". They hit the lotto on a couple of trades and then did everything they could to take on salary (clearing out the minors in the process) in order to win asap. No way they have Fister, Sanchez, Fielder and Hunter (aka about 15-18 WAR) if their payroll isn't top 5 in baseball.*

*edit: they are actually 6th, so top 6.
   17. Eric Ferguson Posted: March 25, 2013 at 05:27 PM (#4396195)
It is convenient that the time required for The Process to work coincides with the length of his deal.
   18. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: March 25, 2013 at 05:34 PM (#4396205)
Didn't the tigers sign Ordonez, Polanco, and Rodriguez in 2005?
   19. Textbook Editor Posted: March 25, 2013 at 05:35 PM (#4396207)
Illusion.

What do I win?
   20. PreservedFish Posted: March 25, 2013 at 05:36 PM (#4396208)
The Tigers were mostly awful from 1989 through 2003, culminating with 119 losses that year. In 2006 they won 95 games and went to the World Series. They have been an above .500 team every year but one since then. And they did it largely by building from within; Miguel Cabrera wasn't added until after the 2007 season. So yes, it's crap.


So, the 2006 team was mostly players that they had drafted in 2004 or later? It's not news to anyone here that teams can turn it around quickly. That wasn't what Moore was talking about.
   21. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 25, 2013 at 05:42 PM (#4396217)
i have seen multiple rebuilding efforts and if a team is going to focus almost exclusively on internal resources then yes, it will take in excess of five years.

But why would you focus entirely on internal resources?

If your early draft classes develop well, you should absolutely be trading younger prospects for major leaguers, and MLB-ready prospects, and signing FAs. Insisting on drafting and developing all your own players is ridiculously inflexible.

So, the 2006 team was mostly players that they had drafted in 2004 or later? It's not news to anyone here that teams can turn it around quickly. That wasn't what Moore was talking about.

Why is that the question?

No team starts a rebuilding w/o some resources.
   22. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: March 25, 2013 at 05:57 PM (#4396235)
Of course the 2006 team wasn't mostly players they had drafted in the previous 2 1/2 years. Is that even possible?

The only people who played for the team at all who were drafted that recently were Verlander and Andrew Miller.

Anyway, I cited them a week ago, as an example of a team that rebuilt really fast, as the Astros are suggesting they will do, and it was pointed out that they actually spent a lot of money to rebuild which is not the Astros' plan at all.

So let's look at the team. Surprisingly there is almost no one on it who was even in the Tigers' minor-league system in 2003, let alone people drafted in '04, '05 or '06. And there are a few big-money free agents, but let's not forget that the horrible Tigers teams had some big-money players too (Dean Palmer, Bobby Higginson).

2006 Tigers who were not on the 2003 team

Verlander - drafted by Tigers, 2004
I-Rod - free agent
Magglio - free agent
Marcus Thames - free agent
Alexis Gomez - free agent
Kenny Rogers - free agent
Todd Jones - free agent
Jason Grilli - free agent
Chris Shelton - rule 5 draft
Carlos Guillen - trade from Mariners for two prospects, 2004
Polanco - they signed two veteran free agents and flipped them for Polanco in 2005
Vance Wilson - trade from Mets for a prospect, 2005
Zach Miner - trade from Braves for Kyle Farnsworth, 2005
Roman Colon - trade from Braves for Kyle Farnsworth, 2005
Sean Casey - deadline deal for a non-prospect, 2006

2006 Tigers who were on the 2003 team

Fernando Rodney - signed by Tigers, 1997
Inge - drafted by Tigers, 1998
Infante - signed by Tigers, 1999
Mike Maroth - traded from Red Sox, 1999
Craig Monroe - acquired on waivers, 2002
Dmitri Young - traded from Reds, 2002
Bonderman - traded from Oakland, 2002
Nate Robertson - traded from Marlins, 2002
Jamie Walker - free agent
Wil Ledezma - rule 5 draft

2006 Tigers who were in the farm system in 2003

Granderson - drafted by Tigers in 2002
Zumaya - drafted by Tigers in 2002
   23. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 25, 2013 at 05:59 PM (#4396238)
Can't edit.

