Monday, February 06, 2006

Organizational Analysis: Outfielders

Here's the final part of the organization's personnel. The Royals' outfield is set for 2006, with Emil Brown in LF, David DeJesus in CF, and Reggie Sanders in RF. The Royals signed Sanders to a two-year deal, so he and DeJesus will be fixtures in the Royals' outfield for the next two seasons. DeJesus and Brown were fairly productive offensively last year and with the addition of Sanders, the Royals will probably have at least an average OF offense. DeJesus and Sanders are pretty average defenders and Brown is a well-below average defender. Overall, I expect the Royals' outfield to be slightly-below average. The Royals' outfield is pretty old at the corner outfield spots (Brown 31, Sanders 38), so the Royals' corner outfield production may fall off. Emil Brown's one-year spike in production doesn't inspire optimism that he'll continue to be a productive everyday player in 2006.

Left Fielders:

Emil Brown will likely be the Royals' everyday left fielder. Brown's .804 OPS and 10 stolen bases make him an asset to the team, even with his defensive liabilities. Guiel may see playing time in LF if Brown's production falls off.

Prospects: Billy Butler, Chris Lubanski, Shane Costa

Butler is probably a longshot to play OF in the majors. But, his bat gives him tremendous upside and will force the Royals to find him a spot. Chris Lubanski is still a bit of a mystery. He had a terrific season at High Desert and put up some very impressive numbers, even for a hitter's league. AA will be a big test for Lubanski. Lubanski needs to improve his plate discipline as well as his defense if he is going to remain in CF. Shane Costa has tremendous raw strength, but it hasn't shown so far in his career. Costa is a good contact hitter. So, if he can utilize his strength, he might be capable of hitting 20+ HRs. Otherwise, he'll likely be a AAAA player.

Centerfielders:

David DeJesus has the centerfield position locked down for the foreseeable future. DeJesus is a solid baseball player in all aspects of the game. He has very good on-base skills and has decent gap power. DeJesus's main job is to get on base so Mike Sweeney and Reggie Sanders can have more RBI-opportunities.

Prospects: Chris Lubanski, Mitch Maier, Joseph Dickerson

Chris Lubanski is still a bit of a mystery. He had a terrific season at High Desert and put up some very impressive numbers, even for a hitter's league. AA will be a big test for Lubanski. Lubanski needs to improve his plate discipline as well as his defense if he is going to remain in CF. Mitch Maier is similar to DeJesus in that he's good but not great in each facet of the game. Maier doesn't have DeJesus's on-base skills, but has better base-stealing ability. Joseph Dickerson had a nice debut in the Arizona Rookie League and will likely go to Idaho Falls.

Rightfielders:

Reggie Sanders will be the Royals' rightfielder. Sanders has pretty good power, hitting 20+ homeruns in each of the last 5 seasons. Sanders also steals 15-20 bases each year with a good SB%.

Prospects: Alex Gordon?, Mitch Maier

Maier has the arm strength to play RF as does Gordon. If Teahen is productive enough at 3rd base, then Gordon may get moved to RF.

Just 11 days until Pitchers and Catchers report to Spring Training. The new baseball season is almost here finally.

1. Current Outfielders' Performance: D+ (poor defense, having to watch Terrence Long last year)
2. Current Outfielders' Potential: C
3. Current Prospects Depth: A (pretty good; options at each OF position)
4. Current Prospects Potential: A (Butler and Gordon are premier talents)

8 Comments:

At 1:14 PM, Blogger COroyal said...

OU maybe this belongs under the pitcher starting pitching review, but where do you see the Royals pitching depth if Cota has a nice season (in HD of all places???) and the team picks up Andrew Miller?

Let's add to that - what if we're able to unload Redman et al to a contender for some pitching prospects at the deadline. Then we have Miller, Cota, prospects from deadline trades, plus a year of seasoning from Howell and Bautista. Where does the grade fall then.

I know - lots of maybe's & what-if's, but humor me.

COroyal

 
At 3:02 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

Two things: 1) We definitely shouldn't write down an 800+ OPS for Brown down in stone, and 2) I believe that given consistent at-bats, Guiel would be a better option than Brown in left because of superior defense. All Guiel would have to do is put up an OPS in the 750-800 range.

Honestly, I think Brown should be viewed as a tradeable commodity. If he does happen to put up numbers similar to last year, and the Royals are doing the out-of-contention-by-mid-May two-step again, they need to get something for him while his value is highest.

 
At 4:29 PM, Blogger SoonerRoyal said...

COroyal-The Royals have some starting pitching depth starting to build near the majors. Greinke, Howell, Bautista are still pretty young and have pretty good upside. Last season's draft added some starting pitching depth worth following. Nicoll has excellent command and could move quickly. We'll also learn more about Brent Fisher, a high school lefty who had a nice debut in the Arizona League League. Eric Cordier and Henry Barrera are a couple of sleepers to watch in the low minors. With the additions of perhaps Andrew Miller and another high-round pitcher, the Royals could probably improve their starting pitching considerably. Starting pitching prospects are a pretty scarce throughout the majors, so it wouldn't take much to boost the grade into the B or C range. The starting rotation will probably be the last piece of the puzzle to send the Royals into October if their plan actually works.

Daniel, I agree about Brown. He was pretty productive last season with an 800+ OPS. But, he still must show that last year wasn't a fluke. Brown is certainly a trade candidate by the deadline. The Royals will have Guiel as well as several near-ready OF prospects (Costa, Ambres, Maier)

 
At 11:52 AM, Anonymous Cliff said...

Am I missing it, or did you leave out a discussion of the DH position and of Matt Stairs entirely?

 
At 5:23 AM, Blogger SoonerRoyal said...

Yep, I did forget that. I'll include that in my next post. Thanks for pointing that out.

 
At 4:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Emil Brown is the Savior! He will be the greatest Royal since George Bret! With Emil, the Royals are sure to avoid 106-loss suckitude this season! I guarantee they will not lose more than 100 this time around. Gooooo Royals!

 
At 11:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think we're going to see Emil Brown slip back to a marginally productive offensive player who plays terrible defense.
I think Chip Ambres deserves the spot for a few reasons:

1) He has put up decent MilB EqA's with a stress on a very translatable skill: plate discipline
2) He should have the ability to reach base at a .350-.360 clip.
3) His ceiling projects at about or around a .460 SLG (~.820 OPS down the road)
4) He's just 26 years old... The same age as DeJesus (he's just one day older, really)
5) His defense in LF should develop into tolerable.. maybe even average if given time to learn the position.
He's young and fast...which gives him a huge defensive advantage on Brown.

 
At 11:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

-sumajestad

 

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