20 March 2009

Call #2 for PFB

Hey, still 8 spots to fill in the fantasy baseball league, I'd like to fill it with Pipeline readers, or at least Royals fans, this year....here's the info:

league ID: 177777
password: amosotis
roster -- c, 1b, 2 b, 3b, ss, lf, cf, rf, util, util, sp, sp, sp, sp, rp, rp, rp, rp, p, p, 7 bench spots, 3 DLs
stats -- runs, hits, HR, RBI, SB, K, TB, Fielding%, BA, OPS, W, SV, TBF, K, holds, ERA, WHIP, K/BB, OBPA, QS

You'll need the ID # and password above to join. Draft is at 6:30 p.m. March 27, a week from tonight. I'll put off opening it to the general public until next week.

What a week in Royals camp, huh? Jimmy Gobble gets the ax, they bring in fat Sidney Ponson, who I hope they call up and put as Jose Guillen's roommate. We might have a chance at our first MLB homicide in a long time. Mac Suzuki wants to wear the powder blue after a couple decent years in the Mexican league. Everybody should be back soon from the WBC, where the US is gonna get beat by Japan probably in the semis. Dayton Moore adds pitcher Anthony Lerew to his ever-increasing collection of Braves castoffs who are now Royals. And to top it off we get word that Brayan Pena is becoming a US citizen. Let's reward him by giving him John Buck's job. I don't care if Buck is hitting well this spring. I've seen enough. Looks like the only ball I'm gonna see the Royals play this season is gonna be on the tube. I was hoping to take my 3 daughters to a game for a third straight year but, alas, I couldn't find a date I wanted to commit my cash to. Plus I had my heart set on the new fountain seats and they're $25 a pop! The old outfield plaza seats were only $14, and you'd be farther away from the action in the new seats. I didn't want to subject them to another night in the nosebleeds, where we got besieged by flying things of all sizes the one time we sat there. Tough call, but I've got other things I can spend my money on. Not necessarily better things, mind you, but other things. Anyway, join the fantasy league...

04 March 2009

Pipeline Fantasy Baseball is live

OK, the 2009 Pipeline fantasy league is ready to take teams at Yahoo.....I know it's not necessarily the best fantasy system out there, but I like it. Here's the info:

league ID: 177777
password: amosotis
roster -- c, 1b, 2 b, 3b, ss, lf, cf, rf, util, util, sp, sp, sp, sp, rp, rp, rp, rp, p, p, 7 bench spots, 3 DLs
stats -- runs, hits, HR, RBI, SB, K, TB, Fielding%, BA, OPS, W, SV, TBF, K, holds, ERA, WHIP, K/BB, OBPA, QS

I changed up some of the settings from last season, stat categories are a little different, switched up the roster a little bit. Come one, come all. You'll need the ID # and password above to join. Draft is at 6:30 p.m. March 27, which is open for negotiation once we get it filled.

03 March 2009

Fun with PECOTAs, Pipeline Edition, Part II

Let's shift to the pitching staff....again, these are the 50th percentile projections....


Gil Meche 11-11, 4.21 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 185 1/3 IP, 67 BB/146 K, .295 BABIP (batting average against on balls put in play)
* Would be his first 4.00 ERA finishing a season as a Royal, but his lowest BABIP in at least 3 seasons. The system does give him a 55 percent chance of improving. I say he outdoes this....16 wins, 3.95 ERA, WHIP about same as projected, IP same, maybe 155 Ks....but we'll see.

Zack Greinke 11-10, 3.98 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 178 IP, 53 BB/151 K, .299 BABIP
* Another low BABIP projection than his recent track record implies. Maybe the system is giving KC credit for some defensive upgrades behind the pitchers. The 75th percentile projection of a 3.30 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 13 wins sounds nice and I think is within reach. Top comps include the '95 Alex Fernandez and the '93 Kevin Appier, which I think is apt. He has a shot to be better than Ape, I think.

