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Sunday, June 09, 2013

Werner: Royals’ can’t-miss prospects have missed

Hey, try waiting around for Brian Trifiolis to blossom...uhh, be discovered.

This was supposed to be the year for the Kansas City Royals, the climax of all those of futile seasons, subsequent high draft pick selections, and constant rebuilding. In a perfect world the images of James Shields, Wade Davis, Ervin Santana and Jeremy Guthrie donning Kansas City uniforms would never exist.

After all, just two seasons prior to beginning the year with the four veteran right-handers in the rotation, general manager Dayton Moore and Co. had amassed what could have been the greatest farm system in baseball history. Prior to the start of the 2011 season Baseball America issued its top 100 prospects list, featuring nine members of the Royals organization, five of them among the game’s top 19: Eric Hosmer (No. 8), Mike Moustakas (No. 9), Wil Myers (No. 10), John Lamb (No. 18), Mike Montgomery (No. 19), Christian Colon (No. 51), Danny Duffy (No. 68), Jake Odorizzi (No. 69) and Chris Dwyer (No. 83).

It was a deep, diverse collection of talent, offering a solid mix of potential middle-of-the-order bats and potential front-of-the-rotation arms. It was supposed to be, simply, the farm system that would thrust KC back into October.

And, yet, here the Royals are, in the midst of a horrifically poor stretch where they find themselves at the back of the AL Central. That leaves the question: What happened?

...Given the high attrition rate for prospects, you could project that probably only one, maybe two, of the team’s prospects from that season would actually reach their full potential, with another two becoming solid big league regulars. Instead, the seven that remain within the organization have all struggled or been injured. For now, Myers and Odorizzi look like group’s best bets. Unfortunately for the hometown fans, they no longer have a chance do so for the Royals.

Repoz Posted: June 09, 2013 at 09:58 AM | 50 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: June 09, 2013 at 11:10 AM (#4464847)
I'm not a Royals apologist or fan, but let's be a little more fair than this excerpt is being:

1) The Royals aren't amazing, but the Pyth has them as a slightly above .500 team, several games better than their actual record this season. In the month of May, for example, they went 8-20, scoring 101 runs, and giving up 125. They lost a ton of one-run games in a short stretch that month. They are not as bad as their record suggests...

2) I was less harsh than most people here about the Shields/Myers trade, because I think people underestimate how difficult it is to get an above-average pitcher who can throw a ton of innings. Shields is about as tough as it gets, and he has been excellent this year. In 13 starts, he has average over 7 IP per outing, his ERA+ is 147...he's been a stud, and they have him through 2014.

3) The excerpt above mentions Santana and Guthrie, among others - I don't expect them to keep it up, but both of them have been very effective so far, as well. Santana, in particular, has been very good all year. Their starting pitching has been good enough to compete in the AL Central.

4) Myers is heating up in AAA, and may yet prove to be a great ML hitter. Odorizzi has been pretty pedestrian so far in AAA/ML for TB. It is far from certain that Myers is going to be a stud player, and f you want to get a valuable asset like Shields, you have to give something up. If you're going to ding the KC system for not producing lots of MLB talent, then you have to give it credit for being traded for very good ML talent. The Rays wouldn't have given up Shields for nothing - you had give them a legit prospect or two, and the Royals did.

Again, the Royals aren't rocking it out with the prospects the way some other teams do, but I'm just trying to put another angle on this piece...
   2. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: June 09, 2013 at 11:29 AM (#4464854)
Always willing to hear the other side rany
   3. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 09, 2013 at 11:35 AM (#4464856)
Again, the Royals aren't rocking it out with the prospects the way some other teams do, but I'm just trying to put another angle on this piece...

I think this is burying the lede. Yes, they've done some things right in acquiring veteran SP, but that's not their core issue.

The issue is the Royals can't develop talent. They seem to be able to identify and draft it effectively, but they're terrible at transforming amateur and minor league talent into big leaguers. Their player development system seems really, really broken.
   4. Rough Carrigan Posted: June 09, 2013 at 12:10 PM (#4464870)
Did someone forget to include developing the talent as part of the Process?
   5. The District Attorney Posted: June 09, 2013 at 12:29 PM (#4464875)
It is far from certain that Myers is going to be a stud player, and f you want to get a valuable asset like Shields, you have to give something up.
How about Francoeur, how's he doing?
   6. Flynn Posted: June 09, 2013 at 12:46 PM (#4464880)
The best reason to trade Will Myers is that the Royals probably would have screwed him up anyway. Which is the kind of reasoning that should get Moore and his people pink slips.
   7. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: June 09, 2013 at 12:46 PM (#4464881)
How about Francoeur, how's he doing?


