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Kansas City Royals Chat with Will Kimmey

Moderator: Will Kimmey will begin taking your Royals questions at 3 p.m. ET.

 Q:  John Venditte from Albany, NY asks:
Will Denny Bautista been given a chance in Spring Training to earn a spot in the starting rotation? If not, could he be a potential closer down the road?
 A: 

Will Kimmey: Thanks for stopping by. Let's get right into it. Bautista, and every other Royals prospect in the upper levels, will get a shot to play on the major league club as soon as proven ready. The Royals want to develop and deploy their young guys and won't let stopgap veterans stand in their way. Bautista will have a shot to make the rotation out of spring training. There ought to be all kinds of competition for those five spots, and I'd guess only Zack Greinke can really count on one. Kyle Snyder, Miguel Ascencio, Runelvys Hernandez and Mike Wood are among the other candidates, along with Brian Anderson.

 Q:  Jim from Milwaukee, WI asks:
Thanks for taking my question. Bautista logged 175 innings last year and I see that he is pitching in winter ball. Do you know if the Royals approved this? Do you think he'd be better off starting next season in AAA so he can work on his mechanics and perhaps build some confidence or is it likely he'll break camp with the Royals?
 A: 

Will Kimmey: He's under contract to the Royals, so he just can't go pitching all winter for shiggles. As far as where he starts 2005, that's going to be determined in the spring. His stuff says No. 2 starter, so he'll get some opportunities, but needs to throw strikes to make the most of his chances. He's been throwing well this winter, so that should start helping his confidence immediately. As alluded to in the earlier question, I'd guess that Bautista could land in the bullpen if he doesn't crack that rotation. Maybe some time at Triple-A first, but his fastball has enough velocity that he could jump right into a bullpen spot doing short work. His body reminds some of Guillermo Mota, so that might be a working comparison should Bautista move to the pen.

 Q:  dave from maryland asks:
will billy bulter start 2005 at A burlington or A high desert?
 A: 

Will Kimmey: Burlington seems the most likely, but the Royals sort of compare Butler's hitting ability--the way he works and thinks through an at-bat--to how Greinke works hitters from the mound. It's very advanced, very cerebral. That tells you he could move fast. I'm sure Butler will be at High Desert at some point, and that launching pad ought to help his numbers, and there is a good chance he will start there if he proves ready in the spring. The Royals won't hold him back, but they also won't run him ahead of his developmental pace to a place where he could really struggle.

 Q:  dave from maryland asks:
what direction will kansas city go with the 2nd overall pick in 2005?
 A: 

Will Kimmey: That should end up very interesting. The Diamondbacks pick first overall, and Justin Upton seems to be the consensus No. 1 guy, but Arizona has trended toward college players early in the last few years under Mike Rizzo and, under the new management, have also been wary of paying big bucks to Stephen Drew this year. That's the kind of cash Upton will probably want, something similar to the $4.6 million B.J got in 2002. That said, the Royals haven't been shy of preps in the first round, taking one with their top pick in each of the last five years. Upton could be there for the taking, though the Royals have been somewhat cost conscious the last few years, I think his talent could be too much to pass up. With Deric Ladnier working with Donny Rowland on that decision, I'm thinking whichever way they go should turn out well.

 Q:  Jay from Madison asks:
Wow. Given that D. Bautista is KC's #2 prospect and in the O's chat it was said that he'd rank #6 and that the O's system is "thin".....KC's system must be a mess. Yes?
 A: 

Will Kimmey: It's hard to say either system is in great shape. As far as straight rankings, know that on the Royals list, from say Bautista at No. 2 maybe down into the early teens, a lot of players are interchangeable. I'd probably have had Bautista around 4 or 5 for the O's, but I see a dropoff after his place there. For the Royals, there are a lot of ways to go at No. 2. It is a weird mix, though, in Kansas City's system. A lot of the higher-ceiling guys such as Butler and Cota and Ambiorix Burgos are in the lower levels while the upper-level players such as Teahen and Murphy and Blanco might not have the same ceilings, but are more likely to be major leaguers. So there's a balance there. Bautista shoots to No. 2 because he's advanced and also has a good ceiling. I think Teahen was the top candidate for a few people inside the organization, a lot of that having to do with how much more major league ready he is than say Butler.

