The Tutelage of Chris Young

March 7, 2015

News that the Royals have signed RHP Chris Young came out today. This is an excellent move in my mind. The obvious reason is he is a solid option in the rotation if something doesn’t work out for someone. He has a friendly team contract. But the silent significance of this signing is what he can do for RHP Christian Binford.

I’ve often compared Christian Binford to Chris Young and Doug Fister. Binford is tall, lanky, and throws from a similar arm angle. He isn’t overpowering and somehow the ball jumps on hitters creating a lot of groundballs and weak contact. This is exactly what I saw from Young while he was in his the prime of his career when he made the All Star Game as a 28 year-old.

Young is on a MiLB deal, 35, and at the end of his career. Often, players in that position are looking to get the last few years out of their career while giving back to the game. They often take a younger player under their wing and help them adjust to the big league game. That isn’t always the case, but I really hope that Chris Young does this with Binford.

Young has a vast knowledge of pitching. What better way for Binford to start to adjusting to the highest level of the game than learning from a pitcher that uses the same style Binford uses? This is a savvy move that will help a young pitcher’s learning curve accelerate his development.

Royals Top 35 Prospects

February 24, 2015

It’s been a long time since I’ve written here.  But it’s time to bring some lift back to the page.  I realize some people are releasing prospect lists and I’ve done some work on my own.

Royals Top 35 Prospects are here.

I put Zimmer first because he is the best potential we have on the mound.  And we have some high potential players.  To me, when I watched him pitch the last two years in person, he was the best pitching prospect I have ever seen in the Texas League.  Maybe in all of MiLB.  Now granted, I haven’t been watching the game that long.  I’ve been going to MiLB baseball for about 8 years now.

I went Mondesi second because he is a position guy, he has a lot of potential with speed and defense, he has power, and I think as he matures he will fill out and be a 5 tool player at a premium position.

I put Manaea third because I think he is the next best pitcher.  I have not gotten to watch him live but I can’t wait to see him this spring and summer at AA.

I put Almonte ahead of Finnegan because I think he has a higher long term value.  Finnegan is a great pitcher and I think he’ll have a great career, but Almonte has been rumored to be ahead of where Ventura was at the same point.  This could be splitting hairs.  I feel Almonte’s curve will get better and he already has a great change.  Finnegan’s curve is ahead of Almonte’s, Almonte’s change is ahead of Finnegan’s.

I put Dozier sixth because I just wasn’t impressed with him at AA last year offensively.  He has decent numbers and everyone projects him to be very good.  He has the power but I think he tried to hard at AA last year.  If he gets into that pull happy approach that Ned brought in after he was sick of Seitzer’s top ranked offense, he will struggle with better pitchers at higher levels.  If he uses the whole field and drives the ball when he gets the chance instead of trying to create on every pitch, he will be a solid player.  You see this approach in the Royals young players.  Hosmer, Moustakas, Escobar for a year.  And each had limited success.

I put Griffin seventh because of potential and current ability.  I have not seen him throw in a game although I watched him throw a side session in Burlington last year.  He has a lot of natural ability and a smooth release.  With his size, he could end up ahead of a few of these guys in two to three years.

I put Binford eighth because I think he is a younger version of Chris Young or Doug Fister.  He has great downhill action with jump on the four seam.  This creates a lot of bad swings and groundballs.  He does not walk people and creates a lot of weak contact. And he gets strikeouts with the curve.  I saw him last year and he was very good.  He has a great release with great extension which shortens the distance to the mound.  This helps the ball get on hitters quickly and they are surprised by it.

I put Blewett ninth because of potential and current ability.  I watched him throw a side in Burlington last year as well.  I was also impressed by his ability and release.  He did not have quite the results in his outings that you would expect but he played in New York and needs to learn more of the game.  He will learn the art of pitching and be fine.

I put Flynn tenth because I felt he slotted in there very well.  You have a decent idea of what he is and can do and he can definitely help a major league team.