He's been benched for the last two weeks in favor of David Lough. Who has been playing very well, especially defensively, though he doesn't have the arm strength of a Myers/Francœur type player.
   8. BDC Posted: June 09, 2013 at 12:58 PM (#4464883)
Lough is some fast guy. He has all of one ML stolen base, but he gets down the line in nothing flat.
   9. McCoy Posted: June 09, 2013 at 01:10 PM (#4464887)
1) The Royals aren't amazing, but the Pyth has them as a slightly above .500 team, several games better than their actual record this season. In the month of May, for example, they went 8-20, scoring 101 runs, and giving up 125. They lost a ton of one-run games in a short stretch that month. They are not as bad as their record suggests...

You're not going to win very many games when your offense only scores 3.6 runs per game regardless of what Pyth says. Well, if you're only allowing 3 runs per game to score you'll win a bunch but that isn't what the Royals did in May. 17 of their 20 losses in May occurred while their offense scored 3 runs or less. You're just not going to win very many games doing that nor do I expect a team to bounce back to its pyth record afterwards if a team has that crummy of an offense. In otherwords it wasn't luck that they lost that many games in May.
   10. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: June 09, 2013 at 01:13 PM (#4464891)
Really? A team that has better pitching than it has hitting should expect to do worse than its Pythagorean record?
   11. Shibal Posted: June 09, 2013 at 01:14 PM (#4464893)
So we need to put an asterisk on a team's projected Pyth record if a team only scores 3.6 runs per game.

Got it.

   12. McCoy Posted: June 09, 2013 at 01:30 PM (#4464906)
Really? A team that has better pitching than it has hitting should expect to do worse than its Pythagorean record?


If you can't put up more than 3 runs per game you are not going to win a lot of games. Just like if your team allows 5 runs per game you aren't going to win a lot of games.

The Royals had "close" games because they couldn't score runs. That problem doesn't appear to be going away any time soon nor does it appear to have been a fluke. They don't have a good offense. So is it likely that suddenly going forward the pitching is going to dramatically improve to the point where they allow less than 3.6 runs to score per game? No, if anything it is likely to get worse as the season goes on and I say that fully aware that the pitching staff is averaging 2.14 RPG in June so far.
   13. valuearbitrageur Posted: June 09, 2013 at 02:11 PM (#4464945)
2) I was less harsh than most people here about the Shields/Myers trade, because I think people underestimate how difficult it is to get an above-average pitcher who can throw a ton of innings. Shields is about as tough as it gets, and he has been excellent this year. In 13 starts, he has average over 7 IP per outing, his ERA+ is 147...he's been a stud, and they have him through 2014.


He's actually been 5-11 over 25 starts with a 4.0 ERA over 155 innings for KC.

I say this because Shields has to carry the corpse of Wade Davis with his results. Wade may not be this bad, but shields ain't a 147 ERA + pitcher either, they will both regress and the result will be lucky to average a 100 ERA+ between them. Hey 2 starters who average out near league average ain't bad, but it sure ain't worth

$28M

Wil Meyers

Jake Odirizzi

Plus assorted flotsam

They should have spent the $14M a year to pick up a free agent pitcher or another teams veteran starter contract. Then they would have had

A starter likely not as good as Shieds

Four years cheap control of Odorizzi who is likely better than Davis already

Four years cheap control of Wil Myers, who even in his slow start would have been a substantial upgrade over Frenchy, who is the biggest sucking hole in the teams offense.

The teams record isn't likely to be much better or worse but the teams future would be far brighter, and even hopes for this season higher. Jake and Wil could take steps forward, and the team could start to click. And they have these guys cheap for years, giving the team options to build with and around.

Instead, despite Shields pitching better than anyone could reasonably hope, there is little to no upside left, and the farm system has been gutted. Even if Frenchy pulls off one of his patented new contract rebounds in the 2nd half, and Wade Davis stops sucking, any late season head feint the team makes up the standings will just be a cruel joke on the fans cause there is little to build on for future years.