 Q:  dave from maryland asks:
what prospects could start the year at A High Desert?
 A: 

Will Kimmey: Chris Lubanski, Brian McFall (who should just mash there), Ambiorix Burgos ought to be your headliners, with the late possibilities of Butler, and maybe JP Howell and Matt Campbell.

 Q:  dave from maryland asks:
could mitch maier start 2005 in AA Wichita?
 A: 

Will Kimmey: There's an outside shot, but he still needs to make a few adjustments at high A before taking that jump. He's always been a patient, disciplined hitter, but slumped a bit in those areas in high A last year. So he's likely to start at High Desert, then move on up to Double-A in the second half.

 Q:  Darren from Eugene, OR asks:
who are some of the "sleeper" prospects in the Royals organization?
 A: 

Will Kimmey: Mario Lisson, a ridiculously athletic Dominican who played shortstop at Idaho Falls is a favorite of GM Allard Baird. He was signed as a catcher, and has played first, outfield, shortstop and third base. He's got great baseball instincts and is one of a rare group of young hitters to show some nice pop and already sound plate discipline. He's probably a third baseman long term, but has the skills to play all over. I also like Ryan Braun,, who signed for $1,000 in 2003 because of health concerns during his college career. He ranked second in the Carlina League in saves in 04 thanks to a 93-96 mph fastball. He, Bautista and Burgos are three legit late innings guys, though Braun's history dictates he'll never pitch in a rotation.

 Q:  Andrew Thurmond from Athens, GA asks:
How weak is the Royals system that Billy Butler becomes #1 after half a season? Or is Butler just considered that good?
 A: 

Will Kimmey: Some here, and some there. He's precocious, as I mentioned with the Greinke comparisons being talked about inside the organization. Plus, really looking at upside, there's no player in the system who better profiles as a productive middle-of-the-order hitter than him. His plate discipline and knowledge of hitting and how to take certain pitches in an at-bat, some feel he actually sets up pitchers during an at-bat. There aren't really a lot of other players in the system who seem like they could be future all-stars without really dreaming on them.

 Q:  Darren from Eugene, OR asks:
what is the scouting report on Ambiroux Burgos? He seemed to really settle into a groove in the second half. Could he zoom up the list next year?
 A: 

Will Kimmey: There are a lot of questions about Burgos. He's a guy who could have easily placed higher on the list, but has some maturity issues to overcome first, so he's sitting at 11 now. He's come a long way getting used to the culture and enviorment, but needs to still grow up some and show consistenbt location. Burgos has been topping out in the upper-90s for La Romama in the Dominican this winter, pitching under Royals coach Nelson Silverio, who's keeping an eye on the young man's pitch counts. His slider can also be a plus pitch, but again lacks consistency. He struck out 172 batters in 133 innings, but also walked 75. He could emerge as a dominanting closer, and that's a role he wishes to assume. His mindset is set best for that role. He's going to stay in the rotation for now, to get regular work.

 Q:  dave from maryland asks:
What is luis cota potental as a starter?
 A: 

Will Kimmey: Cota hasn't been pitching very long, so his feel for working hitters and location are already good realative to his experience and should continue to get better. He's got the potential for a two or maybe three plus pitches, so that's No. 2 starter stuff.

 Q:  Anthony Peruchietti from Dearborn Heights, MI asks:
Who would you compare Mark Teahen to most- Bill Mueller, Scott Rolen or even better George Brett?
 A: 

Will Kimmey: None of the above. Why is it necesaary to say he'll be just like either of these guys? I'm thinking Teahen's defense might end up playing sort of like Rolen thanks to his solid actions and strong arm. Offensively, it seems he's more likely to give you a Rolen-like average near .280 or so, but not as much power. I'd guess in the teens for a home run total with some doubles factoring in. He was pulling the ball more during the Arizona Fall League, so there could be more power coming, as the Royals advise and hope. I think he'll be a very solid third baseman, a little better hitter and fielder than the recently departed Joe Randa.

 Q:  dave from maryland asks:
Will Miguel Vega be a 3rd basemen, 1st basemen, or a outfielder will in the royals system?
 A: 

Will Kimmey: He's a first baseman now, and the move seems to have helped his offense and he's had less to worry about defensively. He's got that light-tower power, but also the piles of K's that come with it for now. He's still plenty raw.

