Moore On Butler, Moustakas, Hosmer, Ka’aihue

Royals GM Dayton Moore told John Sickels of Minor League Ball that it takes time to develop prospects and turn them into major leaguers. Moore says he understands fans' concerns about the Royals' recent history of losing and shares their excitement about the players currently in the Royals' highly touted system. Here are the details:

  • Moore says players can take a few years to develop, pointing to Billy Butler. The Royals extended Butler earlier in the year because he has improved every year and they "think he's about to take that to another level."
  • Hitters take time to develop, since it's hard for them "to develop beyond their level of competition." In other words they need to face good pitching to learn to hit it. 
  • The Royals are "very optimistic" about Mike Moustakas and Eric Hosmer, partly because the two top prospects have experienced failure.
  • Moustakas "can stick at third base, no question," according to Moore, who likes the infielder's arm and body control.
  • Hosmer and Moustakas could push Kila Ka'aihue into a reserve role, but the Royals say he's capable of more. "We think he can hit .240-.260, hit 20-25 homers, .370 OBP," Moore said. "It will be a nice problem fitting all these guys in the lineup."
  • Christian Colon, the team's top pick in 2010, "can be an Orlando Cabrera type at short, or a Placido Polanco if he moves to second," Moore said.
  • Moore says the Royals need more speed and athleticism. The GM says his ideal team would have a center fielder like Adam Jones or Torii Hunter – someone with speed, defense and power.


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47 Comments on "Moore On Butler, Moustakas, Hosmer, Ka’aihue"


Rick Garcia
4 years 4 months ago

i wasn’t aware teams looked for guys who hit .240-.260

pastlives
4 years 4 months ago

ya, why even finish reading his sentence when you can just make a snarky comment instead?

Pete
4 years 4 months ago

A .370 OBP is vastly more important to winning games than a .240 BA is.

damnitsderek
4 years 4 months ago

Wait…Dayton Moore knows what OBP is?

notsureifsrs
4 years 4 months ago

right? he should tell jeff francouer

YanksFanSince78
4 years 4 months ago

He thinks it’s a song by Naughty By Nature.

damnitsderek
4 years 4 months ago

Hit hop hoorayyyyyyyyyyy, hooooooooooo.

TartanElk
4 years 4 months ago

Hip Hop Anonymous?

twentyfivemanroster
4 years 4 months ago

He has stated time and time again that OBP must come from the farm. You can’t get those FA’s to sign in KC which is why the only players willing to play for KC are those with low OBP.

4 years 4 months ago

How is it that a team as scuffling as the Royals still finds so many chances to screw over Kila Ka’aihue and can’t find another chance to give Alex Gordon a shot?

bigpat
4 years 4 months ago

Gordon has been there for many years and has been given shots. He’s not cheap anymore and this will be the last year for him to prove himself since the team is getting very deep. It’s starting to look like he won’t be in their long term plans. Just because someone was a top prospect doesn’t mean the light will automatically turn on for them at any moment, some guys just don’t work out.

4 years 4 months ago

I agree on principle, but cannot shake the idea–and maybe I’m being irrational here–that Gordon is a change of scenery away from making the Royals look pretty ridiculous.

Koby2
4 years 4 months ago

I worry about that too, but he’s been given so many chances, and with so many players coming up in the next couple of years, I don’t think I could fault them for giving up on him after all this if he fails again this year. Luckily for him, he now plays a position that is comparatively weak in the Royals minor leagues, but did get stronger with Myers move from C to the OF.

Pete
4 years 4 months ago

The Royals have such depth they could probably trade for any CF they wanted, they have tons of money to spend as well. The Twins, Tigers and White Sox should tear their teams down in 2013 because this Royals farm is nothing but blue chips. Cleveland has already started on it…

TwinsVet
4 years 4 months ago

If Alex Gordon is any indication, I’m not convinced their “blue chips” are going to be getting MN/CHW/DET to wave the white flag anytime soon.

Any lousy franchise can assemble juicy prospects. Pittsburg has done it for a decade. Not many teams can turn them into a winning product on the field (Tampa is a noteworthy exception).

Koby2
4 years 4 months ago

When did Pittsburgh have juicy prospects like the Royals do? Or any team have as much depth or upside in the minors?

TwinsVet
4 years 4 months ago

Alvarez, McCutchen, and Walker all just came up through Pitts system.

Granted, KC’s farm right now may have an unprecedented number of Top-10 (or 50, or 100) prospects in anyone’s memory, but there’s a big difference between 1) getting a bunch of prospects together, 2) getting them all into the majors on the same service time window, and 3) having them actually develop into MLB stars.

It’s not likely that Moustakas/Hosmer take the route of Gordon, but it wouldn’t be stunning, either.

jwredsox
4 years 4 months ago

totally agree.