Horrible, horrible, trade that is reason KCs future so dim.


   14. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 09, 2013 at 02:16 PM (#4464947)
Horrible, horrible, trade that is reason KCs future so dim.

Concur the trade is bad, but the reason the future is dim 1) piss poor player development and 2) a GM who can't evaluate MLB talent.
   15. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: June 09, 2013 at 02:25 PM (#4464955)
The offense is pretty clearly the problem, and the pitching is generally pretty good. It is amazing how bad their offense is at some positions:

Their starting SS (Escobar) has OPS+ of 59. Francouer is 55. Getz, at 2B, is 53. Moustakas is 53. Even Hosmer, at 1B, is only at 89.

Their losing a lot of games 3-2, 2-1, etc., meaning they don't need to hit much better in order to win more games. The team's inability to find even replacement-level offense at a number of positions in amazing.
   16. McCoy Posted: June 09, 2013 at 02:34 PM (#4464961)
Expecting your pitching staff to hold the opposition to 1 or 2 runs simply isn't realistic game in and game out. The offense is going to have to substantially improve from where it has been at to compete this year. Something like .7 to 8 runs per game improvement is needed out of them.
   17. Topher Posted: June 09, 2013 at 02:50 PM (#4464979)
Their starting SS (Escobar) has OPS+ of 59. Francouer is 55. Getz, at 2B, is 53. Moustakas is 53. Even Hosmer, at 1B, is only at 89.


Don't forget about Elliot Johnson and his OPS+ of 53!

Lots of folks forget that Johnson was the PTBNL in the Shields trade. Any evaluation of the trade is incomplete, such as in post #13, that fails to take into account the value that Johnson provides to a win-now organization like the Royals.
   18. vortex of dissipation Posted: June 09, 2013 at 03:33 PM (#4465010)
Hey, try waiting around for Brian Trifiolis to blossom...uhh, be discovered.


Looks like he has been discovered - by Jack Nicholson.
   19. valuearbitrageur Posted: June 09, 2013 at 03:47 PM (#4465019)
BTW: Anibal Sanchez has a 158 ERA+ so far, and is getting paid $4M less the next two years than Davis/Shields. If the Royals had signed him for a huge overpay of 5/$90M, this year their team ERA+ is likely very similar (since Odorizzi is likely similar to Davis).

But swapping 171 PAs of Francoer's .213/.246 /.323/.569 OPS (55 OPS+) for Wil Meyers, hitting "only" .286/.359/.515/.874 in 262 AAA PAs, and you replace a guy who so far is 8 runs below replacement with the bat (and a negative defensive value according to RField) with someone who is probably at least 8 runs above replacement with the bat (which would still be below average for a Right Fielder). Assuming similar defensive value, your pythagorean just went from 30-29 to 33-27, a half game behind Detroit.

If you say that KC couldn't afford to overpay Anibal $15M or more over 5 years to wrest him from Detroit, you'd be dead wrong.

If KC could have sold Myers and Odorizzi for cash, they would have been worth a minimum of $30M, and likely north of $60M or more. It's not just that Myers was the top rated position player in all of the minors, it's that even a cost controlled back-end starter has tremendous potential value. If both players are just average over 4 years that's north of 16 WAR and $80M in gross value, net of their arb awards it's not too much less than $60M. If one ends up being a star, their combined net value ends up well over $100M. If both "bust", i.e. Wil is a below average RF, and Jake ends up being a so-so reliever, that's at least a combined 8 WAR in 4 years, and a gross of $40M that ends up being close to a net $30M since their Arb awards aren't going to be much.

The crime here, as Snapper has said, isn't that this one trade broke the team. It's that this trade is the most clear cut indictment of Dayton Moore's lousy thought process. Giving up $30M+ in prospect value to sign a single solid starter for a small discount to their market value for three years is an immense waste of team resources. It likely cost KC $70-100M or more to lock up Shields for 3 YEARS! That's $40M in salary counting the $12M 3rd year option, plus the value of Myers/Odorizzi, minus the value Wade Davis will eventually give them (zero as a starter, but maybe plus value as a reliever when they finally figure that out).