Brian Bannister 6-9, 5.32 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 130 1/3 IP, 44 BB/74 K, .306 BABIP
* PECOTA isn't fond of Bannister. Of course he kinda asked for it with his '08 line of a 5.76 ERA and 1.49 WHIP with 29 HR allowed. Top comp is the '94 Armando Reynoso. I'd like to see him get his 75th percentile projection of a 4.67 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, 7 wins, but even that isn't exacly a stellar line. He's capable, tho. He was better than that in '07.

Kyle Davies 4-8, 5.70 ERA, 1.61 WHIP, 99 1/3 IP, 46 BB/62 K, .309 BABIP
* PECOTA also looks down upon Davies, despite what he was able to do in September. In the long run, his career hasn't gone like that month, but maybe he's turned the corner. April and May will likely tell. I'm staying away from a prediction here. He could do this, he could step up. Like with Bannister, even his 75th percentile projection is a 4.57 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, 6 wins. God, you'd hope he can hit that. No comps of note... '96 Steve Trachsel is #3.

Luke Hochevar 6-9, 5.15 ERA, 1.51 WHIP, 119 2/3 IP, 45 BB/71 K, .308 BABIP
* This is a key year for Hoch. He needs to take a step forward if the team wants to go anywhere higher than third place in the AL Central. This line isn't enough of a step forward. His 90th percentile projection of 9 wins, 3.78 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 91 Ks would be. Top (weak) comp is '91 Todd Stottlemire, which is kinda promising. #3 is '08 Gavin Floyd, who had his moments last season for the ChiSox. Hochevar needs to make it happen. I say he outdoes this, maybe 9 wins, a 4.40 ERA, 1.39 WHIP. More Ks.

Horacio Ramirez 3-5, 6.16 ERA, 1.70 WHIP, 67 2/3 IP, 24 BB/27 K, .332 BABIP
* Wow, an unkind projection for Ho-Ram. I can't say I disagree. He should be a situational reliever, not a starter, in my mind, tho. That's where he was successful last season, and the Royals got something out of him near the deadline. Why screw with something that worked, in this case? Just to have a lefty starter? Blech. If used correctly, Horacio outdoes this. I can very well see him putting up those numbers in the rotation, tho. Top comp is the prestigious '91 Paul Kilgus. Oddly, #3 is the '78 Mike Caldwell, who slapped together one hell of a year for the Brewers that season. Don't know where that one comes from.

Carlos Rosa 5-9, 5.73 ERA, 1.59 WHIP, 112 1/3 IP, 44 BB/68 K, .322 BABIP
* I lump Rosa in here because I think he deserves a look for a #5 rotation slot. His biggest question mark is his durability. I'm not saying this is the year he steps forward but he has done fairly well in the minors since coming back from TJS. PECOTA gives him more of a chance of a collapse (36%) than improvement (32%) but I look past that. I think he's overlooked, kind of under the radar. Could be the pitcher to watch in KC this season. Mark my words. Top comp is the '00 Tomo Ohka, whose name I like to say. Tomo-ka-zu Ohhhhhhka. Anyway, Ohka was a hot prospect with the Red Sox at one point, but didn't really pan out. I think Rosa is another guy PECOTA isn't really sure what to do with, tho.

Let's switch gears to the minor league guys....

Tim Melville 3-12, 9.48 ERA, 2.28 WHIP, 114 2/3 IP, 83 BB/48 K, .355 BABIP
* Yeah, he isn't quite ready. Top comp is, yeesh, the '02 Bobby Keppel. Too early to tell for Melville. Sure hope he doesn't pitch like Keppel in the majors by the time he gets there.

Dan Cortes 5-10, 6.51 ERA, 1.81 WHIP, 117 2/3 IP, 75 BB/85 K, .320 BABIP
* Cortes is close but not quite ready for the majors. I think he could actually put up better numbers out of the bullpen than this this season, maybe September, but he probably needs another full year as a starter in Omaha. Top comp is the '95 Jason Schmidt, or the '00 Scott Sobkowiak, who I don't remember at all. Hopefully Cortes is more on the Schmidt side.

Danny Gutierrez 3-8, 7.70 ERA, 1.96 WHIP, 85 2/3 IP, 48 BB/52 K, .350 BABIP
* Yeah, he's still in A-ball. No comps of much note. He's still a couple years out, I'd say '11 or '12 at earliest.