Moe Lester
4 years 4 months ago

Maybe a little concern from a Twins fan? Not too long ago the Twins were a lousy organization, 93-99. So its not impossible to turn around a loser. Also, look at the clubs who have earned the top farm system award, and then correlate their performances. Not saying its a sure thing, but I am saying that you are only paying lip service to the Royals prospects by bringing up Gordon.

TwinsVet
4 years 4 months ago

No concern. Was actually talking to a fellow Twins fanboy today, and we’re really hopeful that KC *does* turn the corner. It’d be great for the division and September baseball.

I’m not saying it’s impossible to turn the corner, or even incredibly rare. MN did it with Koskie-Hunter-Jones-Mient-AJ-Radke-Milton-Mays around the turn of the decade.

I’m just saying KC has taken the first step – assembling some great prospects. But that’s the easy part – Pittsburg can do it. The next step is developing them on the same timeframe so the the service clocks don’t start expiring on some (Butler) while they’re just starting on others (Montgomery). KC looks like they’re doing okay with that, though Grienke was a big loss. The third step is the hardest – that’s having those players actually mature into MLB stars. Tampa did that with pitching-Crawford-Longo-Pena. MN did it. KC can certainly do it to, but it’s the biggest challenge, and KC hasn’t even approached that point yet – heck, your best prospects still haven’t had a cup of coffee in the bigs. Next year the service time on Moustakas/Hosmer starts ticking, and you’ve got 6 years to make a run, thereby grow the fanbase, and thereby increase payroll to keep the momentum going.

Trust me, I’m rooting for it. I’m not just getting my hopes up yet.

bjsguess
4 years 4 months ago

You can have Torii. Just pick up his paycheck and he’s all yours. We can find someone else to man RF for a lot less dough.

4 years 4 months ago

Excellent, candid interview. I’m willing to forgive Dayton for Mike Jacobs, Jose Guillen, and Trey Hillman if his system produces like it’s capable of producing. I haven’t been this excited about the Royals since the ’94 season and that 14 game winning streak made us contenders.

4 years 4 months ago

Dayton Moore actually sounds intelligent in this piece. (Except when he said he wanted Torii Hunter to play Center)

I am shocked he values OBP after running out a team of players like Francouer and Guillen who are terrified of walking.

YanksFanSince78
4 years 4 months ago

I don’t understand the treatment of KilaK. I honestly think this kidhas the potential to be a .260/.370/.500 guy with 25-30 hr potential.

A team likeKC should be all about collecting and growing assets. Making him a “reserve player” would be a dumb idea. Let him become the starting DH and start a few times at 1B in 2011 and hope that he rakes. If he does, then you can trade him after or during 2011 and let Hosmer take over at 1b or DH along with Butler. Or keep both Kila and Hosmer and trade the more expensive Butler. Either way, give him 500 AB and let him grow his value.

4 years 4 months ago

Kila is going to play full time in 2011 and split 1B/DH with Billy Butler… it’s already in the plans.

ejhwfh
4 years 4 months ago

That’s what they are going to do. He’ll only be a reserve player in 2012 – and that’s dependant upon his performance this season. They aren’t talking about Kila being a reserve this season. He’ll get a full year splitting time between 1B and DH to prove what he can do.

4 years 4 months ago

I like the fact Dayton is talking about the depth the Royals have in the farm system and the time it takes to develop that talent…even at the MLB level. Not all prospects are all-stars right away. The last bullet mentions “Speed, power, defense” as his preference for CF….this leads me to believe they will want to draft someone like Jackie Bradley, Jr. from South Carolina in the 2011 MLB draft.

baseballz
4 years 4 months ago

I was thinking the same thing Rowdy ! That describes Bradley perfectly and he would be a great fit on the new Royals team too. Though, what happends to Lorenzo Cain ? or does that really matter if you got a stud like Jackie Bradley in the system.

4 years 4 months ago

Ned Yost will have his hands full again this year in yet another season of flux. The KC Star, Bob Dutton to be exact, claims that no matter how good Lorenzo Cain looks this spring he’ll start the season at Triple A. Looking at his numbers, I’d rather see Cain in CF than Melky Cabrera. Cain has a fine OBP, hit well in his short stint with Milwaukee last year and scouts like his athleticism. If he develops more power then he’ll be that Hunter type CF Moore wants, but since he still has options, Royals fans can expect the Atlanta castoffs getting the work in the pasture.

Barring any unforessen incident, the Royals wil shake up like this on opening day: C Brayan Pena (Jason Kendall isn’t likely to be ready), 1B Billy Butler, 2B Chris Getz/Mike Aviles, SS Alcides Escobar, 3B Mike Aviles/Wilson Betemit, RF Jeff Francoeur, CF Melky Cabrera, LF Alex Gordon and DH Hawaiian Punch.

