Results tagged ‘ Mike Moustakas ’
First baseman Eric Hosmer (at top) and third baseman Mike Moustakas (above) will represent the Royals at the July 11 game in Anaheim, which is part of All-Star Sunday. Northwest Arkansas manager Brian Poldberg will be a coach for the U.S. team. Poldberg, who led the Naturals to the playoffs in 2008 and 2009, has skippered the club to a 41-28 record and a first-half title this season.
Hosmer, KC’s-first round pick in 2008, is currently leading the Carolina League in batting average (.356) and doubles (24). He has three home runs, 42 RBI, 10 stolen bases and 33 walks compared to just 27 strikeouts.
Moustakas, KC’s first-round pick in 2007, leads the Texas League in all three Triple Crown categories: average (.355), home runs (17) and RBI (63). He also paces the circuit in slugging percentage (.704) and is second in on-base percentage (.421).
Congrats to all three on this tremendous honor!
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.
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!
MLB.com and ESPN.com both published rankings yesterday that touted the Royals’ farm system. MLB.com ranked the Top 50 Prospects throughout baseball. Third baseman Mike Moustakas (pictured at left), catcher Wil Myers, right-handed pitcher Aaron Crow and lefty Mike Montgomery all cracked the Top 50. Kansas City was one of just three clubs with four prospects on the list (Tampa Bay and Texas were the others.) If you do the math…50 prospects, 30 teams, that’s an average of 1.67 prospects per organization and the Royals have four! Nine teams had one prospect on the list and four teams were not represented. For more information on this list, read Dick Kaegel’s column at royals.com.
ESPN’s Keith Law came out with his annual ranking of farm systems from 1 to 30. He pegged Kansas City at number 9 on this year’s list. Law compliments the Royals on their “sheer number of arms” and states that the Royals “could easily be a top-five system in a year.”
The Royals have announced that left-handed pitcher Danny Duffy, third baseman Mike Moustakas, and outfielders David Lough and Derrick Robinson have been invited to Major League Spring Training in Surprise, Ariz. The four additional players bring the Royals’ non-roster spring total to 24.
The 21-year old Duffy was a Carolina League All-Star in 2009 while pitching the entire season at the age of 20 for Wilmington (A Advanced). The 6-foot-3 left-hander went 9-3 with a 2.98 ERA in 24 starts for the Blue Rocks, striking out 125 and walking 41 in 126.2 innings. The Royals’ third-round selection from 2007, who is 19-10 with a 2.49 ERA in his minor league career, resides in Lompoc, Calif.
Moustakas, 21, was the Wilmington Player of the Year in 2009 after earning the same award at Burlington (A) in 2008. The left-handed hitting third baseman batted .250 with 16 home runs and 86 RBI in 129 games for the Blue Rocks. Kansas City’s first-round pick (second overall) in the 2007 Draft resides in Northridge, Calif.
The 23-year old Lough, honored last Thursday as the George Brett Minor League Hitter of the Year, led all Royals minor leaguers with a .325 combined batting average at Wilmington and Northwest Arkansas (AA) last season. The Clinton, Ohio resident was the Royals’ 11th round pick in 2007 out of Mercyhurst College in Erie, Pa.
Robinson, 22, will spend his second straight spring in Major League camp. The speedy centerfielder hit .239 and stole 69 bases in 92 attempts for Wilmington in 2009. Drafted in the fourth round in 2006, Robinson has 186 stolen bases to his credit in four minor league seasons, leading the Carolina League in each of the last two years.
Baseball America’s ongoing series of top prospect listings highlighted the Royals today. Left-handed pitcher Mike Montgomery (pictured at left) was ranked as the number one Kansas City prospect by the publication. (Note: you can meet Mike at FanFest.)
Montgomery headlined a list of six starting pitchers, including four lefties. The article also lists the player with the best attribute in 15 different categories, from Best Slider and Best Fastball (both Aaron Crow) to Best Power Hitter (Mike Moustakas).
You can see all of the rankings at http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/rankings/organization-top-10-prospects/2010/269367.html.
The Arizona Fall League season kicked off on Tuesday. Four Royals minor league player/pitcher of the year honorees are on the Surprise roster (David Lough, Mike Moustakas (at right), Brandon Sisk and Ben Swaggerty). The quartet is joined by Royals prospects Jeff Bianchi, Federico Castaneda and Blake Wood on a team that includes players from the Cardinals, Mets, Rangers and Yankees. You can follow all of the action on mlb.com. The official Twitter account for the AFL is
Thursday afternoon update – Mike Moustakas hit a 3-run home run in today’s game!