In this case, Gordon, Butler, and Greinke, were all in the organization before Moore was hired.
   24. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 25, 2013 at 06:09 PM (#4396254)

No team starts a rebuilding w/o some resources.


Royals payroll:

2013 $80 million or so
2012 $60
2011 $36
2010 $72
2009 $70
2008 $58
2007 $67
-----
Allard Baird
2006 $47
2005 $36
2004 $47
2003 $40
2002 $47
2001 $35

   25. PreservedFish Posted: March 25, 2013 at 06:38 PM (#4396287)
Ah, forget it. Moore is stupid. I don't think the 8-10 year timeline is crazy (and endorse Harvey's comment) but it's not relevant to the Royals, given that he inherited a team with good chips and has been able to expand payroll too.
   26. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 25, 2013 at 07:29 PM (#4396313)
I don't think the 8-10 year timeline is crazy

No teams start out worse than expansion teams.

The 14 expansion teams have averaged 7.4 years to their first .500 season. But that's heavily driven by the older entrants.

The 4 90's expansion teams averaged 3.5 years to .500, and 5.25 years to the playoffs.

If a rebuilding plan takes 8-10 the front office has failed and should be replaced. In today's environment, I would give a GM at most 6 years to be competitive.



   27. McCoy Posted: March 25, 2013 at 07:34 PM (#4396314)
How about a team with one of the largest fanbases and biggest markets. How long should it take for them to turn it around?
   28. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: March 25, 2013 at 07:43 PM (#4396317)
snapper

you are refusing to acknowledge the fits and starts that can take place in building a team.

look at the 2000's brewers. drafted fielder, weeks, hart, hardy, braun, gallardo. that's a pretty good core, yes?

the team wasn't a real contender until 2008, gacked away 2009 and 2010, and then won a division in 2011. joe sheehan, among others, acted all exasperated when the team didn't start winning lots of games by 2006 and then gave up on them after 2009.

the brewers focused on drafting the core, traded for additional talent and signed just a few free agents. my guess that is what the royals have in mind.

   29. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: March 25, 2013 at 07:43 PM (#4396318)
How about a team with one of the largest fanbases and biggest markets. How long should it take for them to turn it around?


A couple of innings.
   30. McCoy Posted: March 25, 2013 at 08:01 PM (#4396327)
Rock bottom for the Brewers was 2002 with 106 losses. They lost 94 games 3 times out of 4 seasons from 2001 to 2004.

Brewers during their worst season draft Prince Fielder and 3 seasons later they are at .500 and play around .500 for the next several years.

I believe Ben Sheets is the only player of note that was on those Brewers' team that was drafted before 2001 or so.


A bad team that doesn't spend a lot at the major league level and has a few years of high draft picks should be able to reload pretty quickly if they know what they are doing. So far the Royals have shown they don't know what they are doing.
   31. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: March 25, 2013 at 08:04 PM (#4396329)
post 30

maybe i misunderstood but i think when folks speak of rebuilding they are thinking the end goal of making the playoffs. i don't think getting .500 is the end goal. that's just a marker or progress
   32. zonk Posted: March 25, 2013 at 08:07 PM (#4396333)
Seems to me that more teams haven't than have.... The Rays... and?

There appears to be some hope in Camden that they finally managed to get it right. I suppose the Nats got it right, but how hard was it to get Strasburg and Harper right?

But even the vaunted A's (who granted, haven't picked high/hit bottom) haven't drafted particularly well since their pitching success last decade.... The Cubs haven't. The Royals really haven't. The Astros - I suppose, the jury is still out.
   33. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 25, 2013 at 08:10 PM (#4396336)
snapper

you are refusing to acknowledge the fits and starts that can take place in building a team.


No, I realize the first attempt may fail. The second attempt may fail. But given that the turnaround cycle should be something like 3-4 years for a team that's not completely bereft, that gets you to 8 years. I'm just saying no management team should get 8-10 years; you get two tries that's it.

If after 6-7 years, the team is not over .500 and poised to seriously contend, the management should be replaced. Their window should be determined by how much talent is in the org. at that point.

Saying it takes 8-10 years is just Moore doing his best CYA, trying to buy a couple more seasons to get a lucky playoff berth.

