June 2007

Lineups: Interleague Play

It’s time for some Interleague play at The K!

In 2006, the Royals went 10-8 against the National League, marking their second winning Interleague season since play began in 1997 (9-7 in 1998). Since MLB threw Interleague play into the mix, the Royals have posted a 76-99 record.

World Series Memories: The Phillies are back in KC for the first time since the 1980 World Series. To commemorate the occasion – and because we all love a ballpark promotion! – the Royals are distributing free 1980 World Series lapel pins to the first 20,000 fans and holding a 1980 World Series Royals Alumni Autograph Session. George Brett headlines the group of Alumni, which also includes Dennis Leonard, Marty Pattin, Jerry Terrrell, John Wathan and Frank White. The 1980 crew will meet fans and sign autographs from 5:30-6:15 p.m. in the lower seating bowl. We are pairing the Alumni up with three different autograph lines. Get here early and get in line…

Draft Recap…so far: We were going to list the whole list, but it’s long and incomplete at the moment. The Baseball Operations department has been chugging along all day making selections for the 45 rounds of the First Year Player Draft that are taking place today. Televised for the first time, the Draft only made it through the first five rounds yesterday. Here are the Royals 2007 first five picks:

  • SS Michael Moustakas (HS), 2nd overall
  • RHP Samuel Runion (HS), 66th overall
  • LHP Daniel Duffy (HS), 96th overall
  • RHP Peter Hodge Nielsen (HS), 126th overall
  • CF Adrian Ortiz (Pepperdine), 156th overall

Here are your lineups:

For the Royals:
DeJesus – CF
Grudzielanek – 2B
Teahen – RF
Sweeney – DH
Gordon – 3B
Shealy – 1B
LaRue – C
Pena – SS 
Gathright – LF
Elarton – P

For the Phillies (with stats: AVG-HR-RBI):
Rollins (.282-10-37) – SS
Victorino (.263-4-22) – RF
Utley (.308-11-48) – 2B
Howard (.237-10-36) – 1B
Rowand (.321-8-30) – CF
Burrell (.228-7-26) – DH
Dobbs (.265-5-22) – LF
Helms (.250-0-16) – 3B
Barajas (.221-2-5) – C
Garcia (1-4, 5.11 ERA) – P

All-You-Can-Eat at The K

How many hot dogs can you put away during a Royals game? Two…four…six…10?

Well, what ever the magic number is, the Royals are asking you to beat it by purchasing a ticket in the new Royals All-You-Can-Eat Seats at Kauffman Stadium. It’s unlimited hot dogs, nachos, peanuts, popcorn and Pepsi products for fans who purchase the All-You-Can-Eat Seats tickets, which are available for advance purchase today.

The All-You-Can-Eat Seats are in the covered Club Level Seats – sections 232, 234, 236, 238 – along the first base line and will be offered for Friday and Saturday night home games starting Friday, June 29. The promotion will also be available when the Royals host the Seattle Mariners (with fireworks!), July 3-4, and when the New York Yankees come to town on July 23-26 and Sept. 7-9.

Buy your advance tickets, which are only $35, for the All-You-Can-Eat Seats either online at royals.com/allyoucaneat, by calling (816) 504-4040 or by visiting the Kauffman Stadium ticket windows. Fans can also purchase the tickets for $40 on the day of game. Or, even better, get a bunch of buddies together – 20 or more – and purchase All-You-Can-Eat tickets through the Group Sales department at $25 per person…quite possibly the best deal in baseball.

Start getting your stomach ready now to eat up!

2007 Draft: Royals Choose Mike Moustakas

And, picking second in the First-Year Player Draft, the Kansas City Royals choose….

         Mike Moustakas, shortstop, Chatsworth, Calif.

Moustakas, 6-0 and 185, is a left-handed hitter who is ranked by Baseball America as the No. 5 prospect. He projects as a corner infielder.

More on Moustakas from Baseball America: No premium draft pick had a better season than Moustakas, who had one of the great careers in California high school history. The nephew of former Mets hitting coach Tom Robson, Moustakas tightened up his body between his junior and senior seasons, stepping up his conditioning as he healed completely from a hairline ankle fracture sustained during a scrimmage football game as a high school junior. He was the starting quarterback at Chatsworth as a freshman and has a bazooka for an arm–his fastball sat in the low 90s early in the year in relief roles and hit 97 mph in April. His power arm isn’t his best tool though, as Moustakas’ quiet, quick hands, polished approach and strength at the plate produce light-tower power and a smooth swing he repeats easily. Earlier in the year, scouts wondered about his defensive position–he’s Chatsworth’s shortstop but will move immediately as a pro. Most believe third base would be the first natural spot and others dreamed of his arm behind the plate, but most agree now that it doesn’t matter. His bat will play at any spot, even first base, though it would be a shame to waste that arm there. The only complicating factor was his commitment to Southern California–he and Robert Stock would become an unrivaled pair of two-way players– and representation by Scott Boras. The combination clouds his signability, but not his impressive ability.

Batted .549 (45-82) with four doubles, four triples, 20 homers and 49 RBI last season.

