The New Year is always a good time to make predictions as well as set goals for the future. Â As you can see from my effort last yearÂ I’ll be wrong about quite a fewÂ but I am happy to say that I met my personal goals of attending a lot minor league games and adding quite a bit of Royals minor league video. Â So here we go again but this time I’m dragging in the whole crew at PTP to show off their skills.
This list is obviously much much shorter than last year but there should be a couple of names that we see by September
Wil Myers – Has to wait til September due to Gordon and Frenchy in the corners but a outstanding AAA season will get him a look.
Mike Montgomery – A bounce back in Omaha will get Mike a look sometime after July.
Clint Robinson – CRob will earn a September look after another good AAA season.
Kevin Chapman – Timmy control problems and an overuse of arms in the bullpen combined with a good season by Chapman will get him sometime in KC.
Wil Myers came in as aÂ unanimous choice asÂ PTP Preseason Player of the Year
PTP Minor League Player of the Year – Wil Myers I’ll go the easy route due to talent and an excellent right hand hitting environment at Werner Park the home of the Storm Chasers.
PTP Minor League Pitcher of the Year – Yordano VenturaÂ again a product of environment plays into it with the Carolina league and Frawley park being extreme pitcher parks but we’ll also see Yordano’s stuff take a step forward. Â Quick info of the big Royals starting pitching prospects only Danny Duffy outperformed Ventura’s 3.67 K/BB ratio in the Midwest league.
Positional Breakout Performer (Prospect who improves stock the most) - Jorge Bonifacio will etch his name next to Cheslor Cuthbert as one of the Royals top position prospects earning a promotion to Wilmington.
Pitching Breakout Performer – Â this is a tough one for me because I have some confidence in a couple injured arms (Lamb, Simmons) coming back and having good years but I think I’ll settle with Sugar Ray Marimon. Â Sugar Ray flashed stuff in the Midwest league last year holding opponents to a 7.5 H/9 rate as well as being apart of a no hitter. Â Marimon won’t be a front of the rotation type but he could flash backend rotation talent with bullpen upside earning his way into the Top 20 of most Royals guides.
Positional Newcomer Award(Prospect who hasn’t played above Rookie ball that puts his name in the mix) – D’Andre Toney quickly becoming one my personal cheese balls Toney will outperform the other 2011 draftpicks and signings. Â Unfortunately for him he’ll do most of his work in Short season ball until a Bonifacio promotion opens up a spot in the Kane County OF for him.
Pitching Newcomer Award – Jake Junis we haven’t heard much about Junis after getting drafted but a low 90s FB, capable offspeed stuff and a season in his home area of Geneva will make the transition to pro ball easier for him.
Bubba FactorÂ (Because the biggest name in the system deserves his own category)- Starling will struggle with winter weather in the cold midwest league against the college pitchers that comprise that league early but as the weather breaks in May and June he’ll enjoy better stats and show flashes of why KC drafted him. Â Don’t expect a promotion in 2012.
Personal Goal for site – My wife will be having our 3rd child which means a little less time at the games this year but I hope to provide you with plenty of video of Wil at Omaha and even get to a couple Kane County series. Â I’m going to try to add video interviews with a few Royals prospects this year, something I haven’t done in the past. Â Thanks again for reading and if you’re not already following me on Twitter please do so @ClintScoles or checkout my Youtube page to see the latest Royals prospects in action !
PTP believes Montgomery will push his way into the 2012 rotation
Mike Montgomery – With the new pitching philosophy in the Royals organization, I think Montgomery is poised to have a huge 2012 season and will spend a good portion of it with the Royals. I don’t see him breaking camp with the club, but he’ll be up quickly.
Wil Myers – He’ll be at Omaha for most of the year, but should get at least a September call-up.
David Lough – I think he’s the first man called up as an injury replacement if anybody goes down.
Clint Robinson – Probably a September callup, but could be up earlier if Butler or Hosmer goes down.
