Results tagged ‘ Dayton Moore ’
Today, the Royals recognized honorees for exceptional contributions on and off the field in 2011. We’ll start with photos of the media session, which took place before the event.
Top to bottom: General Manager Dayton Moore, Manager Ned Yost, 2011 Les Milgram Player of the Year Alex Gordon, 2011 Bruce Rice Pitcher of the Year Bruce Chen and 2011 Joe Burke Special Achievement Award winner Eric Hosmer
Billy Butler and Dayton Moore met with reporters on Tuesday to discuss Butler’s new long-term contract. The 24-year old Butler is proud to wear a Kansas City uniform and excited about the future of the organization. Butler and his family have always felt welcomed in the city and he looks forward to continuing his relationship with fans and the community.
Billy is looking forward to playing alongside some of the Royals’ highly-heralded prospects. He’s not making guarantees, but he has high expectations for himself and the team.
Dayton Moore believes that Butler has separated himself as one of the top young hitters in the game. Moore cited that Butler broke into the Major Leagues at a young age and was successful in a short time period, which isn’t easy. He recognizes Butler’s passion and that Butler wants to go from being a good hitter to a great hitter.
Royals general manager Dayton Moore and his entire staff have had a busy few weeks, all culminating in a press conference today at Kauffman Stadium at 3:30 p.m. Moore and surprise attendee Royals manager Ned Yost sat down at the desk in front of local media to talk about a few subjects on today’s agenda.
The first topic was the announcement that the club and Yost had agreed to a two-year contract, keeping the manager in Kansas City through at least 2012.
Yost was asked how this situation in Kansas City compared to his time in Milwaukee, when he took over a club coming off a 106-loss season in 2002. The KC skipper said that while Milwaukee had a lot of very good prospects (Prince Fielder, J.J. Hardy, Rickie Weeks among them), they were at lower levels of the system than the bulk of the top prospects the Royals have currently. He also mentioned that Milwaukee was unbalanced when it came to prospects, as they loaded up on power hitters and lacked in front-line pitchers. He sees a great mix of both pitchers (and power pitchers at that) and position prospects on the Royals farm.
Yost mentioned that he knew during spring training, as he took a look around the Royals’ complex in Surprise, that this is where he wanted to be long term. He mentioned that building relationships are the key ingredient to building championship ballclubs and putting the pieces together to build a champion is one of the most fun things in life to do. He plans to accomplish that here in Kansas City and to do it together with the people in the front office he’s built very strong relationships with thus far.
Moore was asked why he thought Yost was the right man to lead this club forward both in the short and long term. He responded that Yost’s leadership abilities are off the charts and his experience both in Atlanta and Milwaukee building a winner was a very important component. Moore did admit quite candidly that he had done his due diligence looking around at other managerial candidates, but he believes he found the right guy here. The communication between Moore and Yost, an extremely key component to building a winner, works very well.
The second topic was the big trade that sent outfielder Rick Ankiel and pitcher Kyle Farnsworth to the Atlanta Braves for outfielder Gregor Blanco and pitchers Jesse Chavez and Tim Collins. From all indications, the deal was finalized and approved by the commissioner’s office very close to the 3 p.m. CT deadline. Both Blanco and Chavez will join the Royals soon while Collins, a fireballing left-handed reliever, will report to Triple-A Omaha.
The 26-year-old Blanco was hitting .310 in limited time with the Braves this season and made his debut in 2008, posting a good rookie campaign with Atlanta in which he finished with a .366 on-base percentage. Royals GM Dayton Moore compared the speedy outfielder to Mitch Maier, in that he can play all three outfield positions well and can handle the bat. He likes the fact that the club controls Blanco for four more seasons so the team will have a chance to evaluate him as they move forward.
Chavez is 26. He is a right-handed reliever with a very good arm who has been inconsistent for the past three seasons in the big leagues with the Pirates and Braves. Chavez was traded this offseason for former Rays second baseman Akinori Iwamura and then for All-Star closer Rafael Soriano. The California native will join the Royals bullpen.
Finally, 20-year-old left-hander Tim Collins has had a whirlwind month of July. He was first a key part of the July 14 trade that sent shortstop Alex Gonzalez to Atlanta and shortstop Yunel Escobar to Toronto. Small in stature at 5-foot-7, the southpaw has a well above-average fastball and an overhand curve that he has employed to post a 2.29 ERA and 87 strikeouts in just 51.0 innings at the Double-A level in 2010. Moore compared Collins to closer Billy Wagner, who currently has 409 saves in the Majors. The Royals GM told the media that his scouts have indicated to him Collins has a chance to be a contributor in the big league bullpen as early as next season.
The 2010 June Draft begins on Monday. General Manager Dayton Moore talked to the media today about the draft and other topics.
