Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
Play Fantasy Use your Fantasy skills to win Cash Prizes. Join or start a league today. Play Now
      
Fantasy Football Today
2014 Draft Prep Guide
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.

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
Jay Bruce homers twice, drives in three
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(9/21/2014) Reds outfielder Jay Bruce sandwiched two solo homers around an RBI single in a 7-2 win Sunday over the Cardinals. Bruce, hitting .217, is up to 18 homers and 65 RBI.

Lance Lynn fans nine in defeat
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(9/21/2014) Cardinals starter Lance Lynn struck out nine over six innings Sunday, but took the loss in a 7-2 defeat to the Reds. Lynn allowed three runs on four hits, including two homers to Jay Bruce, while walking a pair.

Now 15-10 with a 2.73 ERA, Lynn is scheduled to face Arizona on Saturday.


Alfredo Simon registers 15th win
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(9/21/2014) Reds pitcher Alfredo Simon improved to 15-10 Sunday with six strong innings in a 7-2 win over the Cardinals. Simon allowed two runs on seven hits, striking out three and walking two, and lowered his ERA to 3.34.

Simon had gone seven innings in four of his previous five starts, and he owned a 17-inning scoreless stretch before the Cards scored in the fifth. He'll take on the Pirates at home Saturday.


Royals done sitting Billy Butler
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(9/21/2014) Though Billy Butler looked like he may have lost his DH job to Josh Willingham for the first couple weeks after Eric Hosmer returned from a hand injury, Royals manager Ned Yost told the Kansas City Star Sunday that the longtime Royal will play every day the rest of the way.

Butler went 2 for 4 with an RBI Sunday against the Tigers. It was just his sixth start in the team's last 15 games.


Jed Lowrie exits after getting hit in foot
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(9/21/2014) Athletics shortstop Jed Lowrie was hit in the foot by a pitch in his first at-bat Sunday against the Phillies, but the Athletics didn't remove him from the game until the fifth inning. Nick Punto took his place.

"He's all right," manager Bob Melvin told MLB.com. "Just got it pretty good on the foot. As a shortstop you have to have your range, and on the ball in the hole he was having a little trouble getting over there."

Lowrie is day to day.


Xander Bogaerts should be back Tuesday
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(9/21/2014) Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts, who left Sunday's game with a stiff neck, should be back in the lineup Tuesday against the Rays, according to the Providence Journal. The injury was the aftereffect of him getting hit by a ricocheted ball in batting practice.

Though Bogaerts is having a so-so rookie season, he has been terrific in September, batting .312 (24 for 77) with four home runs and an .840 OPS.


Pedro Alvarez could return for postseason
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(9/21/2014) Though Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez, who hasn't played since Sept. 5, has been ruled out for the rest of the regular season, he could potentially return for the NLDS if the Pirates advance that far, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune. The Pirates are currently tied with the Giants for the top wild card spot.

Alvarez had lost his starting third base job to Josh Harrison even before the injury, but he had begun transitioning to first base, making five starts there.


Jason Heyward has swelling in the thumb
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(9/21/2014) Braves outfielder Jason Heyward, who was out of the lineup for a third straight game Sunday against the Mets because of a thumb injury, hasn't been able to grip a bat yet because of swelling in the thumb, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He remains day to day.

Chaz Roe designated for assignment
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(9/21/2014) The Yankees designated right-hander Chaz Roe for assignment Sunday. Roe made three appearances for them in September, allowing two earned runs on three hits and three walks in two innings.

Astros relievers have hurt obliques
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(9/21/2014) According to the Houston Chronicle, Astros relievers Darin Downs and Josh Fields are both nursing oblique injuries. Because Downs aggravated a previous injury, he could possibly miss the rest of the season.

Downs last pitched in a game Friday. Fields, who was beginning to earn some save opportunities, hasn't pitched since Sept. 9.


 
 
 
Rankings