Blake Johnson 4-10, 7.23 ERA, 1.81 WHIP, 105 2/3 IP, 41 BB/41 K, .335 BABIP
* Blake was one of the more disappointing guys for me in '08, and he didn't have a horrible year at AA. I'd say he should probably start '09 back there, tho. Again, no comps of note.

Mike Montgomery 3-11, 8.59 ERA, 2.11 WHIP, 102 1/3 IP, 66 BB/40 K, .338 BABIP
* If you think about it, the MLB projections for these minors guys are kind of a waste of space. Total speculation, and it's obvious some of these guys aren't ready. He'll be in rookie ball or low A ball to start '09.

Danny Duffy 4-10, 6.96 ERA, 1.81 WHIP....
* See what I mean? He'll be in Wilmington this year, ETA on him is probably '11 or '12. Lots of hot shot pitching prospects among his comps. One comp I liked was #11 '86 Tom Glavine.

Julio Pimentel 3-10, 7.80 ERA, 2.01 WHIP, 105 2/3 IP, 54 BB/48 K, .355 BABIP
* Will Julio get the deserved second chance at AA or will they go ahead and move him to Omaha? He was pretty brutal at times in 2008 but he also would throw in a good game every once in a while. I bet he's back at NWA. No comps of note.

Sam Runion 2-8, 10.38 ERA, 2.10 WHIP.....
* Another guy with a pointless projection. He might be in the Midwest League to start '08, maybe Idaho Falls in June....

Blake Wood 4-7, 5.94 ERA, 1.66 WHIP, 91 IP, 44 BB/61 K, .322 BABIP
* Hopefully Blake can be more consistent at the AA level in 2009, because he'd have a shot to bounce to Omaha. Top comp of note is the '98 Matt Clement, and that's #4. I like the power stuff. It's too bad he didn't pitch better in NW Arkansas last year. He could be in KC by September '10 for a look.

Matt Wright 3-8, 7.16 ERA, 1.87 WHIP, 85 IP, 42 BB/43 K, .336 BABIP
* Wright had a solid '07 but totally blew it in 2008 in Omaha. He has a lot of proving to do to get a shot in KC. He may be a AAAA pitcher when it comes down to it. Or a AA 1/2 pitcher.


Joakim Soria 4-5, 33 saves, 3.26 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 63 IP, 22 BB/62 K, .285 BABIP
* That looks like a down year for the Mexicutioner. His 90th percentile projection is 2.21 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 46 saves, 5 wins, 75 Ks in 74 IP. Even that's comparable to his '08 season. He's had a sub-1 WHIP both years in the majors. I say he racks up more than 33 saves as long as he's healthy. I say 45 saves, 2.40 ERA, 1.10 WHIP. That's just off the top of my head, anyway. Top comp is the '08 Huston Street, so it looks like PECOTA is, in fact, predicting a down year.

Juan Cruz 3-3, 4.32 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, 58 1/3 IP, 33 BB/69 K, .300 BABIP
* I think Juan is helped by the park more in KC than in the thin air of Arizona, so his fly ball tendencies won't be as impactful in the K. Top comp is '06 Scott Williamson, which doesn't say much. #2 is '03 Armando Benitez. I say Juan is a quality set up guy for Soria, fills Ramon Ramirez's role well, and exceeds the 50th percentile projection here. How about a 3.50 ERA, 1.32 WHIP? Couple saves to give Soria a break from time to time?

Kyle Farnsworth 2-3, 4.44 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, 54 2/3 IP, 23 BB/50 K, .301 BABIP
* I think this could be right on the money for Farnsworth. I just don't think he earns the paycheck, but he could prove me wrong. The K will also help him with his fly ball tendencies. The pressure is off as he isn't in New York anymore and has a chance to rebound in KC. Over/under on the amount of brawls he starts this year is 2.

John Bale 2-4, 5.70 ERA, 1.65 WHIP, 50 IP, 19 BB/34 K, .344 BABIP
* PECOTA is sour on Bale. Which I can kinda understand. My #1 question with Bale is, can he stay healthy, I mean other than self-inflicted injuries like punching a door? I'm unconvinced. I do think if he can pitch in KC he'll do better than this out of the pen, say at least a 4.60 ERA, 1.45 WHIP, but that isn't saying much, is it? Blah. #2 comp is the immortal Jerry Don Gleaton, '92 style. I wonder if we'll ever see a "Jerry Don" in the majors again.