This guy took over in mid-season 2006, and the two best players on the team (Gordon and Butler) were waiting for him. 2 of their next 5 best players (Cain and Escobar) came from trading Greinke (who also predates Moore).

Where is the talent Moore has added to the organization? I see Moustakas, Perez, and Shields, and Davis who came for prospects he added. Other than that, he team is a bunch of stopgap FAs, and journeymen.

That's a pretty poor result for 7 years of "rebuilding".

   34. McCoy Posted: March 25, 2013 at 08:11 PM (#4396337)
post 30

maybe i misunderstood but i think when folks speak of rebuilding they are thinking the end goal of making the playoffs. i don't think getting .500 is the end goal. that's just a marker or progress


Whatever Moore meant he clearly believes he has achieved it now about 6 years later since he says that trading Wil Myers meant the teams was where it would normally take 8 to 10 years to get to.

Do you think the Royals are a playoff team for 2013?
   35. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 25, 2013 at 08:13 PM (#4396338)
maybe i misunderstood but i think when folks speak of rebuilding they are thinking the end goal of making the playoffs. i don't think getting .500 is the end goal. that's just a marker or progress

Well, you need to get to .500 first, and in this expanded playoffs world, a .500 team is a lucky month from the playoffs.
   36. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 25, 2013 at 08:23 PM (#4396343)
Seems to me that more teams haven't than have.... The Rays... and?

There appears to be some hope in Camden that they finally managed to get it right. I suppose the Nats got it right, but how hard was it to get Strasburg and Harper right?

But even the vaunted A's (who granted, haven't picked high/hit bottom) haven't drafted particularly well since their pitching success last decade.... The Cubs haven't. The Royals really haven't. The Astros - I suppose, the jury is still out.


Since Moore took over in mid-2006, this is the list of the MLB teams that haven't finished above .500.

Pirates (max wins 79)
Royals (max wins 75)
   37. McCoy Posted: March 25, 2013 at 08:23 PM (#4396344)
Seems to me that more teams haven't than have.... The Rays... and?

Well, yeah. Because the key is the team needs to know what they are doing and losing 90 or more games a year for multiple seasons is not a good indicator of knowing what needs to be done.

MacPhail/Hendry it seems had no real eye for spotting positional talent and squandered the pitching talent they could spot. But even still they were able to use their prospects to either acquire major league talent or have those prospects turn into major league talent on their ball club. Aramis, Derrek, Carlos, Mark, Kerry, Geo, Marshall, Marmol, and all helped make the Cubs a contending team and it wasn't like the Cubs got to lose 90 plus games a year for 4 years or so. They were generally only bad for about 2 seasons or so before the front office would overhaul the team. So in that regard the Cubs help show that it doesn't take 8 to 10 years to turn it around.

Entering the 2003 season the Cubs had just come off a 95 loss year. Trade some vets for Karros and Grudz, sign Beck and let the kids play. Cubs reel off two winning seasons and were 5 outs away from the WS. They then win 79 and 66 games causing the Cubs to regroup again for 2007. They win 85, 97, and 83 wins and go to the playoffs twice. They now have really sucked for two years and have had a losing record for 3 years.
   38. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: March 25, 2013 at 08:27 PM (#4396346)
i think i am discussing something different

i wasn't engaged in the referendum on moore as a gm. i get the contentions that he has failed to pass muster

i was just responding to the timeline discussion. i think fans, even smart ones here, think turning around a team can happen quicker than is typical. that was the sum total of what i was speaking to
   39. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 25, 2013 at 08:33 PM (#4396351)
i think i am discussing something different

i wasn't engaged in the referendum on moore as a gm. i get the contentions that he has failed to pass muster

i was just responding to the timeline discussion. i think fans, even smart ones here, think turning around a team can happen quicker than is typical. that was the sum total of what i was speaking to


If you're talking about being consistent playoff contenders, then I agree with you.

But, I'm holding the rebuilders to lower standards. I'm saying you can usually get above .500 and be on the edge of contention within 3-4 years. Certainly within 6. There's no guarantee of more.

To take your Brewers as an example, Melvin took over after the 56-win 2002 season. He took 2 years to build a .500 team, and has been over .500 5 of 7 years, with 2 90-win teams, and 2 playoff appearance.