 Q:  Andrew Thurmond from Athens, GA asks:
After coming off an All-American year at Texas, what is JP Howell's ETA? Should we expect the Royals to take it slow with him or will he fly through the system like Greinke?
 A: 

Will Kimmey: He'll go as fast as he's capable of. There's not a rotation of Cy Youngs in KC, and I'm not saying Howell will be that either, but it's not like he's got a lot of rad blocks. A lot of people can hate on Howell because he doesn't have great velo, but he can take his four, five-pitch repertoire and make it work like 10 pitches because he can add, subtract and locate. I hate to keep bringing Greinke back up, this has to be the fourth time in this chat, but it's a similar feel for pitching for Greinke and Howell, who's the consummate crafty lefty. He'll be a solid middle of the rotation guy because of his guys and guile, and at worst he's going to reach the majors as a shutdown LH setup guy because his breaking stuff can eat up lefties.

 Q:  Dave Sanford from Washington DC asks:
Will, I keep hearing that the Royals want Mark Teahen to start in Omaha next season. My question is why? KC is already in a rebuilding mode, so what sense does it make for them to keep Teahen in Omaha for a couple months when he could be accumulating big league experience? Does it have anything to do with them not wanting to lose a year of his service time to a wasted season?
 A: 

Will Kimmey: I don't think you can say they're worried about starting a service time clock when you say Gotay, Blanco, and that righthander whom I must stop referring to in this chat all debuting last year. The reason is simple. If the club doesn't feel Teahen is immediately ready to handle the everyday job on Opening Day, why rush him to that spot and take a chance on him struggling, developing bad habits and losing confidence? Remember Jose Guillen? He'll be the guy by the end of the year, and you should write that down. A lot of Royals officials think he can break camp with that job won, but Chris Truby is there just in case.

 Q:  Tony from Manhattan,KS asks:
What do you think Colt Griffin's prospects are as a reliever?
 A: 

Will Kimmey: He's still not been able to grasp the ability to thow strikes consistently. He must do that if he's to ever succeed. He works hard on it, but his lack of figuring it out has frustrated both him and the organization. Griffin probably has a better chance of getting things together in the pen than rotation because he can just concentrate on throwing fastballs for strikes and not having a varied repertoire. But he's still got a ways to go with that pitch.

 Q:  Nate from Downstate, IL asks:
Mike Aviles never gets mentioned as part of the Royal's future plans. Is he due a position change for 2005?
 A: 

Will Kimmey: Gotta love this scrappy little guy. All ballplayer, no filler. That said, he's got to keep producing at each level, hitting and hitting and hitting. Otherwise, his tools don't say major leaguer. I think he's going to settle into the majors as a Tony Graffanino type who can player either middle infield slot and swing the singles stick OK.

 Q:  Matt from New York asks:
Does David Dejesus project to be an all-star or just a regular outfielder?
 A: 

Will Kimmey: He's a major league regular. Realize how many all-stars there are in the American League. What, like 10 outfielders fit the bill? He's not going to emerge as one of the 10 best outfielders in the AL. He can contribute as a regular with his knack for getting on base and could have a solidly productive career.

 Q:  John M. Perkins from Macon, GA asks:
What does Dusty Hughes throw to go with his great 2004 stats? What's his future with the big club, and does he figure in the top 30?
 A: 

Will Kimmey: Hughes is scouting director Deric Ladnier's sleeper. He's a lefty who can command the heck out of a fastball that touches 90. He fearless in working inside with it, and his deceptive motion makes it seem a bit faster. He's got a tight little slider that's an out-pitch. He can sneak into the back of the rotation or also end up as a LH specialist. He's among the top 20.

 Q:  Dale from Grandview, MO asks:
Chris McConnell had a good start in Rookie ball. You guys rated him as one of the best athletes the Royals drafted. He hit well and drew a good number of walks. What is his story? could he be late round gold?
 A: 

Will Kimmey: He's a nice scouting find who pleasantly surprised the Royals with his offensive success. He was always a flashy defender and has great actions. But his hands get called "hitter's hands" because he trusts them and uses them well. He rates ahead of Josh Johnson, another 2004 draftee, for me.