Shields has been great, but they could have overpaid far less in other deals to achieve better results and leave them a far better future.
   20. The District Attorney Posted: June 09, 2013 at 03:59 PM (#4465027)
Their starting SS (Escobar) has OPS+ of 59.
Yeesh, I voted for him for the All-Star team a few weeks ago. On May 5, he was 295/333/429. Since then, it's been a pitcher-iffic 191/203/221 in 135 plate appearances.

Surely he's not really a 59 OPS+ player, so, yay Royals?
   21. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: June 09, 2013 at 04:57 PM (#4465078)
BTW: Anibal Sanchez has a 158 ERA+ so far, and is getting paid $4M less the next two years than Davis/Shields.

Anibal Sanchez' ERA is the biggest mirage of the season so far.
   22. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 09, 2013 at 05:07 PM (#4465086)
Anibal Sanchez' ERA is the biggest mirage of the season so far.

?????

He has a 11.3/9 K-rate, a 2.2/9 BB-rate, a .325 BABIP and a 73% strand rate. FIP of 1.79, xFIP of 2.39.

If anything, he's pitching better than his ERA.
   23. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: June 09, 2013 at 05:12 PM (#4465094)
Isn't it a bit early to be kicking dirt over the young Royals? Mustache and Hosmer haven't showed what they can do this year, but I believe TFE is implying that they're "failed", and I'm just not ready to call it that way.
   24. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: June 09, 2013 at 05:20 PM (#4465105)
@MIN, TOR, @OAK, @LAA, ATL, MIN, @WSN, HOU, @TEX, MIN, @PIT, TBR
   25. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 09, 2013 at 05:22 PM (#4465107)
@MIN, TOR, @OAK, @LAA, ATL, MIN, @WSN, HOU, @TEX, MIN, @PIT, TBR

7 of those 12 starts were against teams that were supposed to be in the playoffs. He hasn't even gotten his chance to feast on KC and CWS yet.
   26. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 09, 2013 at 05:24 PM (#4465108)
Isn't it a bit early to be kicking dirt over the young Royals? Mustache and Hosmer haven't showed what they can do this year, but I believe TFE is implying that they're "failed", and I'm just not ready to call it that way.

After they get traded they may salvage their careers.

Hosmer has a 98 OPS+ through 1388 PAs; that's "failed" for a 1B. Moustakas has a 83 OPS+ through 1169 PA.

These are not SSS.
   27. valuearbitrageur Posted: June 09, 2013 at 05:39 PM (#4465125)
Anibal Sanchez' ERA is the biggest mirage of the season so far.


Don't you mean James Shields?

Sanchez is 2 years younger, has a higher career ERA+ and far better peripherals this year. I was really being somewhat charitable comparing them as equals.

The first third year of results isn't the important part anyways. Go ahead and plug in another $15M a year pitcher, and your own estimates of Myers/Odorizzi's value. It won't change the math that KC overpaid by a huge amount for James Shields.

Isn't it a bit early to be kicking dirt over the young Royals? Mustache and Hosmer haven't showed what they can do this year, but I believe TFE is implying that they're "failed", and I'm just not ready to call it that way.


I don't think they've failed, rather they've disappointed lately.. And they were never #1 prospect types. Mustache was never rated higher than 9th by BA. Hosmer was never rated higher than 8th. They are actually the type of complementary parts that are useful to build around if you have a #1 prospect type like Myers, if they end up being just average players they save a ton of money during their control years that can be used on the Anibal Sanchez types of free agents you need.

Alex Gordon was rated #2 his last prospect year and ended up producing 20.4 WAR in 6.5 years despite losing most of 2 to injury. In fact, he's on pace to produce over 18 WAR the last 3 years. That's the kind of guy you'd like to build around if you want to build a winner.
   28. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: June 09, 2013 at 05:46 PM (#4465134)
As a Tigers fan, I'm grateful that the people who run the Royals are idiots.
   29. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: June 09, 2013 at 06:36 PM (#4465187)
I think KT's Pot Arb has spent more time explaining the problems with the James Shields trade than Bill Simmons has spent decrying the James Harden trade.
   30. Walt Davis Posted: June 09, 2013 at 07:30 PM (#4465213)
And they were never #1 prospect types.