Robinson Tejeda 3-5, 5.06 ERA, 1.51 WHIP, 70 1/3 IP, 38 BB/59 K, .292 BABIP
* Tejeda seemed to figure something out in KC last season, but I guess this season will tell. I think this projection is a little high, although everywhere else he's pitched in the majors he's struggled. He could be the feeder from the starters to Juan Cruz to Joakim Soria. Hopefully he keeps up what he did last year. #2 comp is the '04 Joaquin Benoit, who has had some solid seasons in relief.

Ron Mahay 2-2, 4.79 ERA, 1.57 WHIP, 43 1/3 IP, 21 BB/33 K, .314 BABIP
* What's up with all the high WHIPs? This would be Mahay's highest in a while. He does get a 59 percent chance of collapse from PECOTA. I wonder if he might be a deadline trade prospect for KC. He'll have to do better than this for them to get anything nearly worthwhile out of him. And he is probably the best lefty out of the pen. I say he outdoes this line, but I don't know by how much. Various journeyman relievers are his comps, led by the '06 Kent Mercker.

Jimmy Gobble 2-2, 5.06 ERA, 1.55 WHIP, 42 1/3 IP, 21 BB/37 K, .311 BABIP
* This is quite the kind projection after the '08 season Gobble had. Various retread relievers are among his comps. I have no idea what to expect out of Gobble...the ERA and WHIP are probably right on. He's never been a low-WHIP guy.

Lenny DiNardo 3-5, 6.41 ERA, 1.78 WHIP, 70 2/3 IP, 29 BB/35 K, .346 BABIP
* DiNardo struggled in '08 but I think he's worth a shot. Could be a dark horse pen candidate, and I think he'll rebound to out-do this line. He's a good ground-ball pitcher so hopefully the K is kind to him. His PECOTA page isn't too kind to him. We'll see how he does.

Brandon Duckworth 3-6, 5.90 ERA, 1.66 WHIP, 73 IP, 33 BB/41 K, .321 BABIP
* Duckworth is the pitching equivalent of Costa for me. He always pitches just well enough at the right times to keep himself in the mix. BP calls him "the pitching equivalent of a White Castle hamburger: cheap, consistent, and not very good." I just think he's the kind of player the organization needs to keep as AAA filler, not MLB material, if at all.

Devon Lowery 2-4, 5.78 ERA, 1.70 WHIP, 57 IP, 33 BB/42 K, .310 BABIP
* I'd rather see Lowery on the Costa Express than Duckworth. He had a solid season in Omaha last year, didn't do so well in his 4 1/3 IP in KC, but that's a small sample size, right? Batch of who?s are his comps. Hopefully he can work himself into the mix in '09. I'm content to see him pitch well in set-up in Omaha.

Joel Peralta 2-3, 4.84 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 49 IP, 15 BB/36 K, .295 BABIP
* Looks like PECOTA predicts a rebound for Jo-El. He has to work himself into the mix in the pen at this point. One odd comp is #5 '50 Jim Konstanty, who had a great season for the Whiz Kid Phillies. Strange. I'll believe this line from Joel in KC when I see it.

Doug Waechter 2-3, 5.48 ERA, 1.57 WHIP, 44 1/3 IP, 14 BB/24 K, .319 BABIP
* It'll be interesting to see what the Royals do with Waechter. He pitched pretty well for Florida last year. Haven't seen or heard much talk about him this spring yet. No comps of note.

Other guys to note:

Henry Barrera -- an unkind projection, but he's not ready for the majors yet anyway. He'll be in NWA this year, I'd bet. Barrera is one to watch in the minors, tho. Hopefully he isn't a Christensen Award contender for the 40-man roster guy to flame out.

Roman Colon -- Ha. He was once traded for Kyle Farnsworth. I don't know if I'd want them in the same clubhouse, fistfights could ensue. He's probably Omaha filler.

