The three R’s. Well i’m certainly not talking about radishes, rhino’s, and rolex’s. I’m also not going to be discussing Ryne Sandberg, Ricky Weeks, and Ronny Paulino. We’re going to discuss the comparisons and parellels between the Royals, Rangers, and Rays over the past several and the next several seasons.
Take a look at the Yankees organization. Great management, great fan attendance. The point is, the Yankees management is among the best in Baseball due to passion for keeping the game original and spending when they need to. They are not the only productive organization in Baseball, but the three that I am discussing today couldn’t be more different. Take a look at the Rays for example. They don’t have the money to go out and spend $181MM on Mark Teixeira or get in to a bidding war for Matt Holliday. The Rays have to draft, spend internationally, build from within, and maintain a team where you have little fan attendance and no payroll. The aformentioned ballclub has obviously been extremely successful lately thanks to Stuart Sternberg, Andrew Friedman, among others…But can a team succeed in the long run when they are in the dumps for such a long time? I say the answer is yes, and I think Nolan Ryan and the Texas Rangers fan base would agree. Obviously you look at some of the great moves that Jon Daniels has made recently. Now take a look at their 2007 draft, again, I used the “D” word. Most of the trades that they have made over the past year consist of letting go of players to whom they had drafted in ’07. Isn’t that all it is though? If you draft smart, spend money on amateurs including international amateurs, how far can that get you in the long run? Now take a look at the Royals. Not only the best farm system in Baseball but maybe the best farm system in Baseball History. I could spend hours just discussing and thinking about how scary their teams are and they are still underrated.
Now how do the Royals go about becoming a winning and successful franchise again such as the current Rays and Rangers? Well there are actually a lot of comparisons that need to be discussed.
According to Baseball America’s top 10 Rays prospects in 2007, (by the way, tell me this isn’t extremely awesome) from 1-10, Evan Longoria, David Price, Jake McGee, Wade Davis, Reid Brignac, Desmond Jennings, Jeff Neimann, Jeremy Hellickson, Ryan Royster, Chris Mason.
Obviously it’s about those two big names, Ryan Royster and Chris Mason. Seriously though, is that all it takes to be a winning team let alone successful franchise for years to come? Simplfying it, maybe. The Texas Rangers now, who actually had a little bit of a different road to glory, boasted the best Minor League System for a time before they had their pieces in place for this season. Now if you look at their roster, Elvis Andrus, Derek Holland, Neftali Feliz, Mitch Moreland, Ian Kinsler, Michael Young, among others…All of whom are on that team due to Estaban Loaiza, Mark Teixeira, and good drafting. The Rangers also have two minor leaguers who I really like, both international signings, Martiz Perez and Jurrickson Profar.
So the point is, can the Royals, who currently boast a top 15, (my opinion) Mike Moustakas, Eric Hosmer, Wil Myers, John Lamb, Mike Montgomery, Christian Colon, Chris Dwyer, Johnny Giavotella, Cheslor Cuthbert, Danny Duffy, Salvador Perez, Tim Collins, Brett Eibner, Derrick Robinson, and Crawford Simmons. Now there are many others who I can go crazy about (and trust me there are), but the question is, can these 15 translate in to a 2013 2008 Rays season? You look at the Rays and how their great drafts translated in to 3 consecutive winning seasons to say the least, the Rangers who will in my opinion have a winning team for many years to come, and the Royals, who in my opinion are extremely underrated and have a lot to be excited about.
The point is to focus more on the drafts, international scouting, player development and such, that to me is more important than signing player A for $10MM and player B for $15MM. Dayton Moore has done a fantastic job even after dealing Leo Nunez and Ramon Ramirez for pretty much nothing. Bottom line is, there is a lot to be excited for if you are a Royals fan, and even more to be excited about if you are a Rays and Rangers fan, who are two and three of the best managed teams in Baseball. The Rays, Rangers, and Royals…The REAL three “R’s”
Me: What’s it like having a father who played the game as a mentor and cheerleader?
Me: If you could pick any team to draft you, which team would it be and why?
Shawon: The rays because my favorite player Bj Upton plays on that team
Me: There are rougly 8 months until draft day. What kind of work will you be doing physically to prepare for the draft?
