Sunday, November 05, 2006

Who's the next Beltran?

The centerfield position has become a pretty solid position for the Royals. Between David DeJesus and Joey Gathright, the Royals should be able to have quality centerfield play for at least the next 5 years. The main question is whether or not Gathright will hit enough to become an everyday player. DeJesus is an average to slightly above-average defender in the outfield. He’s an above-average hitter as a centerfielder and a fringe average hitter as a left fielder. So, unless Gathright improves his production offensively, I think DeJesus will eventually move back to center, especially with Teahen, Huber, Lubanski and maybe Butler become options as corner outfielders. The Royals’ corner outfield depth is much stronger than there centerfielder depth, so having two good options for centerfielders is crucial.

High Minors:

The Royals don’t really have any CF prospects at AAA. Chad Allen is the only outfielder listed on the Omaha Royals roster at the moment, and he isn’t a centerfielder. Mitch Maier is the Royals’ best centerfield prospect. Maier is a solid player all-around, with at average to above-average power, speed, and defense in centerfield. Maier’s strong arm will allow him to play all three outfield positions, which should make him at least a good fourth outfielder. Overall, Maier had a good season, hitting .306/.357/.473 with 35 2Bs and 13 HRs. He’ll likely start at Omaha and could work his way on to the big league club at some point during this season.

Low Minors:

The Royals don’t have any CF prospects at High Desert or Burlington.

Rookie Ball:

Dickerson has put together two nice seasons in a row. Dickerson hit 14 doubles and 7 HRs in 242 ABs for Idaho Falls. His overall line of .281/.338/.789 is pretty good overall. As a rookie, Dickerson hit .294/.371/.491, so he has a pretty solid track record going. His defense is supposed to be his best asset and he should develop modest power with time. Dickerson will likely start at Burlington next year.

Derrick Robinson was the Royals’ 4th round pick this season. He turned down a football scholarship to sign with the Royals. His pro debut was very lackluster, hitting just .233/.335/.318. Robinson’s speed is phenomenal and he stole 20 bases, but also got caught 14 times. If he can learn how to get on-base regularly, he might have a chance to use his speed in the big leagues.

Overall: The Royals are in good shape in centerfield. DeJesus should be a solid player for several years and the Royals have good depth overall. There aren't any Damon or Beltran-like talents on the way, but no one is complaining with DeJesus in centerfield.


At 4:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't forget about Burlington's Jose Duarte, who's every bit as good a prospect as Joe Dickerson.

At 12:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jose Duarte has "the best outfield arm" in the entire KC org." says Baseball America, and he set a record for outfield assists. Batting over .400 this Spring (2007) in Arizona


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