Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
      
Fantasy Football Today
Fantasy Football Today Blog
Gameday Inactives
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Scores
Fantasy Games
Playoff Challenge
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Player Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
Fantasy Baseball Today Blog
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injuries
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Message Boards
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
No Fantasy Teams Found
 
 
 

2011 Fantasy outlooks: Kansas City Royals

  •  

Listen to our latest Fantasy Baseball Podcast!

You'd think Royals fans would want to throw in the towel after another last-place finish to cap a 25-year run without a playoff appearance. You'd think the trading of 2009 Cy Young winner Zack Greinke, the team's one and only star player, would represent the proverbial last straw. You'd think.

But now is actually the perfect time to jump on the bandwagon with the organization on the verge of fielding its best team since the days of George Brett and Brett Saberhagen.

Follow us on ...
Get the latest news and analysis from the most informed Fantasy staff in the industry by following us on Twitter and Facebook.
@cbsfantasynews
facebook.com/cbssportsfantasy

Oh, yes. On the surface, the Royals appear a collection has-beens and never-weres posing as something competitive, but what lurks beneath in the minor-league system is an embarrassment of riches, the long-awaited payoff for all those early-round draft picks and departed superstars.

True, the only prospect with a chance of making a significant impact this season is Mike Moustakas, but by the end of 2012, Eric Hosmer and William Myers will be anchoring the middle of lineup, and Mike Montgomery, Danny Duffy, John Lamb, Chris Dwyer, Aaron Crow and Jake Odorizzi, one of the key pieces of the Greinke deal, will be trying to force each other to the bullpen.

It's Tampa Bay all over again. Shoot, it's Atlanta all over again, and it's almost, almost time.

Of course, Fantasy owners care mostly about the here and now, and as of now (and here), the Royals have only two must-draft players: Billy Butler and Joakim Soria. But the blank canvass the Royals have created will allow some virtual unknowns to emerge off the waiver wire. Players like Jeff Francis, Jeff Francoeur and Vin Mazzaro get a second chance with a new organization, and players like Alex Gordon, Luke Hochevar and Kila Ka'aihue get one last chance to show the Royals they can contribute.

If any of them do, by this time next year, the Royals will have gone from having no idea who to put in the lineup to having no idea who to leave out.

Breakout ... Billy Butler, 1B

Perhaps you say this should have happened last year. Perhaps you lost heart when, instead of continuing his upward climb, Butler regressed from 21 homers to 15 and from 93 RBI to 78. But you have to remember he has yet to turn 25. He already has better bat control, his strikeouts dropping from 103 to 78, than most middle-of-the-order hitters ever achieve in their careers, suggesting his career-high .318 batting average is just the beginning. He may never develop into a 30-homer threat, but if he's competing for batting titles and smacking 20 homers, that's more or less elite, even at a deep position like first base. The Royals showed their faith in him by signing him to a four-year extension, which means they want him to be a part of next year's metamorphosis and not just another trade chip. If a perpetually rebuilding organization is willing to buy into him long-term, why can't you?

Sleeper ... Kila Ka'aihue, 1B

Ka'aihue has never gotten much attention from the scouts, but you've no doubt heard his name mentioned more than once over the last few years. You've heard it because his numbers demand recognition. They're insane. At long last, the Royals decided to see what the 26-year-old could do, promoting him in August and giving him everyday at-bats. True, he hit only .217, which some will claim as another victory for the scouts over the statisticians, but he clearly got more comfortable over time, hitting .261 with six homers and an .878 OPS in September. This is it for Ka'aihue, his one great chance to stake his claim before the big rush of talent, and the Royals are giving him every opportunity to do so, leaving first base open for him all offseason. He could amount to nothing, but if everything clicks for him the way it did in the minors, he could be the hottest waiver claim this summer.

Can't-miss prospect ... Eric Hosmer, 1B

The Royals have more candidates for this category than any other organization, but if you want the one prospect least likely to disappoint and most likely to become early-round material in Fantasy, it's Hosmer. LASIK surgery turned the 2009 disappointment into more than the Royals could have hoped for when they selected him third overall in 2008. He doesn't have any discernable flaws, striking out only 66 times in 520 at-bats and repeatedly driving the ball the other way instead of trying to yank everything out of the park the way young power hitters so often do. He has already mastered Double-A, which is usually the biggest reality check for minor leaguers, so Triple-A is little more than a formality. He will arrive before the end of 2011, and by all indications, he will succeed right away. You'd have to stash him too long to justify drafting him in a seasonal mixed league, but you'll want to claim him as soon as he gets the call.