Chris Nicoll -- Nicoll could just use a healthy season at this point. That has to happen before he can work his way to KC. Top comp is the '06 Pat Neshek, and that's worked out all right for the Twins. I like Nicoll, hopefully he keeps it up and stays healthy this year in NWA. I'm not including projections here because they're uniformally unfavorable.

Franquelis Osoria -- His projection actually wasn't far off Tejeda's with less K's and a higher BABIP. He has six fingers on his right hand and BP finds him to be a "AAAA pitcher". No comps of note. I'm not expecting much from the sinkerballer in KC.

Oscar Villarreal -- Oscar also gets a projection in the Tejeda realm. Also with less K's. Could be a handy last guy in the bullpen at some point.

Yasuhiko Yabuta -- last and I don't know if he's least or not. He didn't work out last year, to put it mildly. It would take some doing for him to get back in the mix. Projection was, as assumed, unkind.

Another year, another set of poor projections for KC pitchers. I think it's gonna take an AL Central title for the Royals to get any respect from PECOTA. Even then, I don't know what I'd expect. I actually think the pitching rotation and bullpen will be OK, more so the bullpen. The Royals could really use a consistent #3 starter and something out of the 4-5 slots, too. Meche and Greinke can't do it all themselves. My prediction for the Royals is 76-86 this season.

02 March 2009

Fun with PECOTAs, Pipeline Edition, Part I

Chances are if you're an avid Royals fan you've probably read a breakdown of the team's PECOTA projections issued by the site Baseball Prospectus (a great site by the way, with a more than affordable subscription price). But as I do operate a predominantly Royals-based blog, I figured it wouldn't hurt to throw out each player's 50th percentile projection (the most likely projected numbers), choose the over or under and make some comments, so here goes....


Miguel Olivo .240 BA/.274 OBP/.420 SLG, 9 HR, 37 RBI, 10 BB/68 K with average to slightly sub-par defense
* Wow, what a sparkling line to start with. I'm already feeling the system's love. Maybe I just started with the wrong position....I'd say Olivo exceeds the power and RBI numbers projected, although I do have a sinking feeling the OBP projection is likely right-on. Overall, I take the over. 60th percentile projection of .250/.284/.422, 10 HR, 40 RBI sounds more like it, but I'd go with like 13 HR, 49 RBI. How's that for a projection? But maybe it's just the hope that John Buck will be a more minor part of the team's gameplan this season. The system does give him a 42 percent chance of improving from '08. He also seemed to like hitting at the K, which has to count for something, right?

Buck .227/.298/.383, 8 HR, 34 RBI, 23 BB/64 K with slightly worse defense than Olivo
* This looks about right, although I'd look for a lower OBP from Buck. It does have him getting 55 percent of the playing time compared to 37 percent for Olivo, which I bet also doesn't hold true. I say around a .285 OBP, 5 HR.

Brayan Pena .258/.307/.354, 4 HR, 35 RBI, 21 BB/38 K with defense way worse than Buck
* I say if Brayan gets a shot he exceeds this, maybe hits his 60th percentile of .263/.313/.364. He doesn't walk but he doesn't strike out much, either. LET HIM PLAY! He can't do worse than Buck, surely.

PECOTA also did projections for not-ready-for-prime-time players Cs Cody Clark, Jeff Howell, and Kiel Thibault as well as Matt Tupman, who played himself out of much future chance last year at Omaha, and journeyman John Suomi, who will fill out the Omaha or NWA roster.


Mike Jacobs .254/.313/.449, 17 HR, 65 RBI, 33 BB/87 K with craptastic first base defense
* I'd say only 17 HR from Jacobs would be a disappointment for anybody who supported Dayton Moore's move to bring him in. I'd think those people would be expecting at least his 60th percentile numbers of .261/.322/.469 with HR numbers closer to his 75th percentile projection of 23 with 77 RBI. Even his 90th percentile projection gives him only 28 HR. Of course, that would be a pretty high total for KC in recent history. I say his BA and OBP projections from the 50 percent projection hold up with 23 HR, 70 RBI. His top comparable player is '96 Tino Martinez, so that's promising, right? Tino wasn't a bad hitter. Unfortunately #2 is Ken Harvey. Not really -- it's '88 Greg Walker.