That's a successful rebuild.
   40. McCoy Posted: March 25, 2013 at 08:38 PM (#4396356)
I think taking a team that is losing 94 or more games and getting them to .500 and poised for a breakthrough with some good signings and trades is a turn around. The Brewers were basically able to get to that place 3 years after they hit their nadir. In 2006 the Brewers before the season started resigned Jeff Cirillo and traded Overbay for Bush (mainly). Then heading into 2007 they sign Counsell, Suppan, and traded Davis away for Estrada and Vargas.

The Brewers if they had been a little bit more agressive could have built upon the gains they made in 2005 much faster than they actually did.
   41. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: March 25, 2013 at 08:39 PM (#4396358)
snapper

agreed it was a successful rebuild.

i would also tell you that there are many here, many writers and certainly many brewer fans who think the team underachieved. because they expected the team not to win 84 games game but to win 92 and win the division more than once.

that is how i think most fans interpret the output of a successful rebuild. right or wrong.
   42. zonk Posted: March 25, 2013 at 08:39 PM (#4396359)
Well, you always need some luck... I mean, let's face it -- you can't find ANY teams -- even the ones who have drafted well that have managed to pull the inside straight consistently with say, their first 5 rounds of picks.

I suppose if you're going to judge an organization's scouting chops - and that organization has consistently had top 10 or even top 5/near top 5 picks, they really ought to hit on more than just one or two and I think there's definitely a limit on top 5 utter swing-and-misses. Everybody doesn't have to be Andrew McCutchen (obviously, most won't be).

Miss with a Vitters, you'd better hit it big with a Baez.
   43. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: March 25, 2013 at 08:41 PM (#4396361)
post 40

well, i am not trying to derail this thread but suffice to say the biggest impediment to the brewers taking another step was the moronager.

the guy was suited for getting a team from the doldrums to being ok. not equipped to make a team a challenger to the division.

but i have said that way too many times and don't need to get myself worked up over that again
   44. Drexl Spivey Posted: March 25, 2013 at 09:09 PM (#4396374)
well, i am not trying to derail this thread but suffice to say the biggest impediment to the brewers taking another step was the moronager.


No, the biggest impediment has been the inability to draft/develop any starting pitching outside of Gallardo.

Managers really don't mean much in baseball. If they did, they would be making Lohse money.
   45. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 25, 2013 at 09:21 PM (#4396389)
Well, you always need some luck... I mean, let's face it -- you can't find ANY teams -- even the ones who have drafted well that have managed to pull the inside straight consistently with say, their first 5 rounds of picks.

I suppose if you're going to judge an organization's scouting chops - and that organization has consistently had top 10 or even top 5/near top 5 picks, they really ought to hit on more than just one or two and I think there's definitely a limit on top 5 utter swing-and-misses. Everybody doesn't have to be Andrew McCutchen (obviously, most won't be).

Miss with a Vitters, you'd better hit it big with a Baez.


If you're drafting top-5, like the Royals, every year for 7 years, you better produce 2 stars, and 3 or 4 MLB regulars from your top-3 picks.
   46. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 25, 2013 at 09:36 PM (#4396400)

Seems to me that more teams haven't than have.... The Rays... and?


Maybe we have different ideas of rebuild, but I think the mid 00s Brewers, the late 90s A's, the late 90s Twins, the post-dismantling Marlins, the post-Thome Indians all seemed like rebuilds easily within 6 years. All of those situations were different than the Royals in different ways, but to suggest you need 8-10 years to turn around a franchise strikes me as absurd.
   47. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: March 25, 2013 at 09:40 PM (#4396405)
speaking specifically to the royals one has to wonder about the inertia working against a rebuild

you have decades of struggles there. entrenched bad behaviors to overcome. even if you draft well the support network isn't there to help the talent along the way creating more barriers

so in just the royals situation i can see a longer horizon

just a thought
   48. McCoy Posted: March 25, 2013 at 09:48 PM (#4396416)
From 1996 to 2006 there have been only 3 years in which amongst the the first 5 draft picks there were 3 or more players who accrued double digit WAR.

