Amateur Signing Bonuses: Royals

Time to take our amateur signing bonus series to Kansas City…

  1. Eric Hosmer, 6MM (2008)
  2. Alex Gordon, $4MM (2005)
  3. Mike Moustakas, $4MM (2007)
  4. Luke Hochevar, $3.5MM (2006)
  5. Christian Colon, $2.75MM (2010)

You're looking at five of the Royals' last six first round picks, with the lone exception being 2009 pick Aaron Crow. He received a $1.5MM signing bonus as part of his $3MM major league deal. 

Hosmer, the third overall pick two years ago, was touted as one of the best high school bats in recent memory. He has lived up to that hype in the minors, crushing Single-A and Double-A pitchers to the tune of .338/.406/.571 with 20 homers as a 20-year-old in 586 plate appearances this season. 

Gordon was the best college player in the country when the Royals selected him second overall in 2005, but so far he hasn't delivered on the unrealistic and unfair George Brett comparisons. In parts of four seasons with the big league team, Gordon is a .244/.328/.405 hitter in 1,641 plate appearances, moving from the hot corner to the outfield in 2010. He's still just 26 though, plenty of time left for him to figure it out.

Drafted with the second overall pick in 2007, Moustakas holds the California high school record with 52 career homers. He's continued to mash in the minors, hitting .322/.369/.630 with 36 homers split between Double-A and Triple-A as a 21-year-old this season. Moustakas is Kansas City's third baseman of the future, and he and Hosmer represent prospects 1 and 1A in the game's best farm system.

The lone pitcher on the list, Hochevar was the first overall pick in the 2006 draft after spending a year in an independent league. The Dodgers selected him in the supplemental first round the year before, but after much drama the two sides were unable to work out a contract and he went back into the draft the next year. Hochevar has made 65 starts (and four relief appearances) for Kansas City over the last three-plus years, posting a 5.60 ERA with 6.0 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 in 387.2 innings.

Colon was the fourth overall pick in this year's draft, and his pro debut consisted of a .278/.326/.380 batting line in 271 Single-A plate appearances. His coming out party is set for 2011. 

The Royals have the best farm system in baseball, and it's easy to see why. They spend the money needed to sign elite amateur talent, and that extends beyond the first round. Over the last three years, they've spent over $24MM on draft picks, the fifth most in baseball.


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42 Comments on "Amateur Signing Bonuses: Royals"


4 years 10 months ago

“The Royals have the best farm system in baseball, and it’s easy to see why. They spend the money needed to sign elite amateur talent, and that extends beyond the first round. Over the last three years, they’ve spent over $24MM on draft picks, the fifth most in baseball.”

I’m sure the fact that they consistently have finished in the bottom of the League every year has nothing to do with their rich farm system.

4 years 10 months ago

The Royals have been bad for a very long time. Its only been since Dayton Moore’s arrival in 2007 that they’ve actually scouted, drafted and actually signed the best players available to them in the draft.

Dave_Gershman
4 years 10 months ago

Actually youre wrong. Many of their top prospects were picked in later rounds.

Dave_Gershman
4 years 10 months ago

Actually youre wrong. Many of their top prospects were picked in later rounds.

Ferrariman
4 years 10 months ago

for what its worth, i consider Moustakes the better prospect over Hosmer. He has played in the higher minors and is a more polished player, though Hosmer probably has the higher overall ceiling.

4 years 10 months ago

Most would consider Hosmer the more polished player because of his advanced strike zone recognition. Both are awesome though. I would say Hosmer has the higher overall ceiling but Moustakas has the most power potential the Royals have had since a young Mike Sweeney or John Mayberry in his prime. Moustakas could be the Royals first 40 HR player.

Ferrariman
4 years 10 months ago

the royals never had a player hit 40 homeruns? i could have sworn that maybe George Brett or someone along those lines from the great royals teams of the 80s would have.

Koby2
4 years 10 months ago

Nope, though the record was set in the 80s, Steve Balboni in 1985 with 36.

Carl06
4 years 10 months ago

No way Moustakas hits 40 home runs before Hosmer. Hosmer’s ceiling is higher because of his absurd power projections. His weight room numbers are, from what I’ve read in the papers, off the charts.

I think the Mike Sweeney profile is probably pretty accurate – as in, that’s Moose’s upside. And Sweeney, despite being a great guy and a better hitter, could never hit 40 in his best year.