Moose no but Hosmer yes. Out of a very highly rated group of 22-year-olds, Hosmer had easily the best ZiPS projection heading into 2012. He projected as a 123 OPS+ which was also essentially his career projection. Myers ZiPS this year (age 22) was an OPS+ of just 112, 1 point better than Hosmer's 2013 ZiPS.
   31. Walt Davis Posted: June 09, 2013 at 07:35 PM (#4465219)
And KT, stop harping on Frenchy. He's already in the short end of a platoon.

Moore's stubbornness is best displayed by Chris Getz who is in his 4th season with the Royals and has a 69 OPS+. He is somehow a smidgen above replacement but he's not starting material and nobody needs a bench player that only plays 2B.
   32. Dan Posted: June 09, 2013 at 08:01 PM (#4465235)
Getz can play SS and 3B if needed and runs well. He's a reasonable last guy on the bench. But he is horribly miscast as an everyday player.
   33. valuearbitrageur Posted: June 09, 2013 at 08:21 PM (#4465245)
And KT, stop harping on Frenchy. He's already in the short end of a platoon.


What does that have to do with anything? ( And 171 PAs already!)

The point is trading Wil forced the reliance on Frenchy as the starter, and only his utter suck this year finally forced KC to recently platoon him.

It's an unforced error, because Frenchy was obviously projected to be a poor RF this year by anyone with a casual acquaintance with his career.
   34. Walt Davis Posted: June 09, 2013 at 10:24 PM (#4465358)
Getz can play SS and 3B if needed

This seems unlikely. I mean, sure, in an emergency way but he has only 26 innings at SS and 9 at 3B since 2008 and only 52 games at SS in the minors 2008 or earlier. He's now 29, it's unlikely he's had hidden SS talent all this time. If he could hit a little, he'd be fine in the 2B/3B/LF/RF role.

What does that have to do with anything?

There is little point raising problems that have already been solved. Everybody, including the Royals, knew the risk of keeping Frenchy. It blew up in their face even worse than anybody could have predicted and they've already addressed the situation. You're not telling anybody anything they don't already know and it was discussed to death at the time of the trade.

Now if you want to point out that Lough is continuing the fine KC tradition with 1 BB in his first 60 PA, be my guest.

It probably won't be long now but where's the criticism of the Rays continuing to waste a bench spot on Fuld, trot Kelly Johnson out in LF (he's doing well) and Scott at DH (not doing well and hasn't since 2010) while Myers is in AAA?

That's where Jamey Wright is! I hope he keeps popping up on random rosters for another ten years.

EDIT: OK, not "solved" so much as "addressed."
   35. Jim Wisinski Posted: June 09, 2013 at 10:54 PM (#4465377)
Getz can play SS and 3B if needed and runs well. He's a reasonable last guy on the bench. But he is horribly miscast as an everyday player.


Getz and E. Johnson are essentially the same player. The Royals need to have only one of them on the team and just as a bench player.

2) I was less harsh than most people here about the Shields/Myers trade, because I think people underestimate how difficult it is to get an above-average pitcher who can throw a ton of innings. Shields is about as tough as it gets, and he has been excellent this year. In 13 starts, he has average over 7 IP per outing, his ERA+ is 147...he's been a stud, and they have him through 2014.


Yes, Shields has been fantastic and they have him for this season and next. Problem is there's little to no reason to think that the Royals will suddenly improve enough this season to recover and make the playoffs, considering that there's a legitimately good team in their division and six other teams in the AL vying for the other four playoff spots, not to mention that if we're playing the "they have enough talent on hand for things to turn around for them and make a run" game then you've gotta throw the Angels and Blue Jays in the mix too and maybe the Indians as well. So essentially the entire chance of this trade working out now depends on them being good enough to make the playoffs in 2014. I remained a Davis booster longer than most but I've pretty much lost all confidence in him being able to make an average or better contribution as a starting pitcher, it's pretty much all on Shields to make things worth it.

Alex Gordon was rated #2 his last prospect year and ended up producing 20.4 WAR in 6.5 years despite losing most of 2 to injury. In fact, he's on pace to produce over 18 WAR the last 3 years. That's the kind of guy you'd like to build around if you want to build a winner.