 Q:  Blair from Anaheim asks:
I have another question about 2 guys who did really well in short-season ball: McFall and Vega. Where did they rank and what is the upside of each of them? All-stars or fringe ML players?
 A: 

Will Kimmey: We talked Vega earlier, but he could fall short contact-wise on the road to the majors. His power is real, but he really needs to work on contact if he's not to be a .240-type hitter. McFall rates at least average in all five tools. He runs well for his size, can throw low-90s heat off the mound--which plays fine in right--and should be able to hit for power and average. He slumped early at Burlington, and because he's a very emotional player who tends to harp on the struggles, needed to go back down to Idaho Falls to rebuild his confidence. I like him better between the two, each of whom rates in the 11-20 range.

 Q:  Tom McCullough from York PA asks:
The rap on Donnie Murphy has been that he will never be even a replacement-level fielding 2B. The Royals site now sings his defensive praises as displayed in the Arizona Fall League. Is he a prospect at 2B? Thanks.
 A: 

Will Kimmey: Not sure where you got that rap from, maybe Master P, but I've never liked his skills. Murphy is more athletic than Gotay, and is a better defender at second base. He's not going to be a Gold Glover, surely, but his range is average, his arm is above-average and he turns the DP well. Still, it's an offensive second baseman profile, but not a below replacement level.

 Q:  Tony from Manhattan, KS asks:
Are Mike Stodolka's days as a prospect over?
 A: 

Moderator: Lightning Round begins now

Will Kimmey: Injuries sort of stole him from the land of prospects two years back. He's sort of on the comeback trail, but it's hard to dream a situation that he's better than a situational lefty.

 Q:  Anthony Peruchietti from Dearborn Heights, MI asks:
Since the Royals have stated they want to use the Twins as a model for building from within, how would you compare the Royals top 10 to the Twins top 10 and with the trades made in 2004 plus a strong draft, where do the Royals stack up compared to other organizations?
 A: 

Will Kimmey: You don't build a kingdom in a day, and the Twins are atop the heap, with the Royals down near the bottom as far as impact minor leaguers. Butler would be in the second half of the Twins top 10. Both teams did have nice drafts, but the Twins have been churning out these efforts for years.

 Q:  Jason from Pocatello, ID asks:
I am wondering about how far Brian McFall missed the list. He put up similar numbers to Butler this year as well as stealing 23 of 25 bases. I got to see him play here in Idaho and he looked to be a solid prospect and fan favorite.
 A: 

Will Kimmey: The difference in their rankings is in plate discipline and age.

 Q:  Anthony Peruchietti from Dearborn Heights, MI asks:
Is Dennis Tankersely considered a top prospect anymore?
 A: 

Will Kimmey: No, at best he could be a No. 5 starter, but more likely a long reliever. He has no pitch to get out lefties.

 Q:  dave from kentucky asks:
How does the development of Mark Teahen affect the changing of positions for Butler and Maier. With lack of OF depth in the system, will both be moved?
 A: 

Will Kimmey: Acquiring Teahen means they don't have to force Maier or Butler to become 3B. Each will stay at the position until they can't any more, with Butler going to 1B and Maier a corner outfield spot.

 Q:  Jeff from Los Altos, CA asks:
Chris Lubanski had a very difficult 1st half last season, but really seemed to put it together during the 2nd half. What do you expect to see from Lubanksi this year?
 A: 

Will Kimmey: If things click for him, a 20-20 season could happen. He gets some Kirk Gibson comparisons, because ultimately, he's probably not going to play as fast as his speed currently is but could add more pop.

 Q:  dave from kentucky asks:
What is the prospect status of Brian Bass since he had arm troubles this season? How has he been doing in the AFL?
 A: 

Will Kimmey: His fastball's up to 90-93 with sink, he's locating his changeup and curveball better. The elbow strain that shut him down most of the year seems to have no lingering affects.

 Q:  dave from kentucky asks:
How would you rate a High Desert rotation of Burgos, Howell, Buckner, Kaanoi and Campbell?
 A: 

Will Kimmey: Pretty stout, and lfew walks aside from Burgos.