Kansas City Royals Fantasy Outlook
Projected Lineup Pos. Projected Rotation
1 Lorenzo Cain CF 1 Luke Hochevar RH
2 Mike Aviles 3B 2 Jeff Francis LH
3 Billy Butler DH 3 Kyle Davies RH
4 Kila Ka'aihue 1B 4 Bruce Chen LH
5 Jeff Francoeur RF 5 Vin Mazzaro RH
6 Alex Gordon LF Alt Sean O'Sullivan RH
7 Brayan Pena C
Bullpen Breakdown
8 Chris Getz 2B CL Joakim Soria RH
9 Alcides Escobar SS SU Robinson Tejeda RH
Top bench options RP Blake Wood RH
R Wilson Betemit CI RP Jeremy Jeffress RH
R Melky Cabrera OF RP Jesse Chavez RH
Rookies/Prospects Age Pos. 2010 high Destination
1 Mike Moustakas 22 3B Triple-A Triple-A
Former second overall pick finally blew up with .999 OPS last year. Should reach bigs later this year.
2 Eric Hosmer 21 1B Double-A Double-A
Third overall pick in '08 may be best hitter in all of minors. Age won't stop him from debuting in 2011.
3 Danny Duffy 22 SP Double-A Double-A
Improved stock last year. Gets nod here over team's other pitching prospects mostly because he's the oldest.
4 Mike Montgomery 21 SP Double-A Double-A
In virtual tie with Duffy, Lamb, and Dwyer for title of future ace but was drafted highest of the bunch.
5 William Myers 20 OF Class A Double-A
Converted catcher showed potential on level of Hosmer last year. Position change should hasten arrival.
Best of the rest: John Lamb, SP; Chris Dwyer, SP; Christian Colon, SS; Jake Odorizzi, SP; Aaron Crow, SP; Lucas May, C; Jeremy Jeffress, RP; Jarrod Dyson, OF; Brett Eibner, OF; Johnny Giavotella, 2B; Louis Coleman, RP; Timothy Melville, SP; Tim Collins, RP; Patrick Keating, RP; Greg Holland, RP; Salvador Perez, C; Clint Robinson, 1B; Jeff Bianchi, SS; David Lough, OF; Will Smith, SP; Noel Arguelles, SP; and Kevin Pucetas, SP.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us via Twitter . You can e-mail us your Fantasy Baseball questions to DMFantasyBaseball@cbs.com . Be sure to put Team outlooks in the subject field. Please include your full name, hometown and state.

Get player news notifications, manage your team and check scores
- all updated in real time. Download the CBS Fantasy App.

  •  
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
Rockies designate Jayson Aquino for assignment
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(4:24 pm ET) After completing a two-team trade Friday, the Rockies decided to designate Jayson Aquino for assignment, the team announced.

Aquino spent 2014 bouncing around the minor league, pitching in 18 games with a 5.13 ERA in 107 innings pitched. He went 5-10 with 83 strikeouts in stints with both Double-A Tulsa and Class A Modesto.


Report: Red Sox express willingness to trade Edward Mujica
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(4:22 pm ET) The Red Sox have expressed a willingness to trade reliever Edward Mujica, a source told FOX Sports. The right-handed reliever is set to make $4.75 million in 2015.

Mujica, who was an All-Star with St. Louis in 2013, went 2-4 with a 3.90 ERA and eight saves in his first season with Boston in 2014.


Orioles 1B/OF Steve Pearce agrees to $3.7M salary for 2015
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(4:16 pm ET) The Orioles avoided arbitration with outfielder/first baseman Steve Pearce, agreeing to a $3.7 million salary for 2015, according to CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman. Pearce reportedly filed for $5.4 million, while the Orioles reportedly offered $2 million.

Pearce is coming off his best season as a major leaguer, batting .293 with a .373 on-base percentage, .556 slugging percentage, .930 OPS, 21 home runs, 26 doubles and 49 RBI in 102 games.


Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is 'staying put'
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3:57 pm ET) A team source told CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman that Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is "staying put."  Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich told FOX Sports earlier in the week that it is "highly, highly unlikely" Tulowitzki will be traded before opening day.