Koby2
4 years 10 months ago

His home/away splits for AA (where the home park is very hitter friendly) concern me, as well as his slow start in AAA, Hopefully those concerns are for nothing though once he proves them wrong next year.

Dave_Gershman
4 years 10 months ago

In a few years, the Royals will be playing the Cards in the World Series, best farm system in Baseball vs. the Gashouse gang with Poo, Carp, Wain, Ras, Holl, and others. What a great rivalry, but we all know the rivalry is Ferrariman vs. SPANdemonium right?

Dave_Gershman
4 years 10 months ago

In a few years, the Royals will be playing the Cards in the World Series, best farm system in Baseball vs. the Gashouse gang with Poo, Carp, Wain, Ras, Holl, and others. What a great rivalry, but we all know the rivalry is Ferrariman vs. SPANdemonium right?

The_Porcupine
4 years 10 months ago

So what is the verdict on Gordon? Is he officially a bust? So he won’t be the elite player everyone expected. But will he be a solid regular? I ask because I’d think he would be expendable and possibly one of the better 3b options available considering the weak free agent market.

4 years 10 months ago

I hate saying this having watched Gordon through the minors with a lot of hope, but yes, he is a bust.

Red_Line_9
4 years 10 months ago

Considering expectations he’s a bust. He might have a few very solid seasons in him if he’s healthy, but nothing comenserate with the long 10 year or so run that was expected. If you view him from another angle…..wipe away the #1 pick aura….he’s appealing as potential. If he were a 26 year old 15th rounder coming out of AAA he’d be considered to have potential…..and would be viewed more realistically.

He’s a great ballplayer….he’s just either been injured or never put it together. There have been brief glimmers where it looked like he was putting it all together. I saw him absolutely demolish the Twins in MN one day a few years back. His pitch recognition was insane. You wondered why the guy wasn’t basically Teixeira on offense…..but sometimes it just doesn’t happen.

The_Porcupine
4 years 10 months ago

From an outsider looking in, I see a guy who needs to go to a new organization where he doesn’t have the “expectations of a #1 pick” hanging over his head. A team like the Orioles, Blue Jays, or Florida. I think his potential far exceeds any stop gap free agent that will be left after Beltre signs. Let him settle in somewhere, give him alot of AB’s in the lower part of the lineup, give him some coaching stability, and see what he can do. I look at what impact Showalter had with the O’s and his strengths in player development and I think it would be a perfect place for him to go. I think it’s obvioius the Royals aren’t going to get what they were hoping for from Gordon and I think it’s unreasonable to think he’ll be able to reach his potential within the Royals organization at this point. Trade him for a reasonable, B-level prospect and don’t hold him hostage.

Red_Line_9
4 years 10 months ago

Gordon is almost loaded with potential in light of what a “bust” peopel feel he is. That’s the fans talking though. Not sure what baseball people feel about him. He might be harder to acquire than perceived because the fanbase and management are two different beasts.

The only thing that might stick with teams is Gordon’s health issues. He’s never been able to stay on the field.

But he wouldn’t be the first “bust” to break out for a few seasons and contribute to a winner…long after the luster has past.

I’m just not sure Royals management is willing to toss him to the wolves as quickly as the Royal fanbase seems to be willing to do.

Sniderlover
4 years 10 months ago

Yeah same. I think he needs a change in scenery and an opportunity to play full-time.

Who knows, maybe it could be a similar situation like Bautista.

Red_Line_9
4 years 10 months ago

The Royals have a lot invested in him and would probably love for him to play full-time in thei outfield. Sure, he’d be a great player to take a chance on…I’m just not sure he’s available. A wide swath of the Royals fanbase clamoring to deal him for prospects doesn’t equal the inner workings of Dayton Moore’ mind.

We, as fans, tend to oversimplify player personel moves….as if we’re trading baseball cards. There are issues about some players we’ll NEVER know on the outside. It’s intriguing….but we’re in the dark.

Red_Line_9
4 years 10 months ago

The Royals have a lot invested in him and would probably love for him to play full-time in thei outfield. Sure, he’d be a great player to take a chance on…I’m just not sure he’s available. A wide swath of the Royals fanbase clamoring to deal him for prospects doesn’t equal the inner workings of Dayton Moore’ mind.

We, as fans, tend to oversimplify player personel moves….as if we’re trading baseball cards. There are issues about some players we’ll NEVER know on the outside. It’s intriguing….but we’re in the dark.

