Monday, November 24, 2008

It's on the young people

Nineteen-, 20-, 21-year-olds dictate the direction of baseball franchises, and so it is that Baseball America fulfills a need, giving fans glimpses of the future, sometimes long before it's arrived (or ever arrives at all). Here's its list of the Royals' 10 best prospects:

  1. Mike Moustakas
  2. Eric Hosmer
  3. Daniel Cortes
  4. Mike Montgomery
  5. Tim Melville
  6. Danny Duffy
  7. Danny Gutierrez
  8. Carlos Rosa
  9. Kila Ka'aihue
  10. Blake Wood

Most of these guys have name recognition, and many of them, judging by their early-career success, give us reason for optimism.

Here was 2007's list:

  1. Mike Moustakas, ss
  2. Daniel Cortes, rhp
  3. Luke Hochevar, rhp
  4. Blake Wood, rhp
  5. Danny Duffy, lhp
  6. Carlos Rosa, rhp
  7. Julio Pimentel, rhp
  8. Matt Mitchell, rhp
  9. Yasuhiko Yabuta, rhp
  10. Derrick Robinson, of

Notice that Hosmer, Montgomery and Melville were all new draftees in the class of '08. It has to be a good sign they all jumped immediately into the top 5, and that one of the players in last year's top 5 is now on the big-league roster.

Here's where nos. 6-10 are now:

Pimentel, age 22, acquired via trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers (along with Blake Johnson and Odalis Perez) for Elmer Dessens. Double-A Arkansas. Regressed last season with a 5.38 ERA, 115 strikeouts and 52 walks in 157.1 innings, but he's still very young.

Mitchell, 19, drafted in 14th round in 2007. Last year at Class-A Burlington: 8-8, 3.47 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 77 K and 25 BB in 116.2 innings. Not bad for a 19-year-old.

Yabuta, 35. Optioned to Triple-A Omaha but, unlike Luke Hudson, opted not to file for free agency.

Robinson, 21, drafted in 4th round in 2006. Showed no power in Class-A Wilmington but did steal 62 bases last season. Career line: .243/.314/.314. More grooming necessary.

An oblique but earnest thought: is anything in the world tougher than parenting?

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