Moore is looking for players with great character and players who fit a team atmosphere. He puts an added emphasis on players with past championship experience, either in college or high school. Ideally, Kansas City’s first pick will eventually be able to blend in with the current group of prospects at Double-A.
Moore sees several players in this draft that will make an impact in the majors. However, he doesn’t see as many premium position players as in some drafts.
A media member asked whether the draft will drop off after the first three picks (the Royals pick fourth). Moore says he sees how some see it that way, but every draft will be re-evaluated after three years and the picture can be very different. He sees that as the beauty and the challenge of baseball’s draft – a 10th round pick could wind up with a better career than a first-round choice. He sees all 50 or so players that a team drafts as important, sighting Jarrod Dyson. The speedy former 50th round pick is now on Kansas City’s 40-man roster.
Reporters asked Moore about pitching prospect Danny Duffy, who recently returned to the organization after taking some time away from baseball. Moore hasn’t spoken to Duffy and for now he will leave that to Assistant GM/Scouting and Player Development J.J. Picollo and Director of Minor League Operations Scott Sharp. He didn’t know if Duffy would return originally after he left baseball in March, but he knew that the good relationship between the club and Duffy would help.
Moose and Hosmer
Mike Moustakas and Eric Hosmer are both leading their respecting leagues in hitting, with Moose entering the day first in the Texas League at .371 and Hosmer’s .350 pacing the Carolina League. Moore says that the Royals are staying humble as an organization as far as their progress. He said that minor league hitting coordinator Jack Maloof is pleased with their development. As to whether they will be promoted, Moore said that the organization will re-assess that in a month, but neither is a currently a candidate to be on the Major League team by the end of 2010.
Moore likes the intense focus and clear beliefs of his new manager. While the two knew one another from Atlanta, they didn’t have the manager-general manager relationship. Moore says that this particular aspect of their relationship is still evolving.
Royals Manager Ned Yost had his first press conference today in front of a standing room only contingent of media in the Kauffman Stadium interview room.
Yost has been following Kansas City’s Double-A affiliate, the Northwest Arkansas Naturals, for the last week General Manager Dayton Moore contacted Yost about the managing job on Thursday morning. After accepting the job, he sifted through possible lineups at his Springfield, Mo., hotel room. Yost was awake until 3:30 this morning. He took a two-hour nap and was up at 5:30 for the drive to Kansas City! He doesn’t anticipate major radical changes in the lineup at this time.
Yost described himself as a person who has a knack for motivating players. He wants to work heavily with individual players at first. While Trey Hillman was a hands on manager, Yost is not. He said that Trey Hillman did a great job of getting players prepared every day and that the players have been a class act. The club is a little shell-shocked at the moment. Yost’s main job at the moment is to get the players to leave everything they have on the field every day. He believes that this club is more advanced than the club that he inherited in Milwaukee and that they are not that far away from turning things around.
Yost stated that 85 percent of his managing philosophy comes from Bobby Cox, who he worked for in Atlanta. The other 15 percent comes from what Yost learned as Milwaukee’s manager.
He knows that the Royals have ingredients for success in their minor league system. Yost believes that Mike Moustakas will be a “big-time Major League player”. He also mentioned that Milwaukee (where he managed previously) stockpiled young power hitters like Prince Fielder, while the Royals are stockpiling young power pitchers including Aaron Crow and Mike Montgomery.
Yost’s philosophy on coaching is to have one coach totally in charge of the infield and one totally in charge of the outfield. Rusty Kuntz is back as the first base coach and will coach the outfielders, a position he held in 2008 and 2009. Yost emphasized the importance of bringing Kuntz back. Eddie Rodriguez will shift to the third base coaching box. He will also be the infield coach. Rodriguez speaks fluent Spanish and Yost believes that will factor into Rodriguez’ work with infielders Alberto Callaspo and Yuniesky Betancourt.
Yost believes that this is an attractive job. He is up for the challenge and understands the frustration of the fan base. He has full confidence that he can do the job. He added that George Brett (who celebrates a birthday on Saturday) called him from Italy and wished him well.
Fans who have attended Spring Training in Surprise know that opportunities are abound to watch games and practices. The Royals play several ‘B’ games against their complex counterparts, the Texas Rangers. These games are not held at the stadium – instead they are on one of the practice fields at the complex. The ‘B’ games and practices are free to attend and fans can usually stake claim to a location that is just off of the field.
Today’s ‘B’ game featured Luke Hochevar, who was pushed back after yesterday’s regular game against the Giants was postponed. Let’s take at a few of the things that happen at a ‘B’ game.
Scouts and baseball operations personnel are continuously tracking the progress of the players. On the left, Senior Advisor to the General Manager and 2008 Royals Hall of Fame inductee Art Stewart surveys the action. Rene Francisco, Kansas City’s Special Assistant to the General Manager/International Operations, is standing behind Stewart (to his right, our left).