Billy Butler .290/.351/.456, 14 HR, 68 RBI, 41 BB/63 K -- PECOTA lists Butler as a DH and doesn't even give him a defensive rating although he was subpar by their 2007 standards.
* I'd love if Billy posted this line, and I think he's got the talent to exceed it this season. I'll take the over and shoot for a line of .303/.361/.465, 17 HR, 68 RBI. Top comp is the '74 model of Dave Winfield, so I like. #2 is '07 Prince Fielder, which I'd also take. PECOTA's biggest hit with me thus far!

Ryan Shealy .215/.288/.374, 14 HR, 52 RBI, 35 BB/112 K with Butler level D at first
* PECOTA kinda brutalizes Shealy here, but I guess the system doesn't think he can replicate his last season outburst in '08. I'd say his 75th percentile projection of .236/.313/.425 with 18 HR and 64 RBI would be more in his reach, but this is a make or break time for Shealy in KC. He might not even be a Royal in a month. Maybe at worst the Royals can turn him into a couple mid level prospects??? Top comp is the immortal '05 Bucky Jacobsen of Seattle. Like I said, PECOTA looks down upon Shealy.

KILA Ka'aihue .226/.325/.377, 14 HR, 57 RBI, 62 BB/95 K with more pisspoor defense at first.
* It's nicer to Kila than Shealy, but still seems unconvinced '08 wasn't a flash in the pan. Ka-ah-i-hoo-ee could be the Aviles of '08 if given a chance. Everybody would love it if he came up and hit his 90th percentile projection of .263/.368/.450, 20, 74. At least I would. #5 in his comps is the '01 David Ortiz. What's Hawaiian for Big Papi? Let's go Kila!

Dark Horse Alert.....J.R. House .248/.308/.385, 9 HR, 50 RBI with, hey!, good defense at first.
* Those numbers won't make House an MLB player...instead more of a AAA dark horse. His 90th percentile numbers of .283/.345/.456, 14, 64, sure would, tho. I think he has a hard time getting inside from outside looking in at this point, tho. If he screws up Mr. Michael Stodolka's playing time at Omaha, tho, I'm not gonna like it. But all good experiments must come to an end, so whatever happens happens.

The 'Dolk (not an official nickname, I just call him that in my head) also got his own PECOTA projection again and.....it wasn't favorable. .608 OPS, but average D. Ah, for Mike to have a breakout season. Also, apparently no Hosmer projection as yet. WAIT, I spoke too soon, they have him under DH. They have him at .243/.305/.379, 11, 62 with 45 BB/162 K. That's some nice production for somebody with 15 pro plate appearances. Top comp is '02 Joe Mauer, nice, #2 is '02 Adrian Gonzalez, which I'd also take. I bet by the time he gets to the pros he's hitting better than that projection. #3 is '81 Darryl Strawberry, so keep Hosmer away from the nose candy. I know -- a Strawberry-cocaine joke. You're stunned.


Alberrrrrrto Callassssspo .267/.330/.355, 2 HR, 28 RBI, smack dab average D
* I'd take these numbers from Alberto at the keystone. slap him in the #8, 9 slot, wherever and call it good. #2 comp is the '93 Omar Vizquel, but unfortunately I don't think they're referring to the glove.

Willie Bloomquist .246/.321/.292, 0 HR, 12 RBI, subpar defense but they've got him as a CF.
* PECOTA has the feeling Bloomquist's OBP is returning to the norm. I have a hard time disagreeing. Millions well spent.

Esteban German .253/.325/.340, 2 HR, 19 RBI, bad D
* I'd rather have this than Bloomquist as the backup 2B, but Bloomquist does have the edge in being more versatile defensively. German could be another ex-Royal within the month of March. (NOTE: I wrote this on Feb. 27...he gets DFA'd the next day. So he got cut within the month of February, I was so close.) These numbers look about right.