Jays4life
4 years 10 months ago

hmmm if gordon is a bust in KC then i think you all should ship him to Toronto to play 3rd for us….lol fresh start could mean results

Jays4life
4 years 10 months ago

If gordon is considered a bust in KC then i think you all should ship him to Toronto to play 3rd for us!! The kid has monster potential if he ever lives up to it and well sometimes a change of scenery can provide a spark or results. I am wondering if the big time pressure to be the next George Brett has killed his confidence over there….

Red_Line_9
4 years 10 months ago

I’m a Jays fan and would love that move! The deal in KC with Gordon is the fanbase is going to feel short-changed because he wa billed as the next Brett. I remember them feeling the same dissappointment about Johnny Damon.

Gordon might never be the heart of that order, but he is a guy…if playing he ever comes around…that could mean the difference in a typically tight AL Central.

Look at Cody Ross right now. He’s been solid, but all it takes is a quick burst of productivity when it counts to make someone a local legend. Chances are that Cody Ross. Some players just don’t have the 10 year sustained success…most don’t…but some have a brief period where they DO meet their potential.

4 years 10 months ago

The Royals do have an incredible farm system now.
LHSP’s galore that are top, top prospects. Duffy, Montgomery, Lamb, Arguelles etc.
They have CF’s, one of the best trading chips in baseball, stacked up as well, in Blanco, Dyson, Robinson and others.

I could go on and on. But the bottom line is this. They are primed for success. They don’t need to make any moves this off-season, unless they find a RH hitting RF they can trade for. But they don’t need to, because Josh Fields can play 3b/RF, and Wilson Betemit is a switch hitter who might play better defense in RF than at 3B. Those two can do a lot to provide some veteran leadership, at a cheap price with RH productivity.
We could use some SP help, but why? They have 5 viable starters if they resign Chen, and plenty of talent ready to push for a job from AAA, which is how it should be. They will find some minor league free agent pitching to compete in camp, which let’s the youngsters finish the learning curve in AAA until they are ready.
My opening day lineup is very capable of winning.
CF Jarrod Dyson
RF David DeJesus
DH Billy Butler
1B Wilson Betemit
3B Josh Fields
LF Alex Gordon
2B Mike Aviles
C Bryan Pena
SS Yuniesky Betancourt

Bench: Getz, Ka’aihue, Maier, and I predict either Matt Diaz, or Andrew Jones
Moustakas and Hosmer will start in AAA

The Pitching should be Greinke, Chen, Hochevar, Davies and Sullivan until force out by a youngster. While that rotation is a little shaky, the prospects backing it up make it perfectly acceptable for the short-term.

Ferrariman
4 years 10 months ago

what? no… what they should do is try to re-sign grienke to an extension. Whats the point in developing a mega system if your just gonna eventually let your players leave or be traded( see: pittsburgh pirates).

although i think Billy Butler is expendable with both Moustakes and Hosmer capable of playing 1B/DH. Can never have too much pitching so keep Zack

Sniderlover
4 years 10 months ago

No. They should keep Grienke IMO. Try to convince him that this re-build won’t take like 5 years and they are committed to winning but let him that they can compete within 2 years. Grienke is their ace and a CY young winner and only 27 years old, there really isn’t any reason to move Grienke especially when your farm system is already stacked.

But if I remember correctly, he said he wasn’t happy with this re-build plan but if they can convince him to stay then that would be great because if they trade Grienke, then really, it will take at least 4-5 years before they can really start competing.

Dave_Gershman
4 years 10 months ago

You are absolutley right.

Tell me how sweet this sounds…

Duffy
Montgomery
Ventura
Espinal
Moustakas
Sandford
Hosmer
Myers
Lamb
Dwyer
Coleman
Keating
Holland
Hardy
Collins
Perez
Sample
Colon
Giavotella
Robinson
Robinson
Smith
Arguelles
Cuthbert
Garcia
Mariot
Adam
Antonio
Yambati
Eibner
Simmons
Santiago

Too good to be true if you ask me!

I LOVE THE ROYALS!

4 years 10 months ago

Greinke’s current contract is an extension.

4 years 10 months ago

Moustakas: 3B
Hosmer : 1B
Butler: DH

Might as well have three young impact bats around.