The next photo shows General Manager Dayton Moore and Assistant General Manager-Scouting & Player Development J.J. Picollo. The pair are speaking with Jon Daniels (center), the General Manager of the Rangers.
When the team goes to another complex for a game, a ‘travel roster’ is assembled. For example, some of the pitchers are not going to throw in the regular game that day. They stay behind in Surprise and spend time on other training activities, including strength and conditioning. Here, Zack Greinke and Kyle Davies are taking in Hochevar’s outing.
‘B’ games also require coaches to take on different roles. Trey Hillman served as the third base coach during today’s ‘B’ game. This picture shows the close proximity of the bleachers for a ‘B’ game.
Former third baseman Joe Randa is in camp working with players. Here he talks to John ‘Duke’ Wathan. On the right, Randa lends his advice to Mike Moustakas. Randa has mentored ‘Moose’ on multiple occasions since the Royals drafted Moustakas in 2007.
Now you know about some of the other happenings at Spring Training besides the game that is on the schedule at royals.com. We hope that you can make a trip to Spring Training in the near future!
Brrr…it’s cold! Kansas City is blanketed with snow and the temperature continues to drop. Wherever you are located, warm up with the Royals Hot Stove show, which airs live on KCSP 610 AM and across the web on royals.com! Steve Stewart and Ryan Lefebvre host the program every Thursday through February 25 from 6:00-7:00 p.m Central. The Royals Hot Stove features interviews with players, coaches and the front office. Tonight’s guest is general manager Dayton Moore.
Here’s the link to the Hot Stove page on royals.com, where you can listen to tonight’s show. Each show will be archived for playback.
Zack was resting Tuesday morning when he received word that he was the 2009 A.L. Cy Young Award recipient. All of a sudden, there was “a lot of stuff going on” at a time in the offseason when Greinke likes “doing nothing.” He passed the word along to his dad and fiancée, who were very happy for him. His mother and brother had yet to find out.
Zack was pleased, but it was the usual low-key Greinke reaction. He thought it would be a much closer balloting process as the Mariners’ Felix Hernandez also had a fantastic season.
One reporter asked where the coveted trophy would be housed. Greinke said that it would probably go at his parent’s house, with his other trophies.
Thanks for the help
Throughout the afternoon, several baseball players, coaches and baseball minds were noted by Zack as people who helped him mature as a pitcher.
Zack credited former Royals manager Buddy Bell, former general manager Allard Baird, reliever David Riske, and current pitching coach Bob McClure for helping him overcome his anxiety issues. Greinke described McClure as a “really smart” coach who challenged him to pitch inside this season.
He has sought advice from two of the top pitchers in the league, who he did not wish to name.
Miguel Olivo caught a majority of Greinke’s starts in 2009. Zack was happy to have the same catcher throughout the season, saying that Olivo did a fantastic job.
We learned that Brian Bannister’s interest in pitching statistics has rubbed off on Greinke. FIP, or Fielder Independent Pitching, is the stat that Zack is now following. FYI, he led the AL and was second in the Majors in that stat in 2009.
Zack read Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Feller’s book a few years ago. Feller talked about pitching at an 85-90 percent mark for the first few innings, then turning it up at the end. It took a while for Zack to embrace the philosophy, but now he sees that it is the best way to pitch.
Next year and beyond
Reporters focused on whether Zack can improve upon this incredible season. He says that he still makes mistakes and can improve in the physical aspect of the game. He wants to stay with the same mental approach as it worked in 2009.
Dayton Moore comments
General manager Dayton Moore took questions from the local media after the Greinke video conference. He said that people around baseball see the command of a Greg Maddux and the electricity of John Smoltz in Zack. Moore mentioned Bob McClure’s toughness as a pitcher and how he has brought that out in Zack. When asked if Zack can repeat or top the incredible season, Moore noted that Greinke’s one pitch at a time, one game at a time approach would help him.
He has stayed in shape with workouts, bullpen sessions, simulated games and side sessions. Crow says that he is just older and wiser than last year. His pitching repertoire is mainly a fastball and a sinker, with a slider and change-up mixed in. He has worked a lot on improving his change-up over the last year.
General Manager Dayton Moore said that the Royals will not put limitations on Aaron. As a player in Major League camp, he will be given the opportunity to make the team out of Spring Training. However, the overall goal is for Aaron to have a 15+ year career in the Majors. Moore sees a tremendous competitor with great drive.
Assistant General Manager-Scouting & Player Development J.J. Picollo mentioned that signing the first-round pick was a priority. He is anxious to get Crow into the mix.
Jose Guillen was placed on the 60-day D.L. to create a spot on the 40-man roster for Crow.
General Manager Dayton Moore will take part in a Royals Relay Chat today (Tuesday) at 3:00 p.m. Central. If you’re not already registered at royals.com, be sure to stop by royals.com to register for the chat session!