Me: What has it been like facing the best pitchers in the nation? I know the best pitcher you ever faced was A.J. Vanegas who was just drafted by the Padres. Describe the challenge of competing against the best pitchers and players and the return to high school ball.
Me: How excited are you for your final high school season and do you plan to change any part of your game?
Me: Final question Shawon, The _____________ are going to win the World Series this year.
So the Reds and Twins lost and not only that, were swept. Comes to a point where you just say to yourself; “seriously?”
Well next season is another year and now for 24 teams in MLB, the focus is about how we can improve our team, rather than how can we advance to the next round of the post-season.
For the Twins, the top priority has to be to re-sign their relievers who are heading for free agency. Jesse Crain, Brian Fuentes, Matt Guerrier, Jon Rauch, and Randy Flores are all impending free agents. I say they re-sign 3 not including Randy Flores. the other 4 are pretty much the same type of pitcher; a 3 or 4 pitch mix and neither really touch 96+ although Crain might go there.
The Reds already made their big off-season move, resigning Dusty Baker. Another move faces them: What to do with Yonder Alonso.
are all potential fits for Alonso. We’ll see what happens with him but the Reds can’t go another season stocking him in Louisville because they have no room for him.
So my two favorite teams are out but that just means I have to have two new favorite post-season teams. The Royals might be there in a few years, but we are talking about right now. I have my money on Texas and San Francisco in the World Series with the Rangers beating the Giants in 6.
This is a list of in my opinion, the top 50 best prospects in Baseball who are people dont usually talk about. I hope you all like it. Let me know if you like it, and If you don’t like it, let me know as well.There are obviously some guys who got left off, but we are all aware that there are hundred of underrated prospects in MILB.
1. Jason Kipnis (Indians): I’m going to say this once and once only. Kipnis is going to be better than Dustin Ackley, and watch for him in the AFL this fall. He is a very, very good player.
2. Tyler Skaggs (Diamondbacks): Everyone is still knocking Jerry DiPoto for the Dan Haren package. Well I ask why? Skaggs and Corbin both have a chance to be above average Major League Starters. Skaggs has really good stuff and is expected to rise quickly. He’s already one of the better prospects around.
3. Stephen Parker (A’s): Steve has done nothing but succeed since he was drafted last year. I’ve always liked him especially from the draft, and I expect him to keep on hitting next year.
4. J.D. Martinez (Astros): the problem with J.D. Is his knees, which makes him a defensive liability, but he’s one of the last batters you want to face in the minors if you’re a pitcher. Expect to see him in the Space City sometime next year.
5. Aaron Sanchez (Blue Jays): Definitely one of my favorite prospects in the minors. He is a good athlete who narrows down the chances of an injury, he has an effortless delivery which also makes the chances of an injury unlikely, and oh by the way, he dominated the GCL and made his way up to Rookie Ball as a just-18 year old. I’m really excited about Aaron Sanchez.
6. Angel Morales): (Twins) Definetly one of my favorites. Sangel has all of the tools and they are all there as well. He does everything that a “Twins type of player” does, and may be a perennial 50 SB guy with a good glove and a .380 OBP throughout his MLB career.
7. Johnny Giavotella (Royals): Another Royals prospect who will impact the team a great deal in a few years. I look at Johnny the same way I look at Dustin Pedroia, they are almost exactly the same player. Johnny is also the perfect #2 hitter for any team.
8. Billy Hamilton (Reds): Tons of tools, and the scary thing is, they are already there in Rookie Ball. Billy has a chance to be one of the games most special players and although he is still in rookie ball, he is closer than most think.
9. Corey Kluber (Indians): Still don’t understand why the Padres would trade a future #2 with really good stuff. Well the Indians have themself a pitcher who can definetly impact their rotation sometime soon. Kluber reminds me a lot of what Thomas Diamond was to Texas, but he’ll definetly have a better career than Diamond.
10. Michael McDade (Blue Jays): Love the power that Mack Daddy has. He also plays 1B extremely well. I was talking to one of my buddies on the Fisher Cats and he said that McDade can walk faster than he could run; so that’s a problem. But there is a 100% chance that McDade will be in AA next season and I expect him to do nothing but hit and get on base, AND scoop some balls out of the dirt.
11. Drake Britton (Red Sox): How do you not like this talented starter for Greenville? He is exactly what teams want in a young starter; left handed, strikes out more than a batter per inning, has good poise, and pitches consistently. Not that the Red Sox rotation needs more help, but Britton will definetly provide it when ready. I’m really excited to see him pitch in the EL when he is there.
