Thursday, October 30, 2008

Jacobs

Well the deal got done.  Mike Jacobs is a Kansas City Royal. Reading between the lines Dayton Moore seems unconcerned with Jacobs lack of plate discipline. Which is not surprising by the guy who brought us Guillen, Olivo, & TPJ.

“Mike’s a winner and has a very aggressive approach to baseball, and we look forward to his presence on our club.”

Its this aggressive approach that helped contribute to KC's .320 OBP in 2008, good for 12th out of the 14 AL teams. So where is Jacobs an upgrade? And would he be that much better than Ryan Shealy or Kila Kaaihue?

Shealy spent the first five months in AAA and hit .283/.376/.503 with 22 hrs and 65 rbi's. He then finally got called up in September and hit .301/.354/.603 with 7 hrs and 20 rbi's in 20 games. His great final month made Moore's decision to snub him all year in favor of weak hitting Ross Gload all the more questionable.
Kaaihue hit .314/.463/.624 in AA and .316/.439/.640 in AAA with a combined 37 hrs. He held his own against major league pitching in September and also added another home run.

When the season ended Moore and new hitting coach Kevin Seitzer talked about bringing the team OBP up and in Moore's first move of the offseason he trades for a guy who got on base at a .299 clip. It really doesn't make any sense.

This deal is not as bad since KC gives up Leo Nunez rather than Carlos Rosa. Nunez is certainly talented but lacks the potential of Rosa or the K rate of Ramon Ramirez. One thing Moore knows how to do is build a bullpen so I don't think Nunez will be missed at all.

I realize that Jacobs has big time power and that is something that is in short supply in KC but the question is can he hit 30 hrs every year with an OBP that low? It seems unlikely but time will tell.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Jacobs: thanks but no thanks!

10/28 edit - So it appears Rosa was the Marlins target. I'm not sure what Moore was thinking but I hope this deal isn't revisited.
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 The Royals were reportedly close to obtaining Mike Jacobs but the deal fell apart according to Barry Jackson.

The Marlins, who had a $22 million payroll in 2008, wanted to deal Jacobs to Kansas City, but the deal died last week because of a medical issue involving the minor-league pitcher that Florida would have received.

I don't know who the minor league pitcher was but I hope it wasn't Carlos Rosa. Jacobs is a decent hitter (career 110 OPS+) but we already have someone who hits some home runs, strikes out a lot, and refuses to walk - we really don't need another. His OBP has gone down every year since his rookie season with last season falling below .300 and new hitting coach Kevin Seitzer plans on stressing plate discipline which is not a Jacobs strength. This deal would not have made any sense.

I just don't see how Jacobs fits or where he would be an upgrade over Ryan Shealy.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The World Series and the 2002 draft

So while watching the Hamels/Kazmir match up in game one I got to wondering how the rest of the pitchers taken in the first round of the 2002 draft performed in 2008. Sixteen pitchers were taken in the first round and while some have been major disappointments (the top four have failed to make an impact) others have turned into elite top of the rotation starters. (And isn't that what you are looking for in the first round?)

Player Pick Record ERA IP K/BB ERA+
Zack Greinke
6th 13-10 3.47 202.1 183/56 123
Jeff Francis
9th 4-10 5.01 143.2 94/49 92
Joe Saunders
12th 17-7 3.41 198 103/53 130
Scott Kazmir
15th 12-8 3.49 152.1 166/70 127
Cole Hamels
17th 14-10 3.09 227.1 196/53 142
Jeremy Guthrie
22nd 10-12 3.63 190.2 120/58 125
Joe Blanton
24th 9-12 4.69 197.2 111/66 89
Matt Cain
25th 8-14 3.76 217.2 186/91 116

Francis dealt with injuries but was coming off an impressive 2007 season (17-9 215 IP 114 ERA+). Blanton was ineffective but has a track record of an innings eating middle of the rotation starter (he's also starting game four of the World Series).

Zack holds his own compared to his draftmates and while it may have taken him longer to get established he's there with them right now and most likely will get better. Hamels is the only one I would trade straight up for him, Kazmir has electric stuff but is a bit too fragile for my taste. So this convinces me now more than ever that Greinke should not be traded unless he flat out rejects any extension talk - and even then only if Moore gets an overwhelming offer.

mtroyals joins Royally Speaking

Ask and you shall receive. Antonio Hernandez, aka mtroyals at Royals Nation, will begin posting here. Anyone familiar with his opinions on the Royals know what an excellent edition he will be to this blog, you can learn more about him here and here (thanks to Ray, the Larry King of Royals bloggers).

Monday, October 20, 2008

Help wanted!

So you've probably noticed that posts on here have been few and far between the last couple of months and since that doesn't figure to change much I've decided to seek another writer (or two) to help me out. I first mentioned this in my interview with Ray at Royals on Radio and have already gotten a few emails so if anyone is interested send me a sample of your work. The chosen ones will have their choice of how often they want to post and what they want to write about. It would be nice to have someone familiar with the minor league teams but not a requirement.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Royally Speaking Player of the Year: David DeJesus

DeJesus had the finest season of his career setting career highs in avg/obp/slg, home runs, and rbi's and becomes the first ever Royally Speaking player of the year.

Stats (Team rank):
Runs - 70 (2nd)
Hits - 159 (1st)
Doubles- 25 (5th)
Triples - 7 (1st)
Home runs - 12 (4th)
RBI's - 73 (2nd)
Avg - .307 (1st)
Obp - .366 (1st)
Slg - .452 (2nd)
OPS+ - 114 (2nd)

I'm a little concerned that DeJesus will not make it through the offseason as a Royal, his name has been thrown around in trade rumors. It really seems that KC fans (& Dayton Moore) don't appreciate him. He is a quality centerfielder who can hit and play good defense. I'll take that whether he can steal a base or not.
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Top CF's by OPS
Josh Hamilton - .901
Grady Sizemore - .876
Curtis Granderson - .858
Marlon Byrd - .842
Vernon Wells - .840
David DeJesus - .818
Torii Hunter - .810

DDJ spent most of the season patrolling one of the corner OF spots so he doesn't belong in the discussion of top CF's but my point is had he played there all year he is a top 6 centerfielder. So why would KC want to trade him? My guess is because he doesn't hit 20 home runs a year or steal 40 bases. One or the other and people would love him. He is not Carlos Beltran (27 HRs, .876 OPS) or BJ Upton (44 SBs, .784 OPS). He is an underrated and under appreciated player who can get on base and play terrific defense with a team friendly contract - DM would be crazy to move him.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Barnett gone and forgotten

Mike Barnett has been fired as hitting coach, a move that perhaps should have been made at midseason. Now I don't know if he is singularly responsible for Butler and Gordon's early career struggles but it doesn't appear that he has been much of a help for the two. Not that the Royals offense were world beaters before Barnett took over but they certainly haven't scared too many pitchers under his watch.
Year Runs AVG OBP SLG HRs
2006 757 (12th) .271 (11th) .332 (11th) .411 (14th) 124 (14th)
2007 706 (13th) .261 (11th) .322 (13th) .388 (14th) 102 (14th)
2008 691 (12th) .269 (6th) .320 (12th) .397 (12th)
120 (14th)