Vallot was eleventh because he was just an average catcher but had good power.  He may not ever hit for a high average but if he can pop 20 home runs a year he will have a lot of value.  I worry if he stays behind the plate long term.  But he is a great kid who works hard and has a good approach.

I feel like Ryan O’Hearn and Ali Williams should be ranked higher than I placed them.  I hope to get a better feel for them as I put more time into this site going forward.

As I get a chance to hear things and see things I’ll post them if possible.  This site is mostly about the Royals but I will post opponents players scouting as well.


MSHSAA Going to 5 Classes

May 4, 2012

The vote is in.  Five classes it is.  The change will be made for next season.  A few thoughts on this… it’s great for our athletes as it creates more championship opportunities.  It lowers district sizes.  It evens the competitive field. Read the rest of this entry »

When High School Baseball Finishes

May 12, 2011

Once my high school season finishes I’ll try to get back to this as much as possible.  I don’t have time to even watch the big league team right now as crazy as it seems. 

Barret Loux Signs with Texas

November 20, 2010

“The Rangers gave Loux $312,000.”

I was disappointed to see this little nugget role across my Twitter feed.  By the way, I just signed up for Twitter a few days ago to get all those breaking stories.  I think this is my feed.

I was really hoping KC would take a shot on Loux.  I know he needs the shoulder cleaned out and he may never come back, but I thought he was worth up to $500K.  And to see him sign for nearly $200K less than that is disappointing.  Well, we’ll see what happens with him in the Rangers organization.  I’ll watch to see how he does with their long toss program.

The Purpose of Wilson Betemit

November 20, 2010

Some of us felt that Wilson Betemit was a risk worth taking.  A guy that was signed because he had a lot of potential, has never lived up to it, and might flourish in Kansas City.  And he rewarded the Royals with decent production while he was on the field.  If you can look past his tremendous strikeout totals, you’ll find that Betemit posted an OPS 100 points higher than his career averages.  But here is the sole purpose of Wilson Betemit on the Royals ball club.

Read the rest of this entry »

Bubba Starling 10.23.10

October 23, 2010

ESPNU gave us a glimpse into the mind and demeanor of Bubba Starling last night by televising a high school football game.  It was very good to see and I’m sure more pro baseball scouts were there last night than anyone imagined.  But, those guys were there to get a glimpse of the kid who a few think has a chance to go number one overall in the 2011 MLB Draft.  That is some high praise so any chance I get to see this kid, I’ve got to take it.  If you missed it, page through the guide on ESPNU and they might be showing it again.  So here’s what I saw from the HS football game.

Read the rest of this entry »

Twins Position Prospects 2011

October 21, 2010

The Twins have a lot of athletic guys.  After trading Wilson Ramos this season, one would think they took a hit to their farm, but that really isn’t the case.  The top prospects list is loaded with athletic and toolsy guys.  It is somewhat heavy on the OF side of things, but they will fill that void this season with the draft. Read the rest of this entry »

Twins Pitching Prospects 2011

October 20, 2010

There are two reasons for writing up a report on the Twins system.  The first is that you need to know your enemies.  As a division rival and the team that seems to always compete for the AL Central, we need to know what the Twins have coming up and how we compare to them.  The other reason for writing the Twins up today is that they might be in play for the services of one Mr. Zack Greinke according to Buster Olney and a few others.  It makes sense for the Twins to take on Greinke’s contract with the possibility of Pavano leaving.  ZG would be a solid starter for two years on a contender who needs a power arm and prolific pitcher.  So let’s take a look.

Read the rest of this entry »

What Do You Do With Zack?

October 18, 2010

There’s been a lot of discussion on a lot of sites about Zack Greinke and his future with the Royals lately.  I’ll throw in my two cents.

ZG needs to be moved.  I like Zack, but he will help the franchise out in the long term more by being traded rather than staying.  We owe ZG $27 M for the next 2 years.  That money can be saved and reinvested immediately on the draft, international signings, scouting, and filler players for our 110 loss season next year.  And maybe in 2012 as well. Read the rest of this entry »