 Q:  dave from kentucky asks:
What is the future of Andres Blanco and Mike Aviles since Angel Berroa is signed to a long term deal?
 A: 

Will Kimmey: Aviles is likely a utility type, Blanco has to prove he can hit enough to play everyday. His defense is basically major league gold glove caliber right now. Blanco could replace Berroa, if he's traded to fill another hole, or play alongside him. But he's got to hit first.

 Q:  Ruthie from Denver, CO asks:
Matt Campbell had a dead arm after being drafted. Have Howell and Buckner passed him and what his his prognosis for next year?
 A: 

Will Kimmey: It's hard for KC to read Campbell since he really didn't get to prove anything professionally. All three guys have good stock in the org, and remember that Buckner missed about a month in college with mono, so it's not like he got to cruise by Campbell. I rate em Howell, Campbell, Buckner, but they're all close. They all need to work off the fastball more than continuing to rely on the breaking balls they hammered hitters with in college.

 Q:  dave from kentucky asks:
Do you think the Royals will lose Stodolka, Middleton or Griffin in the Rule 5 draft? Which of them would look best to another team?
 A: 

Will Kimmey: Griffin's velo is enticing, but can you chance that he can be effective at all if he can't throw strikes? Middleton or Stodolka don't have the one plus pitch they'd need to survive even as one-inning guys in the majors.

 Q:  Jose from Puerto Rico asks:
How much of a prospect is Geraldo Valentin? Did he make the Royals' top 30?
 A: 

Will Kimmey: He's an organizational guy who can play all over the OF and in the INF. He runs well and is high-energy, but doesn't make the top 30. He'll be on the depth chart.

 Q:  David from Overland Park, Kan. asks:
Would you consider this stage of the Royals rebuilding process a success? It seems to me that they are building for a solid future, but that they tend to draft a lot of guys based on potential that don't pan out. Your thoughts?
 A: 

Will Kimmey: The last three drafts have been pretty solid, the problem is they might have more depth guys than stars, and you win with stars. Every team drafts players on potential, and on average getting 4-6 major leaguers from a draft is considered pretty good. So every team picks guys who don't pan out.

 Q:  dave from kentucky asks:
Tell us about the catching prospects of Matt Tupman, Mike Tonis and Adam Donachie. I thought Tonis and Donachie were two of the biggest disappointments in the KC system although both had injury problems. Will Donachie play in 2005 since he was so badly hurt in an accident this summer?
 A: 

Will Kimmey: Tupman's the best defender, and hit for the first time as an older guy in high A. He's probably a major league backup. Donachie has a ton of potential but also a ton of injuries. Staying healthy and producing are musts for him in 2005. Tonis is probably an organizational guy right now.

 Q:  Darren from Eugene, OR asks:
how will Denny Rowland affect the Royals minor league system? is he the best FA the Royals are going to get?
 A: 

Will Kimmey: He's the best signing they'll have, and there's no shame there. He re-stocked the Angels system during his time there and should help KC as well. The Royals are going to blow their wads on FAs now. They'dhave to overpay to get a player to pick a team that's not going to win the title in the next two years. They've got to develop their own stars. It's a budget thing.

 Q:  dave from kentucky asks:
Two players have didn't progress for the Royals were 1B prospects Kila Kaaihue and Chad Santos. Do either fit long term into the KC future?
 A: 

Will Kimmey: Both are OK, but strike out too much. There's power there for each, but neither really profiles as a long-term guy for the majors.

 Q:  Dee Pressed from KC asks:
Who is running the team?? Allard or Tony?? Some of the moves the Royals made were just bewildering this season, to the point where it really wasnt a surprise with how bad they were. Some of the moves I am talking about include the one-spot start by Eduardo Villacis (to make his MLB debut in Yankee Stadium), the demotion of Angel Berroa to AA, the promotion of Andres Blanco who looks like he hits with a wet newspaper, and lastly the september call-up of Donnie Murphy who hit .204 in the second half in Wilmington. NONE of these made any sense? So can you make some sense out of them?
 A: 

Will Kimmey: A spot starter is a spot starter, you need a fresh arm when you do. Villacis isn't a guy they've got long term plans for. Bringing up younger guys is about seeing what they have and need to improve on. That's one way of evaulating players, seeing what they do when thrown into the fire. According to reports, Berroa's demotion was for a wakeup call.