That's about the breadth and depth of the 2B in the organization, at least those given any shrift from BP. Johnny Giavotella did get a PECOTA projection this year and actually looked favorable through the system's eyes....50th percent projection was .252/.307/.371, 7 HR, 49 RBI. Not that that's good, but better than what I expected for his projection. Top comp is the '90 Chuck Knoblauch, so take that for what you will. Also note, I'm keeping Teahen with the OF for now. He has to earn it for me to lump him in with the second basemen.


Alex Gordon .259/.343/.461, 21 HR, 78 RBI, 59 BB/122 K, slightly subpar, basically average D at third.
* Royals fans are dreaming of his 90th percentile projection of .287/.376/.533, 30, 99, but Alex's '09 will likely be closer to this 50th percentile projection. I say he outdoes it to the tune of .270/.350/.480 with similar HR and RBI totals. They have him down for 35 doubles and I think maybe this is the year he gets past 40. Just a feeling.

Mike Moustakas .236/.295/.389, 14 HR, 64 RBI, 41 BB/111 K, OK D
* In the absence of any other major-league ready 3B in the organization, I threw Moustakas' projection on here, which shows, basically, that he isn't major league ready, altho it's promising PECOTA seems to think Moose could hit 14 HR in KC this season if given the chance. I'm content to let him try to rake his way to AA.

And that's about all the prospects at the hot corner for the organization. Mario Lisson has a paltry projection -- his top comp is the '98 Mendy Lopez. Yeesh. Minor league FA pickup Corey Smith is probably NWA material, and the most disappointing minor-league offseason story, now-suspended former 2nd rounder Jason Taylor, has promise but issues too. He'll miss the first 50 games of 2009. His top comps, while weak, are the '06 Sean Rodriguez, who is a promising Angels prospect, and the '04 David Wright, who I don't need to introduce. The question is if he can avoid hassles of one sort or another to make it to KC eventually. Jury is still out on that question.


Mike Aviles .265/.306/.403, 11 HR, 57 RBI, 26 BB/68 K with decent D at short
* Wow, an underwhelming projection for Mike at least as far as rate stats go. I expect closer to his 75th percentile projection of .282/.324/.438, 14, 65 and even that isn't a great year. I think PECOTA is expecting Aviles to be a flash in the pan. They give him a 49 percent chance at improving but his 50th percentile projection is a drop off from last season. Funny-peculiar...#2 comp is Pat Meares, which isn't exactly a fawning move. #1 is '58 Frank Malzone. Looks like Aviles still has people to prove wrong.

Tony Pena Jr. (just for kicks) .231/.261/.303, 1 HR, 18 RBI, 7 BB/37 K, roughly average D at short
* So Aviles is gonna go down, but TPJ is gonna put up these numbers? These are like TPJ on 'roids. I don't see it. Lasik surgery or no.

And that's the lineup at short. Promising and deep.......no. Aviles needs to keep it up, as Moore did nada to shore up the position this offseason. Luis Hernandez got a TPJ-like projection and is another Braves castoff, which Moore collects like baseball cards. Kyle Martin also got a horrible projection but I think could be a sleeper prospect this season, wherever he lands in the organization.


David DeJesus .275/.339/.395, 7 HR, 48 RBI, 40 BB/67 K, solid defense even tho they have him in center
* Yet another projection that signals a dropoff in stats similar to DeJesus' '07. I think it's kinda harsh. Surely if healthy he can hit his 60th percentile projection of .282/.347/.409, 8, 52. PECOTA dislikes the Royals. I bet it's a Yankee fan.

Shane Costa .256/.306/.378, 6 HR, 36 RBI, 22 BB/50 K, roughly average D
* His projection isn't that far from DeJesus, which I think is crap. I don't know why KC is keeping Costa around. There's little to no chance he gets a shot in Kansas City. He hit for a .904 OPS in '07 in Omaha and was rewarded with 109 KC plate appearances, albeit under Buddy Bell and the fact he hit for a .558 OPS in those chances. Just throw him in in a deal and call it done. Don't torture us with AAAA Costa anymore. EDIT: I did forget he's out of options, so his time with KC is probably short-lived at this point.