12. Trayvon Robinson (Dodgers): The Dodgers have themself a special player is Trayvon, someone who can switch hit, get on base, and play the position well. I expect him to be a very successful Major League Outfielder.
13. Adam Warren (Yankees): Betances, Banuelos, Noesi, and oh yeah, another Yankee farmhand who strikes out more than a batter per inning and puts up good numbers where and whenever he pitches. Expect the Yankees to take a good look at Warren in Spring Training next year.
14. Eric Thames (Blue Jays): Eric, a great guy and a guy I know as well, is definetly someone to keep an eye on. He is underrated because of his age, but he was drafted at the age of 22. He is currently 24, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t a future OF for a Major League Team. From what I know, the Jays keep a lot of their top prospects in NH, mainly because its closer to Toronto. I do have high hopes for Eric though and expect him to continue his success and maintain it at a higher level.
15. Joe Gardner (Indians): Joe strikes out a lot of batters, but can he continue to do so at the higher levels of the Indians system? I hope so. But for now, he is someone who I like and hope others keep an eye on him as well.
16. Alex Cobb (Rays): Still can’t believe people don’t know about Cobb. He has great stuff for a Rays pitcher, and that is saying a lot.
17. Jean Segura (Angels): Another Angels prospect who does all of the little things right. Segura is a few years away, but has plenty of upside and potential. Expect to hear about him more when the Angels are trying to make some trades.
18. Francisco Martinez (Tigers): I really like Francisco. Has a really high ceiling and plays the game right. He is still young, but is definetly someone to keep an eye on and certainly a player who will be in many GM’s phone calls for years to come.
19. Josh Harrison (Pirates): Another reason why the Curve won the EL this year. Harrison hit 1 home run but drove in 75 runs. He has speed, and is someone to definetly keep an eye on.
20. Liam Hendricks (Twins): Put up great numbers this year, not the best of stuff though. But can definetly succeed as a Twins pitcher because he is a strike thrower at worst.
21. Francisco Arcia (Yankees): I’m sure Yankee fans are saying, can’t we move this guy to the other NY borough? Well Staten Island isn’t far from the Bronx, but Arcia isn’t close to being Major League ready. He will impact the team though when he is in the Majors.
22. Rudy Owens (Pirates): Was the Pirates MILB Pitcher of the year, but we all know that he was the MILB and MLB Pirates pitcher of the year. A big reason why the Curve were EL Champions.
23. Rashun Dixon (A’s): Kevin Goldstein likes Dixon as well as I do, and he was great for Kane County this year. He has a chance to be a poor mans Carl Crawford, but will definetly steal 50+ bases per year at the Major League Level. I’m really excited about the A’s system, and Dixon is a big reason for that.
24. Edgar Olmos (Marlins): I have always liked Olmos, but due to his rough august, people are only going to look at his overall numbers which were very good (9+k/9 and a sub 4 ERA) before the last month. He has a chance to join Koeller and Vilanueva as 3 starters for the Marlins who can impact the rotation in the new ballpark, so keep an eye on Olmos.
25. Luis Jimenez (Angels): doesn’t hit for mucch power, but plays the position well. Then again, playing for the Angela’s like the Twins, its about defense as well, un that aspect, Luis can definetly be something special for LAA.
26. L.J. Hoes (Orioles): A perfect player for the Orioles. L.J. gets on base, is fast, and plays the game the right way especially defensively. The Orioles already have a lot of talented position players, and Hoes is just another guy with tremendous tools and speed. Expect him to force Brian Roberts out of Baltimore when the time comes.
27. Derrick Robinson (Royals): Another favorite of mine, he played a big part in the Naturals dominance of the Texas League this year. The Naturals also had one of the best teams in Minor League Baseball history. D-Rob was a big reason for that. He provides switch hitting speed, something that Royals executives and fans should be excited about.
28. Ryan Gennett (Brewers): A very good 2B prospect for the Brewers, keep an eye on this middle-infield talent.
29. Leonel Santiago (Royals): Doesn’t have the greastest stuff on earth, but this guy can pitch. I know a lot of Royals experts like him, as do I. But I definetly believe that Santiago might be one of the better pitching prospects in the Royals organization. Anytime you dominate rookie ball, you have an eye on yourself, but Santiago has a chance to even better than most think.