 Q:  Rafael Quintana from Tampa asks:
What do you think of INF Josh Johnson, how long do you think it will take him until he reaches the bigs?
 A: 

Will Kimmey: He was reallly over anxious to prove his abilities, so he played every inning in high gear, hacking away and rushing defensively. He's a great athlete, but needs to work on translating the athleticism into baseball production.

 Q:  Jim from Washington, DC asks:
After Bautista, Cota, and Howell, who are the Royals' best pitching prospects? Where do Bass and Bayliss rank, and who would be your "best sleeper" pick?
 A: 

Will Kimmey: Burgos, Bass, Campbell, Buckner are the next group. Eric Cordier, the HS draft from Wisconsin, is raw but has a great arm and potential for three plus pitchers. Devon Lowery is a sinker-slider type who gets grounder after grounder.

 Q:  dave from kentucky asks:
What will the Royals do with Justin Huber and his lack of position? Could he be the RH power outfielder they are looking for in KC?
 A: 

Will Kimmey: You got it. He could find himself in left field or at first base, maybe catching once per week. Think of Matt LeCroy versatility-wise. His on base skills are his ticket to the majors.

 Q:  Darren from Eugene, OR asks:
have you guys soured on Chris Lubanski? The organization still seems to like him and he hit really well the last 4 months of the year.
 A: 

Will Kimmey: How'd we sour? He dropped two spots, but it was behind three guys who weren't in the org last year at this time. He didn't really fall back, the system just got more talented around him.

 Q:  Matt from Scandia, KS asks:
How fast do you think J.P. Howell will be able to advance?
 A: 

Will Kimmey: Quick, like his Texas teammate Huston Street. He could be the second 2004 draftee to the majors--after Street, but probably not until 2006.

 Q:  Charles Barton from Wichita asks:
Hi Will. Thanks for doing this chat. I find it to be very informative, and is a good way for us fans to learn more about the teams we love. In my case, being the Royals. I had asked John Manuel in an earlier chat about a player we had for the last month in Wichita, named Darren Fenster. I looked at his numbers for the season between A and AA, and they were very impressive, especially the fact that he was the only player on a full season team who had more walks than strikeouts. I have never heard much about him prior to his arrival here, but what do the Royals have planned for him.
 A: 

Will Kimmey: Fenster is a good guy and a scrappy player who can field several positions. Those qualities make him good to have in the organization for versatility on a roster, and decent for morale. He's probably a bit short on tools to make it to the majors, but he's long on heart and guts.

 Q:  Anthony Peruchietti from Dearborn Heights asks:
Can you compare Billy Butler to another Power prospect in the organization- Miguel Vega. Seems to me they are similar in Power projections and their future defensive positions are in question.
 A: 

Will Kimmey: The biggest difference is that Butler has the best strike-zone discipline in the system with Vega being near the end of that line.

 Q:  Adam from NY asks:
CATCHER: Who will be the catcher of the future in KC, Buck, Huber, or Mike Tonis? Would Paul Phillips be in the conversation?Will they keep Huber on as a 3rd catcher that will play another position also?
 A: 

Will Kimmey: Clearly it's Buck. They like his D now, and expect him to push 15 to maybe even 20 home runs.

 Q:  Matt from Scandia, KS asks:
Who do you see being a better major league player, Donnie Murphy or Ruben Gotay?
 A: 

Will Kimmey: Murphy.

 Q:  Matt from Scandia, KS asks:
Will Andres Blanco ever hit well enough be a quality major league SS?
 A: 

Will Kimmey: I have my questions, but the Royals point out Omar Vizquel's career offensive path. It's at the very least, an interesting comparison. Vizquel struggled early on.

 Q:  David from Overland Park asks:
You keep mentioning Bautista in the bullpen. Do you really believe that he doesn't have a career as a nice number 2 or 3 starter?
 A: 

Will Kimmey: Command consistency is hard for him; he throws four pitches but rarely has more than 2 working on any given day. He's more valuable as a starter, yes, but maybe more realistic in the bullpen.