I'll throw Chris Lubanski in here. They give him a projection of .233/.301/.397, 12, 52, 40 BB/119 K. I bet he'd strike out more than 119 times in 462 PAs in MLB. He might take Costa's place as the bounce from AAA to KC guy this year, that's if Costa goes elsewhere. His .306 OBP last year in Omaha is right in Moore's wheelhouse. Almost Bloomquistastic! #2 comp is the '93 Jeromy Burnitz, tho, so maybe there's some glimmer of hope for Lubanski yet...of course #1 is '85 Al Chambers (who?), so maybe not. Where that comp comes from I have no idea.


Covelli "Coco" Crisp .265/.328/.381, 6 HR, 36 RBI, 32 BB/58 K, 15 SB, solid D in center
* Not much love for Coco either. #1 comp, altho kinda weak, is '97 Chuck Carr....really? I'd say Coco has been waaaaaaay better than I remember Chuck Carr being. I call at least the 60th percentile #s of .269/.333/.389, 6, 37 for Coco. Even that would be a dropoff from recent years. He can almost surely get to his 75th percentile #s of .275/.340/.401, 7, 38, right? I mean, c'mon...he's getting to play full-time again, with not much competition in the spot, no pressure in KC. If he's healthy, he outperforms that projection easily, I say.

Mitch Maier .235/.284/.362, 7 HR, 37 RBI, 22 BB/68 K, decent D
* Wait, I say Maier may trump Lubanski as the best candidate for the Costa Express. Can't say I'm a big Mitch Maier believer. I wish him the best, tho. This may be about right for his projection, tho. I say 60th percentile #s of .242/.292/.376, 7, 40, are about his peak this year. One of his top comps, like Costa, is Bubba Crosby, so I rest my case.

We're full of minors CF projections this year. Jose Duarte has a subpar AA debut in '08 and is rewarded with a crappy PECOTA projection, not surprisingly. The top guy on his comps I can remember is #10 Ruben Escalera, so he also has some proving to do. Tommy Murphy, another Costa Express candidate, gets an underwhelming .594 OPS projection and comps in the Maier-Costa territory. Brazilian Paulo Orlando isn't quite ready for the big time as his projection shows. He's at AA anyway this season, most likely. Adrian Ortiz, a Pipeline favorite, gets a .607 OPS projection with subpar D. His top comp is the '99 Alex Sanchez. I believe in the new AO. AO2, if you will. Derrick Robinson gets a .583 OPS projection with, like Ortiz, unfavorable defense. First comp I remember is '90 Milt Cuyler, which isn't a complement. Robinson has much work to do with the bat to get anywhere near KC or any other MLB field other than buying a front-row ticket.


Jose Guillen .269/.310/.425, 13 HR, 66 RBI, 22 BB/84 K, subpar D
* Jose gets a predicted upswing in BA and OBP but drop in SLG. I'd say these numbers don't keep Jose from hearing the boo-birds in KC again this season, maybe charging into the crowd and screaming in somebody's face. Everybody would love to see him hit his 90th percentile of .297/.343/.485, 20, 89, except opposing pitchers. I bet his '09 is closer to his 50th percentile projection, tho. I say .275/.320/.440, 17 HR, 75 RBI, which is pretty much his 60th percentile projection. And most would likely be disappointed with that. He has almost an equal chance of collapsing (33%) as improving (39%) under PECOTA in '09.

Mark Teahen .260/.328/.401, 10 HR, 54 RBI, 43 BB/103 K, subpar D
* I know Teahen seems like a decent guy, and God knows I hoped he would rake when the Royals swapped Beltran for him and Buck, but he hasn't. He's been more of a disappointment than a success story. I'd truthfully like to see Moore trade him for a need like a catcher than see him in a Royals uni all year. And I'd wish him well wherever he went. Other than St. Louis. Damn, I hate the Cardinals. Anyway, I'm not sad Coco Crisp has kinda helped push Teahen out of the outfield. This projection seems likely, with more K's, tho. Maybe a slighly lower BA.

The rest of the RF fodder includes Joe Dickerson, who gets a crappy projection and isn't high on any of the experts' prospect lists. He's been consistently solid, however. I'm not ready to give up on him yet. He's only 22 and he should hit AA this season.

I think that wraps up the positional players. I'll try to hit the pitchers soon, including new pickup Juan Cruz.