Tulowitzki, who has been linked to trade rumors involving the Mets this offseason, is under contract through 2020 on a six-year, $118 million deal. He is also recovering from August hip surgery.


Red Sox agree to deal with pitcher Alexi Ogando
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3:52 pm ET) The Red Sox have agreed to a deal with pitcher Alexi Ogando, according to CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman. It is a one-year, $1.5 million contract, which includes $1.5 million in bonuses, according to USA Today.

Ogando has been a free agent since being non-tendered by the Rangers in December. Ogando made just 27 relief appearances in 2014 due to an elbow injury. He went 2-3 with a 6.84 ERA.

Ogando, who was an All-Star in 2011, also has experience starting at the major-league level, going 19-12 with a 3.40 ERA in 48 career starts.


Braves trade RPs Hale, Schlosser to Rockies for two minor leaguers
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3:42 pm ET) The Braves traded pitchers David Hale and Gus Schlosser to the Rockies on Friday in exchange for catchers Jose Briceno and Chris O’Dowd.

Hale went 4-5 with a 3.30 ERA in 45 relief appearances for Atlanta in 2014. He struck out 44 batters and issued 39 walks in 87 1/3 innings.

Schlosser made his MLB debut in 2014, going 0-1 with a 7.64 ERA in 15 relief outings for Atlanta. He struck out eight and walked six in 17 2/3 innings.

Briceno hit .283 with 12 home runs, 23 doubles and 50 RBI in 84 games for Class A Asheville in 2014. He has a career .280/.433/.776 slash line over five minor-league seasons.

O'Dowd hit .271 with five home runs, 27 doubles and 48 RBI in 113 games between high Class A Modesto and Double-A Tulsa in 2014. He has a career .260/.362/.689 slash line over three minor-league seasons.


Tigers' Dombrowski: Steven Moya 'relatively close' to making impact
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3:31 pm ET) Tigers outfield prospect Steven Moya, who was the MVP of the Eastern League (Double-A) in 2014, is expected to open the season at Triple-A Toledo, per the Detroit Free Press.

"I don't know if I'd say we're buying time for Moya," Tigers president and general manager Dave Dombrowski said last week. "Probably when a guy as talented as Moya is ready, he'll make his way onto a team. I don't think we could absolutely say, trying to win a pennant, trying to win a world championship, you can count on him being 100 percent ready."

The 23-year-old Moya hit .276 with a .555 slugging percentage, .861 OPS, 33 doubles, 35 home runs and 105 RBI in 133 games last season at Double-A. He has a career .251/.444/.739 slash line over six minor-league seasons.

Moya also made a brief appearance in the majors last season, batting .375 (3 for 8) in 11 games.

"I think the development time will be good for him" Dombrowski said. "Could he come up and produce at some time during the year? Yes. He's relatively close."


Braves sign catcher Jesus Flores to minor-league contract
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3:23 pm ET) The Braves signed catcher Jesus Flores to a minor-league contract Friday, which includes an invite to spring training, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Flores has not played in the majors since 2012 with the Nationals. He spent the 2014 season with the Royals' Triple-A affiliate at Omaha, batting .248 with five home runs and 21 RBI in 40 games.


Pirates sign Wilkin Castillo, Josh Wall to minor-league deals
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3:18 pm ET) The Pirates have signed catcher Wilkin Castillo and pitcher Josh Wall to minor-league contracts, which include invites to spring training.

Rockies sign Betancourt, Quintanilla to minor-league deals
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3:11 pm ET) The Rockies signed former closer Rafael Betancourt and infielder Omar Quintanilla to minor-league contracts Friday, per MLB.com. 

Quintanilla spent the last two seasons with the Mets, while Betancourt did not pitch in the majors in 2014 as he was working his way back from Tommy John surgery. He did pitch in the minors, going 2-0 with a 4.66 ERA.

"I have another chance," Betancourt said by phone from his offseason home in Orlando, Fla. "Compared to how it was last year or even when I was pitching in games, I feel a lot more normal now.

"When I threw for the Rockies last week, I threw all my pitches -- fastball, changeup and breaking ball. Last year, I didn't throw any breaking balls, because my arm felt weird. It's 16 months after surgery and everything is going well. I'm also happy the Rockies stuck with me; they have a new GM [Jeff Bridich] but still were there for me, and I appreciate that."


 
 
 
Rankings