Christian Colon – He won’t deserve it, but he’ll be up for a cup of coffee in September
Kevin Chapman/Patrick Keating – I put them together because they’ll both probably see some action, but won’t be ready for full-time big league action until 2013.
PTP Minor League Player of the Year It’ll be Wil Myers. The only thing that keeps him from this honor is getting called up to the big leagues too soon due to what will most likely be injury. His rough 2011 will be in the past very quickly and he’ll break out with a huge minor league season cementing his status as a top prospect.
PTP Minor League Pitcher of the Year Jason Adam…His ability to throw a mid-90s fastball with command combined with his off-speed stuff will make him very difficult to hit in Wilmington. I think Adam may be the biggest jumper of the season among pitchers.
Position Breakout Performer I’m not sure if a third round pick from pretty recently could be a breakout performer, but based on very little I think Michael Antonio will put together a big year in 2012. He’s already pretty much grown out of shortstop, but he has very real power and a developing batting eye at the plate.
Pitching Breakout Performer Jason Adam is the guy here again. I just love his pitchability to steal a term from the great Allard Baird.
Position Player Necomer Award I’m a big fan of D’Andre Toney like Clint. I love the fact that he plays defense and has a bat that just looks like it’ll come around to make him a serious prospect. He’s got some people to jump, but he’ll get there.
Pitching Newcomer Award He may be too high of a pick to be here, but I’m really interested to see Kyle SmithÂ pitch in 2012. He seems to have a great feel for pitching and if he can command his off-speed stuff could move very quickly.
Bubba Factor To be honest, I think there’s a moderately decent chance that Starling is a massive bust. That’s obvious with everybody, but this season will go a long way toward figuring that out. He clearly has the tools, but the holes in his swing are pretty easy to find. I think he’ll have periods where he’s the best player in his league, but other times when he looks absolutely lost and there just won’t be a ton in between.
NWA – they’ll do well in the first half before the attrition of callups
Personal Goal for the Site
I’d like to keep writing a lot because it’s what I love to do, but I hope to get into a little more statistical analysis which means more learning for me as well so I can better write about them. I’d like to develop a bit more of a personal relationship with some of the Royals players to get a better idea of how the game works from the inside rather than what I see on the outside. If you have anything you want me to write or any questions to ask, please don’t hesitate to find me on Twitter @DBLesky
and just shoot me a tweet on there. Thanks for reading!
Mike Montgomery – Expect him to begin the year at Omaha. But if the big league rotation begins to get a bit leaky, expect him to get a shot by midseason.
Jake Odorizzi – Big believer in Odorizzi. Heâ€™ll probably start the year back in Northwest Arkansas, but could make a big leap all the way to the big leagues by September.
Wil Myers – Another guy pegged to start the year at Double-A, Myersâ€™ 2011 season was just one cobbled up mess. Heâ€™ll return to healthy in 2012 and primed for a big year. I can see him getting a look in September.
Christian Colon – Hopefully a move to second base will help Colon settle in for a breakout in 2012. Heâ€™s been rather pedestrian so far as a pro with the bat, and thatâ€™s something heâ€™ll need to improve on this year — he has a fine hit tool, now just needs the numbers to prove it. With Yuniesky Betancourt on a one-year deal in KC, expect Colon to spend most of 2012 in Omaha, with a chance to see KC in September.
PTP Minor League Player of the Year – Wil Myers. The obvious choice, right? He needs another solid year in the minors, and the Jeff Francoeur deal should help assure that happens. With that being the case, I think heâ€™ll have a monster year.
PTP Minor League Pitcher of the Year – Jake Odorizzi. Very high on this kid. Really liked what I saw from him at Northwest Arkansas last year, even though he was up and down when I saw him. Stuff is advanced and he had a solid head on his shoulders. He can be a fast mover, but should spend all of the year in the minors.
