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"


Guest
4 years 8 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.

Guest
4 years 8 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.

Guest
Dave_Gershman
4 years 8 months ago

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

Guest
Dave_Gershman
4 years 8 months ago

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

Guest
Ferrariman
4 years 8 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.

Guest
4 years 8 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.

Guest
Ferrariman
4 years 8 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.

Guest
Koby2
4 years 8 months ago

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

Guest
Carl06
4 years 8 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.

Guest
Koby2
4 years 8 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.

Guest
Dave_Gershman
4 years 8 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?

Guest
Dave_Gershman
4 years 8 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?

Guest
The_Porcupine
4 years 8 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.

Guest
4 years 8 months ago

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

Guest
Red_Line_9
4 years 8 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.

Guest
The_Porcupine
4 years 8 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.

Guest
Red_Line_9
4 years 8 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.

Guest
Sniderlover
4 years 8 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.

Guest
Red_Line_9
4 years 8 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.

Guest
Red_Line_9
4 years 8 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.

Guest
Jays4life
4 years 8 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

Guest
Jays4life
4 years 8 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….

Guest
Red_Line_9
4 years 8 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.