30. Domingo Santana (Phillies): Had a rough season for Williamsport, but the sky is the limit for Santana, who has tons of potential.
31. Ian Krol (A’s): The A’s don’t have enough good pitching at the Major League Level right? No, I am joking, but Krol is another guy with good stuff who is young (19). And by the way, does it help if he’s left handed?
32. Patrick Keating (Royals): A power arm with really good stuff out of the Royals system. The Royals system is just awesome, simple as that.
33. Kyle Seager (Mariners): The Mariners have Franklin, Ackley, Liddi, and now Seager as some prospects who will impact their infield in a couple of years. Seager has done nothing but hit this year, and is expected to do the same next year.
34. Armando Hernandez (Mets): I like Hernandez as a back of the rotation starter, but he may be more than that. We’ll see what happens when he pitches at a higher level.
35. Crawford Simmons (Royals): I never thought I would say this, but the Royals are getting sick of having incredibly good left handed pitching prospects in their organization. Well if thats the case, Simmons won’t make them any happier.
36. Bobby Carson (Mets): Another Mets prospect who has potential even though he was roughed up a bit in AA. He is still seen as a pitcher who top of the rotation stuff and potential, just when will he reach that potential is the question.
37. Brandon Gomes (Padres): So the Padres bullpen is pretty darn good already right? Well Gomes can make in even better and well by the middle to end of next season. Great numbers as a reliever throughout his career and continues to do nothing but pitch fantastically and strike batters out.
38. Hector Noesi (Yankees): I like Noesi, and if he can maintain his strikeouts, he can be a good pitcher. Ever since Betances and Banuelos came on to the scene, Noesi has over shadowed, but I still think Hector can continue to pitch well at a higher level.
39. Felix Sanchez (Red Sox): Felix has all of the tools but he is years away from being the Red Sox starting CF. He USA a traditional leadoff guy in that he gets on base, guys for a high AVG, and steals a number of bases. Has lots of upside and is a special prospect for the Sox. Reminds me a lot of Jacoby Ellsbury.
40. Trystan Magnuson (Blue Jays): Great guy and someone who I have had some pretty good conversations with this summer. He doesn’t throw very hard, but is a really good late inning reliever who locates and gets outs when he needs to.
41. Cody Stanley (Cardinals): Cardinals fans should definetly be excited about Stanley. He has good tools, something that the higher levels of the Cards organization lacks.
42. Neil Holland (Nationals): I met Buster Olney at a Vermont Lake Monsters game this summer, and he seemed more excited to see Neil Holland than me. Does anybody know why? Well Holland, a NYPL All-Star this season, was the best pitcher for the Lake Monsters this summer, and has potential to be another weapon out of the pen for the Nats.
43. Austin Wates (Astros): Tons of speed, gets on base, plays a good defensive CF; is anybody else wondering why he wasn’t drafted sooner?
44. Kyle Petter (Indians): This is a guy who a lot of people like, especially John Manuel and myself. a 34th rounder this year, is a future weapon out of the pen for the Tribe. Has really good stuff and may move quickly.
45. Brad Meyers (Nationals): If he can stay healthy, he has top of the rotation stuff. Notice how I said, “IF” he can stay healthy.
46. Brayan Villareal (Tigers): Not a very big guy and may be a reliever in the long term, but Villareal has really good stuff and is a bright spot in a not so great Tigers system.
47. Jose Altuve (Astros): This 5’5 toolsy SS for Lancaster played great this year and has impressed a lot of people connected with the organization. Jonathan Villar is closer to the Majors than Altuve, but expect to hear more about him for a while.
48. Tommy Koehler (Marlins): I actually currently play in the Babe Ruth League that Koehler played in, although I wish I was as good of a pitcher as he is.
49. Matt Bush (Rays): Yes, the guy who was drafted as **** 1st overall by the Padres instead of Verlander, Pedroia, and Gallardo. Bush has now re-found his career and is a reliever who has really good stuff.
50. Charles Furbush (Tigers): Furbush has top of the rotation potential and is left handed. He is putting up good numbers at AAA and although the season ended a bit badly for Furbush, he will definetly be someone who can impact the Tigers rotation as soon as next season.