Yeah, Alex Gordon is the type of guy the Royals need to develop and build around. Unfortunately it took FIVE seasons for him to become a star, a path that Hosmer and Moustakas may be taking themselves. Other than some relievers the entire list of successful players developed and brought to the majors by the Royals is Billy Butler, Alex Gordon, and Salvador Perez. No starting pitching whatsoever and just three position players despite drafting high consistently and supposedly being entirely focused on player development. It's Chuck Lamar all over again.
   36. Cooper Nielson Posted: June 09, 2013 at 11:00 PM (#4465382)
That's where Jamey Wright is! I hope he keeps popping up on random rosters for another ten years.

Wow, that makes 10 teams for Wright, 8 in the last 9 years. He's had two stints with the Rockies and the Royals. He also spent time in the Oakland system in 2010 but never got called up by the A's. According to BB-Ref he has signed 17 free-agent contracts!

He'll go into the Hall of Fame as a Rockie (Rocky?) though.
   37. Jim Wisinski Posted: June 09, 2013 at 11:07 PM (#4465386)
It probably won't be long now but where's the criticism of the Rays continuing to waste a bench spot on Fuld, trot Kelly Johnson out in LF (he's doing well) and Scott at DH (not doing well and hasn't since 2010) while Myers is in AAA?


I don't think that 94 lousy PAs by Fuld should be considered as the Rays wasting a bench spot on him, he's a useful bench player plus the only real backup CF on the team (Zobrist or Rodriguez can handle the position if needed but having Fuld around is much more practical). I would certainly not mind Scott being let go and replaced by a combination of Matt Joyce, Kelly Johnson, and players getting a day off from the field at DH with Myers taking over in RF full-time.

Other things I'd love to see the Rays do to improve the team:

Roberto Hernandez replaced by Odorizzi until Price gets back with Archer then remaining in the rotation
Kyle Farnsworth being put out to pasture and replaced by Alex Colome
   38. Jim Wisinski Posted: June 09, 2013 at 11:08 PM (#4465387)
Wow, that makes 10 teams for Wright, 8 in the last 9 years. He's had two stints with the Rockies and the Royals. He also spent time in the Oakland system in 2010 but never got called up by the A's. According to BB-Ref he has signed 17 free-agent contracts!

He'll go into the Hall of Fame as a Rockie (Rocky?) though.


Wright has gone into spring training six straight seasons as an NRI and made the team every time.
   39. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 09, 2013 at 11:49 PM (#4465428)
The Royals had "close" games because they couldn't score runs. That problem doesn't appear to be going away any time soon nor does it appear to have been a fluke.


I think it will regress back to the mean somewhat. Moose isn't quite this awful. They'll start to get some better production at 2B and RF as I think Getz and Francoeur are at the end of the line. Butler is starting to heat up. When Dyson returns he actually makes the team a bit better offensively.

Of course, George Brett will undeservedly get the credit, and of course the pitching will begin to regress back to the mean as well, so we're still locked into a 76 win season.

Why do the Royals suck at player development? Ned Yost was recently asked about the draft, and whether the team would look for guys with plate discipline. Ned said no, the team was looking for tools. So the reporter asked if plate discipline was a tool. Ned said no, it was something that could be taught.

And I think that's the Royals biggest problem. They assume things like plate discipline, fundamentals, and throwing strikes for pitchers are things that can be taught at the pro level, and are drafting raw players that lack these skills. The truth is, these are "tools" that scouts should be looking for in players, not things you just develop in spring training.

I don't know, I could be way off, but its frustrating to see Royals prospects routinely praised by BA only to turn into turds, while we look across the state as anonymous Cardinals prospects become useful MLB players from day one.
   40. bookbook Posted: June 10, 2013 at 04:20 AM (#4465507)
As an M's fan, it's easy fr me to read the same article with different names (Hismer, Moustakas, don't you mean Smoak, Montero, Ackley?)

I'm sure Indians and Pirates fans could have done the same in the recent past.