1998:
Pat Burrell 16 WAR
Mark Mulder 18
JD Drew 42

2001:
Joe Mauer 37
Mark Prior 16
Gavin Floyd 13
Mark Teixiera 45

2005
Justin Upton 13
Alex Gordon 17
Ryan Zimmerman 29
Ryan Braun 32

There has been no year in which more than one player in the first 5 slots of the second round has amassed double digit WAR from 1996 to 2006.

Best players so far have been Milton Bradley 15, Randy Wolf 22, Carl Crawford 34, Joey Votto 26, and Yovani Gallardo 15.

Best players to come out of the first 5 picks of the 3rd round: Justin Morneau 19, Grady Sizemore 27, and Ryan Theriot at 5.

Now of course we could talk about the extra draft picks one gets because of FA and such but those picks are all at the bottom of the first round and they aren't really going to yield much either.

If a team is really on its toes I think it could expect 2 stars and 3 or 4 regulars but most of your average teams should probably expect half that.


   49. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 25, 2013 at 10:40 PM (#4396440)

If a team is really on its toes I think it could expect 2 stars and 3 or 4 regulars but most of your average teams should probably expect half that.


The Royals have actually been nailing it in the first round recently:

2002 - Zack Greinke - one of the best pitchers in baseball
2003 - Chris Lubanski - bust
2004 - Billy Butler - one of the best DH in baseball
2005 - Alex Gordon - one of the best OF in baseball
2006 - Luke Hochevar - back of the rotation/AAAA starting pitcher
2007 - Mike Moustakas - decent 3B with some upside
2008 - Eric Hosmer - terrific rookie season, terrible sophomore year
2009 - Aaron Crow - terrific reliever
2010 - Christian Colon - pretty meh prospect
2011 - Bubba Starling - Top 50 prospect
2012 - Kyle Zimmer - Top 50 prospect

That's pretty darn good IMO. The problem is they've netted very little after the first round, and the only impact trade they've made is dealing Greinke. No team can depend entirely on the draft. You're going to have to luck/scheme your way into some great trades, and the Royals haven't turned straw into gold in any trades.
   50. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: March 25, 2013 at 10:51 PM (#4396446)
No, I realize the first attempt may fail. The second attempt may fail.

The third attempt may burn down, fall over, then fail. But the fourth attempt, that succeeds, and that's what you'll get lad, the strongest farm system in MLB.
   51. McCoy Posted: March 25, 2013 at 10:52 PM (#4396447)
It isn't shabby but the problem is that Greinke was a very good starter 4 to 5 years ago while Butler and Gordon have been good players for just the past 2 to 4 seasons.
   52. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 25, 2013 at 11:20 PM (#4396463)
but the problem is that Greinke was a very good starter 4 to 5 years ago while Butler and Gordon have been good players for just the past 2 to 4 seasons.


Greinke wasn't a free agent til this past winter. They all could have been teammates the last four seasons.
   53. McCoy Posted: March 25, 2013 at 11:31 PM (#4396466)
Yes and a 100 and 103 ERA+ in 2010 and 2011 wouldn't have made him a top tier starter in those years and his ERA+ would place 27th amongst starters in 2012 or 21st by pitching runs.
   54. Jim Wisinski Posted: March 25, 2013 at 11:56 PM (#4396475)
maybe i misunderstood but i think when folks speak of rebuilding they are thinking the end goal of making the playoffs. i don't think getting .500 is the end goal. that's just a marker or progress

Well, you need to get to .500 first, and in this expanded playoffs world, a .500 team is a lucky month from the playoffs.


There have actually been a bunch of sub-.500 (for several seasons in a row) to playoffs (and even World Series) situations recently.

2008 Rays 66 to 97 wins, 10 previous losing seasons
2012 Orioles 69 to 93, 14
2006 Tigers 71 to 95, 12
2007 Rockies 76 to 90, 6

Some other cases that qualify but were less dramatic:

2011 D'Backs 65 to 94, 2
2010 Reds 78 to 91, 9
2012 Nationals 80 to 98, 6

I don't think much of the Royals chances of making the playoffs this year (or any year with Dayton Moore in charge, the man sucks at assembling a major league roster) but it's not at all far-fetched to think that they could make the losing to postseason jump without a moderately successful season in between.
   55. Basil Ganglia Posted: March 25, 2013 at 11:59 PM (#4396476)
Where does this "eight to 10 year process" come from? When DMGM signed Gil Meche, didn't he say that he added the fifth year so that Meche would still be around when the team started winning?
   56. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 26, 2013 at 09:27 AM (#4396565)

I don't think much of the Royals chances of making the playoffs this year (or any year with Dayton Moore in charge, the man sucks at assembling a major league roster) but it's not at all far-fetched to think that they could make the losing to postseason jump without a moderately successful season in between.


