Thursday, November 02, 2006

Future Royal Right Fielders

It seems to be a trend--the Royals have one blue-chip prospect at a positition and not much else. The good news is that it seems possible that Butler will stay in RF which would definitely be a big plus.

Right Field

Omaha--Chad Allen

Chad will be 32 in February—not exactly prime prospect age. He had an 861 OPS at Omaha and seems like a good guy to have down at AAA should you need an emergency outfielder.

Wichita—Billy Butler
Billy was 20 last year and tore up AA to the tune of 331/388/499. He is probably the best pure hitter in the minors. That doesn’t mean he is perfect. His ops vs. lefties was 1246! But vs. righties was 807. While you can’t complain about the batting average, his walk rate suffered last year. His power was also not what you would expect—slugging under 500. However, Butler is such a professional hitter, I think he will improve those numbers in AAA in 2007. I also think he was working more on his defense to where his hitting suffered some.

A scout once called Butler “the worst defensive player he’s ever seen” (this was before the move to RF). I’ve only seen some tape of him in RF and while I wouldn’t call him graceful, he seems passable and he’s gotten better. He’s also got a heck of an arm.

Butler should start the year in AAA and I would expect him to destroy the pitching there for a few months and probably get called up after the All-Star Break

High Desert—Brian McFall
McFall was a 3rd round pick a few years ago. He had a 769 OPS at High Desert—933 at home, 612 on the road. He had 30 walks and 120 K’s. He’s playing the Hawaiian Baseball League and got a 618 OPS there. A suspect, not a prospect.

Burlington—Carlos Arroyo
25 year old in Low-A with a 666 ops-next!

High Desert—OD Gonzalez
OD (Oscar) was a 23rd round draft choice back in 04. He’s 22 and had a 769 OPS. Not great but we’ll keep an eye on how he does in Burlington this year.

AZ Royals-Nick Van Stratten
Nick was a 10th round pick from the St. Louis area and had a good debut. He played most of his games in Arizona before getting a cup of coffee in Idaho. Overall, he had a 819 OPS. He is supposed to be athletic and projects well and is already being called a steal from the 10th round. He’s 21 and will probably start next year in Burlington.

Rank ‘em
Van Stratten


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