Which is kind of the point. Most rebuilds fail. Even when the prospects win over BA. By all means, the Royals' and Mariners' braintrusts should be fired, Accountability must be served. But at least consider the possibility that the teams were mediocre at talent development--not terrible--and the talent simply failed to develop.
   41. PreservedFish Posted: June 10, 2013 at 04:38 AM (#4465508)
Echoing #40, I've long noticed a strange tendency on this site to consider GMs as if they had certain easily observable and immutable skills. Such as, Moore: good at drafting, bad at developing. Epstein: great at developing, bad at free agency. These judgments are usually based on the performances of very few players, so they are shaky to begin with, and the idea that these GMs are likely to have similar results in the future is shakier still.
   42. Walt Davis Posted: June 10, 2013 at 06:08 PM (#4466226)
Echoing #40, I've long noticed a strange tendency on this site to consider GMs as if they had certain easily observable and immutable skills. Such as, Moore: good at drafting, bad at developing. Epstein: great at developing, bad at free agency. These judgments are usually based on the performances of very few players, so they are shaky to begin with, and the idea that these GMs are likely to have similar results in the future is shakier still.

True but it's also such small sample judgments that get these guys hired and fired too. Moore got the job because the Braves were great at development while he was there and the Royals gave him credit for that.

I do think GMs take a few years to learn the ropes (see Kenny Williams) but Moore's had a pretty long run at this point and doesn't seem to be learning his lessons and we haven't actually found anything he's good at yet.

I agree with your point on rebuilds and that the challenge of it is treated too cavalierly around here. Sure, if pretty much everything went right, the Royals could have been really good by now. Maybe if things had gone to reasonable expectation they'd be at least a decent team. But it doesn't take much to go wrong to turn a 5-year plan into a 10-year plan.
   43. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: June 10, 2013 at 06:43 PM (#4466254)
If KC could have sold Myers and Odorizzi for cash, they would have been worth a minimum of $30M, and likely north of $60M or more.


Then here's an intelligent, market-based alternative to the pink-tinged tenants of confiscatory Budshovism. Teams like the Royals, who have all manner of high draft picks PLUS the addition of Bud's ridiculous poormouth talent welfare program, "the competitive balance" scam, could instead be allowed to directly sell these assets for massive windfalls that could then be used to obtain all manner of free agents to improve their club. Buying teams could lock in young cost-controlled players after assuming the significant risk of paying the premium for that talent directly, while the selling team can parlay a well-considered farm program into enormous revenues rivaling the largest markets in the sport.
   44. smileyy Posted: June 10, 2013 at 07:23 PM (#4466293)
[12] But why would that cause a deviation from Pyth?

   45. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: June 10, 2013 at 07:27 PM (#4466301)
Mustache and Hosmer haven't showed what they can do this year, but I believe TFE is implying that they're "failed", and I'm just not ready to call it that way.



The clock is ticking...

The problem with the Royal's Pythag, is the positives are all April, since then it's been the Royals we've come to now and love[loathe]
and the other problem with the Royal's pythag is that it's skewed by a few early blow out wins

   46. McCoy Posted: June 10, 2013 at 07:53 PM (#4466328)
[12] But why would that cause a deviation from Pyth?

Because Pyth is a general tool meant to measure hundreds of games and not dozens?


It's like the old Bill James argument about the runs created formula and using it on a per game basis.
   47. Mike Emeigh Posted: June 10, 2013 at 08:02 PM (#4466338)
Until the last two weeks Myers was pretty awful; since Memorial Day he's been smoking hot. I think had he been in the major league starting lineup from Day 1, either in KC or in Tampa, the adjustments would have been very painful to watch.

-- MWE
   48. McCoy Posted: June 11, 2013 at 09:02 AM (#4466609)
Royals are 7-2 so far in June despite the fact that their hitters have a .649 OPS so far in June.
   49. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 11, 2013 at 09:24 AM (#4466629)
and the other problem with the Royal's pythag is that it's skewed by a few early blow out wins


They're 6-5 in "blowouts" (5+ runs lead) with 67 runs scored and 59 against. Take those out and their pythag still has them as just under a .500 team.

Hey, the team has a six game winning streak against really awful teams and now the Tigers. So maybe all is well.


Royals are 7-2 so far in June despite the fact that their hitters have a .649 OPS so far in June.


Give George Brett a contract extension!
   50. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: June 11, 2013 at 08:31 PM (#4467229)
And KT, stop harping on Frenchy. He's already in the short end of a platoon.

How many years and millions of dollars did it take for Moore to figure out what everyone on this site already knew?

Moore is the kind of guy who does make it easy to imagine we armchair GMs could readily succeed.

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