Ian_Smell
4 years 10 months ago

You can’t group Lincoln into the same category as Bullington yet, though he is not looking too promising.

4 years 10 months ago

The Yankees and Rangers have the money to sustain the players when they need the big contracts, the Royals do not…
Extremely bad comparison there if ya ask me.

RBomb2844
4 years 10 months ago

I disagree. The Royals should keep Greinke for at least another year in hopes that he will rebound and get a higher return. That’s why they decided to exercise DeJesus’ option for this year — to prove to teams that the wrist injury was nothing and possibly get a higher return for him at the trade deadline or by next offseason. Trading Greinke now after a down year will get you tremendous prospects…but, imagine what they could get from him if he has another 2009 year next year. With his affordable contract, he would get a very high return. Personally, I wouldn’t trade him at all and would look to build the team around him….BUT, if they are going to trade him…wait and hope for a better year than this one.

Koby2
4 years 10 months ago

DeJesus will be a free agent after next year, unless there’s another option after this one, which I don’t believe there is. Kind of hard to trade a player who is a free agent. Though the team was very smart to pick his option up, either you get a full season of good production, or half a season (thereabouts) and a couple of decent prospects.

They should definitely listen on Greinke. Yes he had a relatively bad year this year, but two years of control at $13 mil (not exactly cheap, but his next contract will be a lot more) is worth more than one year of control, that has to be weighed into the decision as well. If he isn’t happy with the direction the team is going, then that could effect his desire to pitch well or at least give as much of an effort (who can blame him with the run support he has received in his career, and the defensive support, though he should still try his all for the team), and make him have another year like this year. Then 2009 looks like the aberration, and now he’s not worth near as much.

Dave_Gershman
4 years 10 months ago

The Royals will be in October soon. Best farm system in Baseball History. It’s that good!

Dave_Gershman
4 years 10 months ago

The Royals will be in October soon. Best farm system in Baseball History. It’s that good!

jth532
4 years 10 months ago

I am a Kila fan, but he is older Butler and hasn’t proved that he can replace Butler. So saying Kila make Butler expendable is jumping the gun a little.

Otis26
4 years 10 months ago

You’re joking right? LOL!

KK is nothing more than AAAA or organizational depth at best. He’s borderline horrible.

jth532
4 years 10 months ago

Re-read RBomb’s statement. He said KC picked up the DeJesus option so that they could trade him at the deadline, not after the season.

4 years 10 months ago

Baltimore’s system was recently doing VERY well. But they’ve graduated Wieters, Matusz, Tillman(I know, came from Seattle), Arrieta and Reimold. They also have Erbe in their system who is a high ceiling arm, Brandon Snyder could be a useful piece and they have this year’s no. 3 pick Manny Machado. Billy Rowell has been a bust, but otherwise they’ve drafted quite well.

Dave_Gershman
4 years 10 months ago

But he has the best name is Baseball history and has a cool nickname, the Big Lava.

Dave_Gershman
4 years 10 months ago

But he has the best name is Baseball history and has a cool nickname, the Big Lava.

Dave_Gershman
4 years 10 months ago

Absolutley Larry and I really appreciate it!

I’m so excited about the Royals. So much to be excited for! You know, you look at a team like the Rays for example, great farm system. Definetly top 5 in the Majors, but out of their 5 or 6 affiliates, not every team has several prospects that would be top 3 in any other organization. Well every level of the Royals orgainzation has ELITE top prospects! take the O-Royals, you’ve got Moose, Collins, and Coleman. The Naturals have a world of top prospects with the 4 Lamb, Montgomery, Dwyer, and Duffy. Giavotella (possibly the most underrated hitter in MILB) could very well be the next Dustin Pedroia. D-Rob has tons of speed and hits as good as a AA OF can hit. Also plays well in the field. Hosmer obviously could be the next Mark Teixeira. And you go to Wlmington and what do you find? Only Christian Colon, Wil Myers, and Salvador Perez, all of which are 1-3 prospects who do nothing but hit and play premium positions.

And the list goes on and on and on but the point is, how good of a job has Dayton Moore done in rebuilding this organization in terms of scouting, drafting, and international signings! A TERRIFIC FANTASTIC JOB!

Even their ML Roster has some prospects who aren’t prospects. This is just me, but I still consider Alex Gordon a prospect and I think he is going to (as he told Bob Dutton) DOMINATE next season!

I’m so so so so excited about the Royals!