A year or two ago I looked at small market teams that had made the post-season, and I think the Brewers were the only one that had a .500ish season before getting good. Most had a huge jump in performance in one year.
   57. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: March 26, 2013 at 10:07 AM (#4396616)
Teams almost never follow a smooth path up or down and significant jumps are not uncommon. That's why the success cycle stuff can be silly.

   58. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: March 26, 2013 at 10:28 AM (#4396631)
2002 - Zack Greinke - one of the best pitchers in baseball
2003 - Chris Lubanski - bust
2004 - Billy Butler - one of the best DH in baseball
2005 - Alex Gordon - one of the best OF in baseball
2006 - Luke Hochevar - back of the rotation/AAAA starting pitcher
2007 - Mike Moustakas - decent 3B with some upside
2008 - Eric Hosmer - terrific rookie season, terrible sophomore year
2009 - Aaron Crow - terrific reliever
2010 - Christian Colon - pretty meh prospect
2011 - Bubba Starling - Top 50 prospect
2012 - Kyle Zimmer - Top 50 prospect

That's pretty darn good IMO.


2002 6th overall
2003 5th overall
2004 14th overall
2005 2nd overall
2006 1st overall
2007 2nd overall
2008 3rd overall
2009 12th overall
2010 4th overall
2011 5th overall
2012 5th overall

Considering where they are drafting this is pretty meh- especially after Dayton took over
   59. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 26, 2013 at 10:56 AM (#4396664)

Considering where they are drafting this is pretty meh- especially after Dayton took over


I think you overestimate the value of top 15 picks. Let's take the Royals picks, and shift them to one year prior

2011 - 5th pick - Bubba Starling
2010 - 5th pick - Drew Pomeranz
2009 - 4th pick - Tony Sanchez
2008 - 12th pick - Jemile Weeks
2007 - 3rd pick - Josh Vitters
2006 - 2nd pick - Greg Reynolds
2005 - 1st pick - Justin Upton
2004 - 2nd pick - Justin Verlander
2003 - 14th pick - Ryan Wagner
2002 - 5th pick - Clint Everts
2001 - 6th pick - Josh Karp

That's two high impact players (Verlander, Upton) and a ton of busts with a few "we're not sure yet" players. I'd rather have the Royals haul.
   60. Mike Webber Posted: March 26, 2013 at 11:39 AM (#4396729)
Where they really dropped a trick was in 2006 when they had the top pick overall and Longoria was probably the consensus top pick, but they had drafted a 3B the year before (Gordon). If they had cut a deal with the 2nd position player picked, Drew Stubbs, they would have been better off too.

The top college pitchers in that draft were Hochevar, Greg Reynolds (2nd), Brad Lincoln (4th), Brandon Marrow (5th), and Andrew Miller (6th). Lincecum and Scherzer at 10 and 11 were next. So they had a 1 in 5 shot, or 3 in 7, poor odds.
   61. Moeball Posted: March 26, 2013 at 11:52 AM (#4396750)
Newhan: K.C.‘s 21-6 Record: Illusion or Reality?