Positional Breakout Performer (Prospect who improves stock the most) – Christian Colon. Just a hunch. Stock seems to have taken a dip due to his prolonged slumps at the dish. I want to believe this is the year we see him go on a tear with the bat.
Pitching Breakout Performer – Chris Dwyer. OK, Iâ€™m going on another hunch here. Dwyer, long regarded as a top arm in the Royals system, has always been a point of confusion for me. I love the body. I love the stuff. He just looks like a big league ballplayer. Yet, the results just havenâ€™t been there consistently enough for me to get enamored by the guy. I saw him in some really rough games last year, and one good one. For the sake of everyone, letâ€™s hope Dwyerâ€™s rough 2011 campaign can be written off as a bump in the road. The stuff is still there. Iâ€™m just going on a hunch and saying he begins to put it all back together in 2012.
Positional Newcomer Award (Prospect who hasnâ€™t played above Rookie ball who puts his name in the mix) – Daniel Mateo. A switch-hitting second baseman/third baseman, Mateo swung the bat very well last year in Idaho Falls. The 6-1, 178 pound Dominican hit .348 with nine doubles, four triples and four homers while driving in 40 in 56 games for the Chukars. All of that coming off a disappointing 2010 year where he clubbed just .218 in the Arizona League. Heâ€™ll need to cut down on strikeouts and it would be nice to see him steal bases. Still, if Mateo can move up a level and continue to make strides, we could see his name pop up in conversations more often.
Pitching Newcomer Award – Bryan Brickhouse. He gets the nod here from me because, to his advantage in this award category, Iâ€™ve already seen him pitch with my own two eyes and know that he has the capability of shredding low-level minor league lineups. Perhaps itâ€™s in the name, but Brickhouse has that bulldog mentality I like from pitchers. He trusts his stuff, doesnâ€™t back down and really wants to get better. I have to admit I was stoked when the Royals took him in the draft this year, as he was a pitcher I felt would go on to have a solid career.
Bubba Factor – Itâ€™s been an opinion of mine that Bubba Starling will struggle in his first minor league season. Donâ€™t expect to see him tear the cover off the ball in the early going, though I believe heâ€™ll end up posting solid numbers by the end of the season. Now that he is solely focusing on baseball, it should be fun to see how he progresses at the professional level.
Like Clint, I wouldnâ€™t be surprised if Starling remains at the same level all season. The Royals have no reason to rush him.
Playoff Contenders – Omaha. Northwest Arkansas. Wilmington.
Personal Goal for site
– This will be my first baseball season writing for PTP, so Iâ€™ll be trying to find my niche here on the site. For the most part, expect a little bit of this and that from me — at least in the beginning. I attend quite a few minor league games throughout the Texas League (Double-A) each year, so youâ€™ll get plenty of content from me in that regard. Of course, there will be plenty of big league stuff from me, and Iâ€™ll attempt to have something up on a more regular basis throughout the season. If you follow me on Twitter @LeviPayton
, you got the news first regarding the Manny Pina call-up last year. Can I do it again this year? Follow me and find out, please. (Shameless plug)
I don’t know if I should use call ups or debuts- I think we will see guys like Greg Golson in the big league this season but that won’t be his debut. The other guys seems to do debuts so I will follow suit
Mike Montgomery- Â He will look great in spring and Ned will be tempted to bring him home with the big league club. But, the right thing to do is to have him get to Omaha and prove his stuff is back. He is working on refining his “put away” pitches this winter and we might see him dump the curve in favor of a slider/cutter this spring. Mentally, I know he is ready to go and learned a valuable lesson last year. I think he debuts in July
Ryan Verdugo- The lefty the Royals acquired from San Francisco will spend the entire season at Omaha and get a look in September
Kevin Chapman- The power lefty from the University of Florida will have to be added to the 40 man but he will impress many this spring and get a call up in August
Jake Odorizzi- AA to start the year with a finish at AAA- we always forget how many pitchers you need during a season with injuries or performance and Jake will see time in the big leagues in August
Clint Robinson- I would love to see him get an opportunity elsewhere and I could see that happen with a spring trade but he will get the call if there is an injury to Butler or Hosmer. Hopefully that does not happen and we see him in September
David Lough- Ditto what I said about Clint. Lough is behind on the depth chart so much that we won’t see him until September. Unless, he lights the lamp so much at Omaha that he forces the issue
Christian Colon- I think he bounces back with a solid year at AA and AAA and we see him in September
Wil Myers- I think Wil has a huge year and I never would have guessed we would have seen Hosmer and Perez as early as we did. So, as much as I think he could spend the season in the minors I would not be surprised if we see him sooner if one of the OF goes down with an injury.