 Q:  Dave Sanford from Washington, D.C. asks:
Do you have any idea why the Royals and the Wilmington Blue Rocks parted ways? Did the Blue Rocks just want to affiliate with another team, or were the Royals anxious to team up with George Brett's team?
 A: 

Will Kimmey: Wilmington was on the east coast, the only KC affiliate in that part of the country. It's easier travel-wise for the staff and for player transactions to be all in the center of the country on West Coast, where the AZL and training complexes are.

 Q:  Dianne from Kingsport, TN asks:
I've heard that Chad Blackwell RHP has a chance to move rapidly through the Royals system ?????
 A: 

Will Kimmey: He's got a deceptive delivery, resilient arm that helped him lead the NCAA Division I in saves last year and can locate his fastball, slider and changeup for strikes in any count. He's a setup guy, but will move up fast.

 Q:  Charles from Brantford, Ontario asks:
When are the Royals going to stop drafting a bunch of stiffs?
 A: 

Will Kimmey: We rated their draft the second-best this year. Not sure I understand this question.

 Q:  Phillip Day from Greenville, SC asks:
Is former #1 pick Roscoe Crosby still in the system?
 A: 

Will Kimmey: He's a sad story with the personal issues he's faced. He hasn't ever played a regular season game for the Royals since they drafted him in 2001. He hasn't been with the team since 2003 spring training. Chances don't look good for a return.

 Q:  Darren from Eugene, OR asks:
what can you tell us about Henry Barrera--our 5th round pick? he supposedly has a great arm, but I don't know much else.
 A: 

Will Kimmey: Barraera does have a great up, pushing it upward of 98. His slider is around 84-87, but his mechanics and delivery are very inconsistent and far from where he needs to be for any sort of command. Nice upside, long way away.

 Q:  brad from tampa asks:
will, if you're starting an office hoops team, who do you go with first, kline or lingo?
 A: 

Will Kimmey: Lingo first, because he played in high school against Danny Manning. I gotta have Alan Matthews at one guard because he's our best athlete.

 Q:  Mike from Philly asks:
Who do you take on your team, Kevin Youkilis or Mark Teahen?
 A: 

Will Kimmey: I like Teahen better defensively and think he'll be a bit better hitter overall long term.

 Q:  Greg from Guelph, Ontario asks:
Will Jimmy Gobble also not compete for a rotation spot? Thanks
 A: 

Will Kimmey: My mistake there. Like I said, it's crowded. So much so I couldn't recall every name. But Gobble's probably as sure as anyone else to make that rotation.

 Q:  Corky from Hattiesburg, MS asks:
Where can I find the 40 man rosters that are being set today?
 A: 

Will Kimmey: We should have them on our site early next week. The official date to submit them is Saturday, though many teams are getting it done before the weekend,

 Q:  Darren from Eugene, OR asks:
Will Eric Cordier be sent to Burlington? Does he compare to anyone as a prospect?
 A: 

Will Kimmey: He's an Idaho Falls guy, and will probably do better there than the Wisconsin native did as he struggled with being in the Arizona heat for the first time.

 Q:  Darren from Eugene, OR asks:
whose skills? Master P's or Murphy's? where would Master P rank in the top 30?
 A: 

Will Kimmey: Master P's down the depth chart a bit. Much better at hoops, Percy Miller is. I'm more a Roots guy personally.

 Q:  Paul from Kansas City asks:
Danny Tamayo. Pitcher of the Year due to a smoking second half at Wichita. Getting rocked in Arizona. Back end of the bullpen for Danny?
 A: 

Will Kimmey: You got it. He locates and has a pretty good changeup, but nothing that's really going to lead to a ton of major league success.

 Q:  Edna Krabappel from Springfield, ? asks:
Thanks for the chat, William! If Billy Butler is best in the K.C. org. at 1)hitting for avg., 2)hitting for power, and 3)controlling the strikezone, in your opinion--off the top of your head--where does he rank in ALL the minors as far as batting potential? Top 10? Top 3? As a hitter, how would he compare to E. Duncan & I. Stewart? Thanks loads!
 A: 

Will Kimmey: He's not Ian Stewart. Or Delmon Young. Those guys have produced over full seasons already. But he did have the best offensive debut of any high school player drafted, so there's reason to be high on him. I think I might take Butler over Eric Duncan, but it's gotta be close.

Will Kimmey: That's all the time I've got. I enjoyed it.

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