The man who I am interviewing here is one of the most knowledgable people when it comes to the Kansas City Royals. His name is Greg Schaum and I encourage everyone to check out his blog @ www.RoyalsProspects.com. This interview is simply bases on many Royals fans excitement on the future of the organization. Check this out.
Me: Talk to me about where you think the Royals system ranks among the best in Baseball.
Greg: I think it has to be the number one system in baseball right now. The Braves, Rays, and Rangers have some studs but 1-6 on the Royals would be 1-2 on the majority of teams in baseball. (Hosmer, Moustakas, Myers, Montgomery, Lamb, and Duffy)
Me: Who are some sleepers in the Royals organization?
Greg: The first name that comes to mind is a pitcher who pitched in the Arizona League this year named Yordano Ventura. The buzz on him grew as the season progressed and I think this would be a name to watch next season. His teammate Robinson Yambati is also quite the find for the Royals organization.
The Royals also have a young catcher named Salvador Perez that is a great catcher and his bat really emerged as the Wilmington season went on. He reminds me of Sandy Alomar JR.
Me: Talk about the progression of Some of the higher level Royals.
Greg: Wow, I do not think you can not talk about progression without mentioning the awesome seasons that Mike Moustakas and Eric Hosmer have had.
Mike Montgomery and John Lamb both came out of the gate fast in 2010 and even though they have slowed down in the last few weeks they both have had big years.
The return of Danny Duffy to the Royals has been big and he is a legit future big leaguer. I also really like Chris Dwyer and he might be the closest to the majors of all of the Royals lefties.
Wil Myers, though, might end up being the best of the entire group. He looks to be that franchise type of guy that is such a rarity in baseball.
Me: Give me your thoughts on some of our favorite Royals from Surprise: Yordano Ventura and Darian Sandford.
Greg: I talked about Ventura already but Sandford is a burner that was a late round draft pick. The odds are stacked against him but that does not mean he could not end up being a special player. But, I will wait to make a prediction on him after he has some full season ball under his belt (I do have a interview lined up with Darian this week so check that out)
Me: Who do you like among the Royals 2010 draftees?
Greg: I really liked Whit Merrifield and Kevin Chapman during the college season. I think Chapman could be a Norm Charlton type of reliever…The upside of Merrifield is becoming a type of player that always makes a club better but is not a regular player. Brett Eibner was a great pick in the 2nd round and even though I liked him better as a P he has that rare ability to provide power from the right side of the plate. He has a chance to be a special player with the bat and glove (he is a very good OF)
I like Christian Colon because he is a winner and will do whatever it takes to win games. The Royals have done a great job building a future team of winning type of players. He will be a perfect compliment to Moustakas.
The local kid the Royals drafted named Jason Adam has a chance to be a special pitcher. He is a RH and he has a ton of potential.
Me: Who are some future weapons out of the pen in the Royals organization?
Greg: Louis Coleman can throw every day and is very deceptive. Tim Collins is maybe 5’7 but the lefty has terrific stuff and knows how to pitch. I think Aaron Crow ends up as a reliever and he has 2 pitches that could make him a late inning guy in the future. I mentioned Chapman already and the Royals have another lefty named Blaine Hardy that could be a reliever in the big leagues (He will pitch in the big leagues but right now the Royals are trying him as a starter because he has command of four pitches)
Me: Do you think the Royals international signings are starting to pay off? Especially in the lower levels…
Greg: Yes, Cheslor Cuthbert is a young slugger in the mold of Gary Sheffield. He has a quick bat and is only 17 years old. He is the best of the group of international guys.
Me: Talk about the great season that the Northwest Arkansas Naturals have had, and the progression of Hosmer, Giavotella, D-Rob, and the lefties.
Greg: The Naturals are one of the best AA teams in recent memory. They have the right mix of speed, defense, power, and pitching. They have some greay character guys like Everett Teaford and Clint Robinson (who both have had excellent seasons) and were provided a spark in the first half from Moustakas and in the second half from Hosmer. Derrick Robinson is an exciting young player that has had a big rebound season. He still has some improvements that need to be made but he is as fast as anyone in the game.
Giavotella is a fine hitter with great bat control. He is a perfect #2 hitter and will knock the ball out of the park every so often. I would challenge anyone to find a better group of lefties than the Royals have in their system (all of them have pitched for AA at some point this season) at any one time in the last 30 years.
Me: Last one, Describe the expectations of Pat White and what kind of progression he is expected to make plus his ETA, this is all assuming he stays in Baseball.
Greg: From what I understand Pat White is just testing the water right now. It is not a fact that he will stick with baseball. But, if he does than you are talking about a potential 5 tool guy. He was a terrific high school star and has a great arm, can fly, and used to be a terrific hitter. This could end up bring a fantastic sign by the Royals organization.