….the pick follows Tampa Bay’s selection of lefty David Price.

Draft: Will the Royals "Avoid Boras?"

“We’re going to select a player,” Royals General Manager Dayton Moore said, “who has a realistic view of his value. We’re going to get a player who will make a major impact on our ballclub for a long time.”

That’s how the KC Star’s Bob Dutton quoted Dayton in his draft preview article today. Dutton took that statement as Dayton’s way of saying the Royals decided against taking right-hander Rick Porcello since Porcello is represented by Scott Boras. Boras is known for getting his players high-priced contracts, which leads to extensive negotiations and a higher probability of the player and team not coming to an agreement.

Although MLB doesn’t cap contracts for the First-Year Players Draft, they do suggest caps based on slotting throughout the first round. Do teams usually stick to those recommendations? Not really, especially lately. In the Royals case, MLB recommends $3.1 million for the second pick. Last year, Luke Hochevar (also represented by Boras) signed for more than the recommendation.

If the Royals “avoid Boras” like Dutton suggests, then it’s likely they might jump to a position player. No one from the baseball ops department has emerged from the draft room in at least a week. Guess we’ll find out soon enough. First-Year Player Draft begins at 1 p.m. (CT) and will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and mlb.com.

ROYALS RECALL GATHRIGHT FROM OMAHA

This just in from the Media Relations department…

The Kansas Royals have recalled outfielder Joey Gathright from Triple-A Omaha and designated infielder Angel Berroa for assignment. Gathright will be in uniform for the Royals game tonight in Cleveland and will wear No. 2.

Gathright, 26, was hitting .328 (61-for-186) for Omaha with eight doubles, two triples, 20 RBI and 50 runs scored. He was carrying a .450 on-base pct. after drawing 37 walks against just 23 strikeouts and stole 21 bases in 26 attempts. He led the league in steals and ranked tied for second in both on-base pct. and walks. He was 13-for-13 in stolen base attempts since May 19 and hitting .374 (46-for-123) since April 26.

Berroa, 29, has appeared in just nine games since being recalled from Omaha on May 14. He is hitting .091 (1-for-11) with an RBI.

Now the question is: will Gathright’s bat stay hot?

Preview: Draft on Thursday

Last year, it was right-hander Luke Hochevar. In 2005, third baseman Alex Gordon. Before that, Billy Butler (2004) with Chris Lubanski in 2003. And, in 2002, the Royals selected Zack Greinke as their first round pick in the June draft.

So…who will it be in 2007?

Thursday’s First-Year Player Draft begins at 1 p.m. (CT) and will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and mlb.com. The Royals pick second following Tampa Bay and, according to all predictions, there is no clean cut answer as to whom Kansas City will be picking. And, trust us, we’ve asked.

But, if you’ve been keeping up with MLB’s draft coverage, the latest reports have the Royals picking right-handed pitcher Rick Porcello, a high school standout from New Jersey. Of course, that’s after Tampa Bay chooses Vanderbilt’s left-hander David Price.

Here’s how mlb.com sees the top 10 picks panning out:

1. Tampa Bay Devil Rays: David Price, LHP, Vanderbilt University

2. Kansas City Royals: Rick Porcello, RHP, Seton Hall Prep (N.J.)

3. Chicago Cubs: Josh Vitters, 3B, Cypress HS (Calif.)

4. Pittsburgh Pirates: Ross Detwiler, LHP, Missouri State

5. Baltimore Orioles: Phillipe Aumont, RHP, Ecole Du Versant Gatineau, Quebec

6. Washington Nationals: Daniel Moskos, LHP, Clemson University

7. Milwaukee Brewers: Jarrod Parker, RHP, Norwell HS (Ind.)

8. Colorado Rockies: Nick Schmidt, LHP, University of Arkansas

9. Arizona Diamondbacks: Mike Moustakas, 3B, Chatsworth HS (Calif.)

10. San Francisco Giants: Matt Wieters, C, Georgia Tech

For mlb.com’s complete list of first round picks, click here.

How do you feel about these predictions? What would you like to see? Let us know what you think. We’ll do our best to keep you posted as the draft unfolds tomorrow afternoon.

"My Greatest Day in Baseball…"

Mike Sweeney, a 12-year-old Little League standout, turning to his dad for support in the summer of 1985 as his attempts at pitching for his team often looked more like dodge ball for his opponents, but led him to a championship victory.

That summer – the summer of 1985 – was Mike Sweeney’s greatest days in baseball, a time in his life that he recalled while participating in “My Greatest Day in Baseball” presented by the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. The event, hosted by KC Star sports columnist Joe Posnanski and inspired by Buck O’Neil, involved a panel of Kansas City sports figures and notables – such as Dayton Moore, Frank White and Ryan Lefebvre – recalling their greatest days in baseball. For more details on the event and to read all the "greatest day" memories from the event’s panel, check out this story on the Royals community pages on royals.com.

Buck, who passed away this past October, loved sharing his greatest day and now, we are asking you, Royals fans:

What was your greatest day in baseball?

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