Poor, poor Ned Yost is going to have to figure out how to slot these guys in a lineup. Who bats leadoff in this mess? Who can protect Billy Butler in the heart of the order? How will the infield line up? And we’re no even looking at their woefully inept pitching staff. How many leads will they get to Soria? But, perhaps, the more appropriate question is, how many prospects will they get for Soria at the trade deadline?

Koby2
4 years 4 months ago

I highly, highly doubt Soria is going anywhere unless they are overwhelmed by teams. His contract is still so team friendly, and the team is nearing that point where (hopefully) a closer will be needed again. Why get rid of an All-Star closer, who is still very cheap, for prospects when you already have the #1 farm system in the league, especially when all those prospects will be coming in the next few years?

timlincecumsweedcloud
4 years 4 months ago

That is a lot of 7-9 hitters, but my guess is it’s going to look something like
Getz/Aviles/Butler/Kila/Francoeur/Gordon/Pena/Cabrera/Escobar

With the 1 and 9 switching based on who is hot (it will be neither)

matchmade
4 years 4 months ago

Moustakas starts the season in triple A regardless of his performance. June will be the earliest he cracks the big league level, they want to avoid that super two status for one more year. Aviles starts the year at 3rd with the chance to take over 2nd if Getz struggles too badly with the bat.

You are right about Cain starting the year in the minors, mainly because he has options left. The Royals won’t carry more than 2 backup outfielders and Maier and Blanco are out of options.

4 years 4 months ago

I’d really like to see what Cain can do. Mitch Maier looks to be the fourth outfielder and he was a former first round pick, but I don’t see anything good in the kid. He’s error prone in the OF and doesn’t hit enough to spell Melky, Gordon and Francoeur–a trio of guys that will need to be spelled.

I agree with you on Moose. He’ll start at Triple-A but the kid worries me with his very low walk total at Omaha last year. Swing-happy kids are exploited by Major League pitchers. I hope the best for him but I’m more excited about Hosmer, Myers and Montgomery.

For Royals fans, their team website has a link where you can vote for players for induction into their team HOF. Bo Jackson has been doing well but I’d put Kevin Appier in before him.

centerfield_ballhawk
4 years 4 months ago

Any chance we see Hosmer in 2011?

TwinsVet
4 years 4 months ago

Not until September.

4 years 4 months ago

Over under 110 losses for the royals this year? Im going over.

timlincecumsweedcloud
4 years 4 months ago

Under. They do play 18 games against the Indians this year.

4 years 4 months ago

True, but I could see them splitting with the indians if grady comes back healthy. I mean having grady/choo and carmona should be decent enough for at least a split against the royals.

The tigers never beat the royals, but dang this year I dont see how we cant!

Flharfh
4 years 4 months ago

Man, looking at their starting rotation…if they don’t get some decent innings out of Francis, they could be historically bad. Kyle Davies: Career 5.49 ERA in ~700 innings. Hochevar: Career 5.60 ERA in ~400 innings. Sean O’Sullivan: Career 5.65 ERA. Bruce Chen and Vin Mazzaro are the only guys I would even want near a mound, and they are mediocre at best.

jhawk90
4 years 4 months ago

“Royals GM Dayton Moore told John Sickels of Minor League Ball that it takes time to develop prospects and turn them into major leaguers.”
——-
Now THAT’S innovation folks. Good hustle Dayton.

SSHM
4 years 4 months ago

Personally I liked the fact he wants a centerfielder who has speed, power, and range. All this time, I thought teams wanted a no range, limited skills player to range the outfield.

jhawk90
4 years 4 months ago

There’s all sorts of unintentional comedy gold in there –

“SICKELS: There’s been some comment that his swing mechanics are unorthodox.

MOORE: His swing isn’t typical, but I like it. He doesn’t stay on his legs the way some hitters do, but it has worked so far.”

Now that I gotta see…

Pawsdeep
4 years 4 months ago

Bold move comparing any one to Polanco at second…

David C. Ruckman
4 years 4 months ago

There’s something to be said about a player’s failure after being rushed to a full-time role in the majors with only one year of pro baseball and zero at-bats in Triple-A Omaha.

Fortunately, the club seems to have learned from its mistakes. Moustakas and Hosmer are apples and oranges to Gordon. Watching these two demolish our (read: the Tulsa Drillers) pitching staff in ’10, I feel the Royals are giving them plenty of time to establish themselves before cracking the big league club.

The Texas League gave up a LOT of home runs in ’10, so that has to factor into each player’s final lines. But after watching those two hit, I believe they are legit (I like Hosmer more).

Bob
4 years 4 months ago

Well I guess this confirms they’ll be going after Springer or Bradley Jr in the draft.

Cards_Fanboy
4 years 4 months ago

????????

4 years 4 months ago

I didn’t know people in 1951 had the internet…