The Royals have announced that five minor leaguers have committed to play for the Surprise Rafters in the 2009 Arizona Fall League. Shortstop Jeff Bianchi, third baseman Mike Moustakas, outfielder David Lough, right-handed pitcher Danny Gutierrez and left-hander Ben Swaggerty will play for Surprise manager Brian Rupp, the current manager for the Royals’ Class A Advanced club in Wilmington. Kansas City will fill two additional spots on the roster by September 10.
Bianchi, 22, has split the 2009 season with Wilmington and Northwest Arkansas (AA), batting a combined .307 with 25 doubles, seven home runs, 59 RBI, 66 runs scored and 22 stolen bases. The 6-foot, 175-pounder from Lancaster, Pa. was the Royals’ second-round selection in the 2005 draft.
Moustakas, KC’s first-round pick (2nd overall) in the 2007 draft, has hit .252 with 27 doubles, 15 home runs and 79 RBI as a 20-year old for Wilmington. His RBI total places him tied for third in the Carolina League while his homers are tied for sixth.
The 23-year old Lough, like Bianchi, has split his time this season between Wilmington and NW Arkansas, and is currently batting .331 with 10 doubles, eight home runs, 28 RBI, 34 runs and 11 steals in 47 games for the Naturals. He was the Royals 11th round pick from the 2007 draft.
Gutierrez is 0-0 with a 2.11 ERA in seven games (three starts) for Wilmington, walking five and striking out 21 in 21.1 innings. The 22-year old right-hander was a 33rd round pick for the Royals in the 2005 draft.
Swaggerty is a left-handed reliever who was 3-1 with a 1.64 ERA in 16 appearances for Wilmington before posting a 3-1 mark with a 3.57 ERA in 22 outings at NW Arkansas. The 27-year old signed with Kansas City as an undrafted free agent in 2007.
The Arizona Fall League season begins on October 13.
Baseball America highlighted the Royals today as they continue their team-by-team summaries of top prospects. Seven pitchers and three position players make up KC’s Top 10. Five of the players were honored at the 2008 Futures Night (above). The future, both near and long-term, appears extremely bright.
New to the Top 10 are 2008 draft picks Eric Hosmer, Mike Montgomery, and Tim Melville, as well as right-handed pitcher Danny Gutierrez and slugging first baseman Kila Ka’aihue.
We’ve compiled a few notes on each prospect. ATH had the chance to speak about the rankings with Scott Sharp, Kansas City’s Director of Minor League Operations. We’ve included his observations for some analysis you won’t get anywhere else.
The power-hitting lefty (pictured at left) recovered from a slow start to lead the Midwest League with 22 home runs in 2008 as a 19-year old. Now 20, “Moose” became the first teenager to lead the Midwest League in homers since 1982.
Sharp note: “He has great power and ability with the bat. He’ll likely start at Wilmington.”
2. Eric Hosmer, 1B
KC’s first-round selection in 2008 makes his BA debut at #2. The 19-year old also projects as the Best Hitter for Average. Hosmer spent the fall in the Arizona Instructional League.
Sharp note: “Similar to Mike, he can hit and has power. He played in three games last year so we want to see what he does in spring training before assigning him.”
3. Dan Cortes, RHP
Cortes, acquired from the White Sox in the Mike MacDougal trade, continued to shine in 2008, becoming a regular season and postseason Texas League All-Star. Still just 21, he has been ironing out some issues in the Arizona Fall League, including trying to keep the ball down in the zone more often.
Sharp note: “He met every expectation last year. He will probably start in Double-A, but could begin in Triple-A, depending on how the Omaha roster shakes out.”
4. Mike Montgomery, LHP
Montgomery, a supplemental pick in 2008, displayed great stuff as he held Arizona League opponents to a 1.69 ERA over 42.2 IP. The Royals plan to build the 19-year old’s innings slowly, as they did last year with Danny Duffy (see below).
Sharp note: “He’s a lefty with a good curveball. We’d like to see him in a full-season league. Most likely, he will start later in the year as health is paramount with our young pitchers.”
5. Tim Melville, RHP
The 2008 fourth-round selection checks in at #5. Melville, who has yet to pitch in a game as a pro, spent the fall in the Arizona Instructional League and is 19 years old as well.
Sharp note: “He’ll follow a similar path as Montgomery, though it will likely be in a short-season league. It would be unfair for him to start in a full-season league (since he didn’t appear in 2008).”