Minor League Offensive Player of the Year- Wil Myers is a no brainer for me….I think he takes the next step to being an elite prospect this season
Minor League Pitcher of the Year- Greg Billo is not a bonafide pitching prospect but I still expect him to dominate (statistic wise) at Wilmington this season. The real test for Greg will be when he gets to AA
Positional Breakout Performance- Yem Prades has all the tools you look at in a breakout performer. He has a great baseball body and the skills to drive the ball over the fence and steal some bases. I don’t know if he starts the season at AA but I believe he finishes the season there and will be an integral part of their playoff run.
Pitching Breakout Performer- Kevin Chapman will put it all together and resemble Nasty Boy Norm Charlton. He has the stuff to tease the brass to believe he is a starter but the same brass will remain calm and recognize his injury history and keep him in the pen. The former top shelf high school star will put up huge numbers out of the pen pitching out of the Naturals and Storm Chasers pen.
Positional Newcomer- Carlos Garcia could see time at SS this season and he certainly has the glove to play there. He has been mostly a SS since choosing the Royals out of Venezuela. He has really raised some eyebrows lately with his speed and glove and even though the Royals suddenly have a plethora of players at the SS position they feel Garcia should be added to the mix. He has added some muscle to his frame and while he enters the season with zero home runs as a pro I expect that to change this season. He can also run so we can expect to see some bags being stolen by young Carlos.
Pitching Newcomer- Kyle Smith The body comps to Tim Hudson are easy. But, he also has the ability to pitch like Hudson someday with a close to mid 9’s fastball and an excellent curve. I think he will arrive at Kane County in May and have an excellent season.
Bubba may struggle at Kane County despite stellar tools
Bubba Factor- I always said the very best thing to happen to Bubba would be for him to get out of high school baseball. I think he was so good here that he really developed some bad habits. He became HR happy and resembled a big dude on a softball field trying to take everything over the LF fence regardless of the location of the pitch. I never saw him shorten his swing or go the other way. I think he will have a tough go this season and it will be a good thing. On and off the field he has time to grow up and this season will be a valuable lesson in that. I think he will strike out once every 4 times up and hit 15 HR but the .avg and obp will be low. Please don’t think I am saying he is a bust because he isn’t. But, for the first time in his life he will struggle and that my friends is a very, very good thing.
Kane County will make it with a prospect laden club
Wilmington misses the playoffs but mgr Vance Wilson will keep the team playing hard and begin to show why he might be the future mgr of the big league club
Northwest Arkansas will miss the playoffs for the first time in 3 years as they miss the first half title and lose to much talent to win the second half.
Omaha makes the playoffs again but this time they lose players to the big league club for the playoff run and grab guys from NWA
Personal goals for the site
: Make sure our new network we will be a part of kicks off smoothly….Recruit a few more writers for the site. Looking for people to cover the teams at Wilmington, Kane County, Idaho Falls, Burlington NC, Surprise, and in the Dominican. Begin to receive more great player photos from our great fan base to use on the site. I want to add another writer to pick on some of the more fun categories of the site. Have a easy to access player encyclopedia of everyone in the system with every article or picture we have of said player.Â Follow me @Greg_Schaum
Â and follow our game action @pinetarpress
Â for in depth Royals info and thank you all.