Sung to the tune of "It Don't Mean a Thing if it Ain't Got That Swing":

It Don't Mean a Thing if it Happens in Spring...sorry, Royals fans, I don't think this spring portends any great leaps forward this year. I hope I'm wrong, actually...
   62. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: March 26, 2013 at 12:04 PM (#4396770)
I think you overestimate the value of top 15 picks. Let's take the Royals picks, and shift them to one year prior


how about 1 year later:

2012 - 5th pick - Kyle Zimmer
2011 - 4th pick - Dylan Bundy
2010 - 12th pick - Yasmani Grandal
2009 - 3rd pick - Donovan Tate
2008 - 2nd pick - BJ Upton
2007 - 1st pick - David Price
2006 - 2nd pick - Greg Reynolds
2005 - 14th pick - Trevor Crowe
2004 - 5th pick - Mark Rogers
2003 - 6th pick - Ryan Harvey

I'm not sure any of the hauls, #49, #59 or above is appreciably better or worse than the others, which is what I meant by "meh," mediocre, they got what they "should" have gotten considering where they were picking- that's not "bad" but neither is it "darn good"


   63. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 26, 2013 at 12:11 PM (#4396779)
Since Moore took over in mid-2006, this is the list of the MLB teams that haven't finished above .500.

Pirates (max wins 79)
Royals (max wins 75)


And it's worth remembering that as of mid-2006, the Pirates were a complete teardown.
   64. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 26, 2013 at 12:23 PM (#4396793)
2008 - Eric Hosmer - terrific rookie season, terrible sophomore year
2009 - Aaron Crow - terrific reliever
2010 - Christian Colon - pretty meh prospect
2011 - Bubba Starling - Top 50 prospect
2012 - Kyle Zimmer - Top 50 prospect

That's pretty darn good IMO.


Of those five picks, none are an unambiguous success. Hosmer was pretty terrible last year. A reliever from a pick in the top half of the first round is a decidedly "meh" outcome. Colon looks like a bench guy. Starling hit well in his first pro season, but also struck out 70 times in 200 AB. And Zimmer had elbow surgery over the offseason.
   65. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: March 26, 2013 at 12:24 PM (#4396795)
And it's worth remembering that as of mid-2006, the Pirates were a complete teardown.


At least the pre-Moore the Royals had been drafting for talent with their high picks- the Pirates under Littlefield were quite frankly NOT most years.
   66. Walt Davis Posted: March 26, 2013 at 04:44 PM (#4397052)
I'm more with HW. When Moore took over I said this looked like a very tough, long climb. I'm not at all surprised they're just now possibly getting to good but I'd have liked to see more on-field progress by now that's for sure.

As McCoy noted, the timing didn't work out at all. Yes, they had Greinke. Greinke stunk in 2005 and was an emotional mess in 2006 and didn't come back until half of 2007. He peaked from 2007-9. In retrospect, trading Greinke after 2009 would have been ideal. Butler didn't do anything until 2009, Gordon didn't do anything until 2011 by which point Greinke was getting average results. 2010-11 is the earliest you can expect Moore's picks to deliver (as Hosmer did in 2011 but not 2012). Moore might be failing here but, if he is, it's about why it took so long for Gordon to find himself, why did Greinke stop getting the results we'd expect given his peripherals, why couldn't Butler at least play a decent 1B, what's happened to Hosmer, why isn't Moustakas hitting better? That could be mostly Moore, it could be mostly bad coaching (which is his responsibility of course) or it could be random prospect luck.

There's an alternate universe where the 2012 Royals reached 500. They had 74 pythag wins as it was. In that other universe, Hosmer is 3 maybe 4 wins better than he was -- ZiPS had him projected as the best age-22 hitter if I recall right (he might have been #2). That alone pulls them up to basically average on position player WAR and they're a couple wins down on pitching despite having a horrible rotation.

The problem with the Royals hasn't been so much the "process" as it is that Moore has been absolutely terrible when it comes to ML talent and, until the last year, has been completely incapable of finding decent starting pitching. He's the last guy I'd want in charge of the sort of middling budget he's got as he's shown no grasp of identifying decent, cheap ML talent. If I hadn't already fired him, I'd have fired him as soon as he suggested tendering Hochevar this offseason.
   67. Zach Posted: March 28, 2013 at 06:41 PM (#4398742)
I was going to make the point about Greinke and Gordon myself. Let's not forget, in 2006 Greinke was a head case who'd quit the team, and Gordon was five years away from earning his keep.

Also, Greinke, Gordon, and Butler weren't chips -- they were the whole team. The minors were totally empty and the majors were full of guys you couldn't trade for a ham sandwich.

If you figure the core of your team is going to be around 27 during your competitive window and that your average draftee is going to be 19 or 20, it's very easy to come up with an 8 year timeframe.

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