Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
      
Fantasy Football Today
Gameday Inactives
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Red Zone Stats
Teams
Schedules
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Playoff Challenge
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Player Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Teams
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injuries
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Message Boards
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Teams
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.

  •  
 
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
Jordan Zimmermann bounces back Monday
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(10:47 pm ET) Nationals pitcher Jordan Zimmermann bounced back with a strong start Monday against the Marlins.

Zimmermann allowed two runs on four hits over seven innings of work. He struck out six and walked one during the outing. Zimmermann cruised along until the seventh inning. After walking Giancarlo Stanton, Zimmermann allowed an RBI triple. He then gave up another run on a single. After a mound visit, Zimmermann got things together, getting a groundout to get out of the inning. 

The Nationals blew a huge lead in the ninth inning, giving him a no-decision. His next start will come against the Phillies. 


Nate Eovaldi struggles, but manages to receive no decision
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(10:45 pm ET) Marlins pitcher Nate Eovaldi struggled Monday against the Nationals.

Eovaldi allowed five runs on six hits over 5 1/3 innings. He struck out three and walked two during the outing. The Nationals struck in the first inning, picking up a run on a sac fly. Eovaldi seemed to settle in at that point, but ran into a ton of trouble in the sixth inning. 

Eovaldi allowed three singles to open the frame. After getting one out, he walked the bases full and was pulled from the game. Bryce Harper then reached on an error, picking up an RBI. Wilson Ramos walked, and Danny Espinosa drove in two with a single. Eovaldi was charged with four earned runs. 

The Marlins were able to mount a comeback in the ninth, giving Eovaldi the no-decision. His next start will come against the Reds. 


Jayson Werth leaves Monday's game with possible leg injury
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(10:23 pm ET) Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth left Monday's game against the Rockies with a possible leg injury, according to MLB.com. 

In the seventh inning, Werth hit a single off Sam Dyson. He attempted to stretch it to a double, and was thrown out at second. Werth slid into the base awkwardly, and limped off the field. He was replaced by Nate McLouth the next inning. It's unclear how much time Werth will miss due to the injury.


Travis d'Arnaud turns into a slugging machine Monday
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(10:15 pm ET) Mets catcher Travis d'Arnaud hit the ball all over the yard Monday against the Phillies. 

The catcher got in on the action during his first at-bat. He doubled on the first pitch he saw from A.J. Burnett. d'Arnaud would come in to score during the inning. In the fifth, d'Arnaud struck again, taking an 81 mph knuckle curve from Burnett out to left for a three-run shot. He doubled again later in the game. d'Arnaud finished 3 for 4, with two runs scored and three RBI. 


Josh Rutledge dealing with illness
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(10:12 pm ET) Rockies infielder Josh Rutledge was scratched from the starting lineup Monday against the Cubs because of an illness, the Denver Post reports. Rutledge is hitting .307 over 140 at-bats. He'll look to return Tuesday in Chicago.

A.J. Burnett struggles against the Mets Monday
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(10:10 pm ET) Phillies starter A.J. Burnett turned in a tough start Monday against the Mets.

Burnett allowed seven runs on eight hits over five innings. He struck out four and walked two. Burnett found himself in trouble almost immediately. After walking the leadoff hitter, Burnett allowed an RBI double to Daniel Murphy. Lucas Duda would single home another run, and back-to-back doubles would drive in two more. By the end of the first, Burnett trailed 4-0. He settled in for three scoreless innings, but ran into trouble again in the fifth. 

After getting two outs, Burnett walked Lucas Duda and gave up a single to Chris Young. Travis d’Arnaud stepped to the plate and hit a three-run homer off Burnett. He was able to finish the inning, but his day was done.

With the loss Burnett drops to 6-10. His next start will come against the Nationals. 


Bartolo Colon picks up win number 10 Monday
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(10:10 pm ET) Mets pitcher Bartolo Colon turned in a strong start against the Phillies Monday.

Colon allowed one run on 10 hits over 7 2/3 innings. He struck out six and walked one during the outing. Though his line makes it look like Colon was somewhat hittable, that wasn’t necessarily the case. He worked with multiple men on base in three of his 7 2/3 innings, but was rarely in danger throughout the start. Colon’s only run came in the eighth inning. With two outs, he allowed two straight doubles. Colon was pulled at that point. He threw 121 pitches.

With the win, Colon improved to 10-8 on the year. Colon will take on the Giants in his next start. 


A.J. Pollock to take live batting practice Tuesday
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(10:07 pm ET) Diamondbacks outfielder A.J. Pollock will take live batting practice Tuesday, according to MLB.com.

Pollock will take batting practice against rehabbing pitcher Daniel Hudson. Pollock will then head out on a rehab assignment if that goes well. Pollock has been out since May 31 due to a hand injury. He hit .316/.366/.554 over 177 prior to fracturing his hand. 


Diamondbacks willing to deal Addison Reed
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(9:08 pm ET) The Diamondbacks are willing to deal closer Addison Reed, according to ESPN.

Reed has a 3.89 ERA over 41 2/3 innings. Reed is still arbitration eligible for two more seasons, though would likely receive a nice raise due to his role. It's unclear if the team has had serious talks regarding Reed. 


Allen Webster gets another shot in rotation
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(8:55 pm ET) Red Sox pitcher Allen Webster will get another turn in the rotation, MLB.com reports. Webster allowed two runs on three hits over 5 1/3 innings during his first shot in the rotation. He will likely make his next start Saturday against the Yankees.

"Everything points to Allen making that start. There's no plans right now to make any changes in our rotation," manager John Farrell said.

 
 
 
Rankings