6. Danny Duffy, LHP
Duffy, a May addition to the Burlington Bees, went 6-1 with a 0.99 ERA over his last 11 starts to earn Burlington Pitcher of the Year honors. He won’t turn 20 until December 21.
Sharp note: “He proved himself at Burlington and will likely start at Wilmington. He has good mound presence and poise and can display three average Major League pitches.”
7. Danny Gutierrez, RHP
Gutierrez, 21, has risen to the top 10 after being selected in the 33rd round out of high school in 2005. BA ranks him as having the best curveball and best control among Royals farmhands.
Sharp note: “He showcases a power fastball and curveball. Danny is a good competitor who should start at Wilmington.”
8. Carlos Rosa, RHP
Rosa made his Major League debut in 2008 before finishing the year on the D.L. with a right elbow strain. The recent trades of Leo Nunez and Ramon Ramirez have left a gap in the K.C. bullpen. General Manager Dayton Moore mentioned the 24-year old as a candidate to fill one of those spots.
Sharp note: “Carlos will be in Major League camp but could begin the year at Triple-A. He’s been working on a change up.”
Ka’aihue’s meteoric rise through the farm system didn’t go unnoticed by Baseball America. Ka’aihue, 24, spent just a month in Omaha in 2008. He will likely start 2009 there as the Royals have several players battling for time at first base.
Sharp note: “He will likely start at Triple-A, but will be given every opportunity in Spring Training. He has power at his disposal but is also a good first baseman.”
10. Blake Wood, RHP
KC’s third-round pick in 2006 sits at #10 after being ranked #4 prior to 2008. This is mostly a sign of the Royals ever-increasing strength in the system. The 23-year old Wood split 2008 between high-A Wilmington and Double-A Northwest Arkansas.
Sharp note: “Blake has a power arm and a power curve. We see him starting at Double-A. He needs to get back to the way he started there.”
On the Farm: October is peak harvest time for a group of loyal Royals fans, the corn and soybean farmers here in the Midwest. The Royals’ farm is also busy this time of year as Assistant General Manager for Scouting/Player Development J.J. Picollo and his staff look to cultivate talent for the Major League team. Today we look at two of the fall proving grounds, the Arizona Instructional League and Hawaii Winter Baseball. (Yes, that was Hawaii followed by winter.)
Arizona Instructional League: Seeds of baseball knowledge are being planted in the impressionable minds of farmhands in the Arizona Instructional League. Participating players include 2008 draft picks Eric Hosmer (left), Johnny Giavotella, and Tim Melville as well as 2008 Burlington (IA) Player of the Year Mike Moustakas. Games started on September 22 and run through October 17. Players also take part in daily practice drills and listen to motivational talks from the likes of manager Trey Hillman and Royals Hall of Famer Frank White. We hope to have more insider updates on the instructional league in the near future.
Hawaii Winter Baseball: Aloha! Farther west, four Kansas City prospects are honing their baseball skills on the island of Oahu. Infielders Kyle Martin and Kurt Mertins, left-handed pitcher Ben Swaggerty and right-handed pitcher Jason Godin are members of the North Shore Honu. Martin played a key reserve role for the Midwest League-champion Burlington Bees in 2008. Mertins batted .282 and stole 28 bases as a member of Wilmington’s speedy Carolina League entry. Godin, a fifth-round selection in 2006, spent 2008 with Wilmington. Swaggerty signed as a non-drafted free agent in 2007. He split 2008 between the Burlington Bees and the Wilmington Blue Rocks. The teams continue play through November 16. Be sure to keep tabs on all of the action!
Central Focus: All eyes in baseball have been on the AL Central over the past few days. Our division finally has a champion, and it didn’t require a recount or hanging chads. Congratulations to the Chicago White Sox, who won their first division title since 2005. Last night’s thrilling game was a pitching duel from start to finish. Jim Thome provided all of the offense with a solo blast in the seventh.
The Royals play the Twins and White Sox 18 times apiece during the regular season, so we get to know their broadcasters, writers, and media relations staff quite well. (Be sure to check out our interviews with Chicago’s Ken Harrelson and Minnesota’s Jack Morris.) We can only imagine the press box conversations last night as the season came down to a final game.
Revving Up for Royals Charities: Royals Charities recently teamed with the Kansas City Zone Dodge Dealers to auction off a 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8. The car sold for $51,250, with proceeds going to Royals Charities. Thank you to Dodge for their support of Royals Charities!