2013 Kansas City Royals Top 10 Prospects

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Baseball America's Top 10 Prospects lists are based on projections of a player's long-term worth after discussions with scouting and player-development personnel. All players who haven't exceeded the major league rookie standards of 130 at-bats or 50 innings pitched (without regard to service time) are eligible.

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1. Wil Myers, of
2. Kyle Zimmer, rhp
3. Bubba Starling, of
4. Yordano Ventura, rhp
5. Jake Odorizzi, rhp
6. Jorge Bonifacio, of
7. Adalberto Mondesi, ss
8. Sam Selman, lhp
9. Orlando Calixte, ss
10. Jason Adam, rhp
Best Hitter for Average Wil Myers
Best Power Hitter Wil Myers
Best Strike Zone Discipline Clint Robinson
Fastest Baserunner Terrance Gore
Best Athlete Bubba Starling
Best Fastball Yordano Ventura
Best Curveball Kyle Zimmer
Best Slider Donnie Joseph
Best Changeup Mike Montgomery
Best Control Kyle Zimmer
Best Defensive Catcher Manny Pina
Best Defensive Infielder Humberto Arteaga
Best Infield Arm Cheslor Cuthbert
Best Defensive OF Bubba Starling
Best Outfield Arm Brett Eibner
Catcher Salvador Perez
First Base Eric Hosmer
Second Base Johnny Giavotella
Third Base Mike Moustakas
Shortstop Alcides Escobar
Left Field Alex Gordon
Center Field Bubba Starling
Right Field Wil Myers
Designated Hitter Billy Butler
No. 1 Starter Kyle Zimmer
No. 2 Starter Ervin Santana
No. 3 Starter Danny Duffy
No. 4 Starter Yordano Ventura
No. 5 Starter Jake Odorizzi
Closer Kelvin Herrera
Year Player, Pos 2012 Org
2003 Zack Greinke, rhp Angels
2004 Zack Greinke, rhp Angels
2005 Billy Butler, 3b Royals
2006 Alex Gordon, 3b Royals
2007 Alex Gordon, 3b Royals
2008 Mike Moustakas, ss Royals
2009 Mike Moustakas, 3b Royals
2010 Mike Montgomery, lhp Royals
2011 Eric Hosmer, 1b Royals
2012 Mike Montgomery, lhp Royals
Year Player, Pos 2012 Org
2003 Chris Lubanski, OF Phillies
2004 Billy Butler, 3B Royals
2005 Alex Gordon, 3B Royals
2006 Luke Hochevar, RHP Royals
2007 Mike Moustakas, SS Royals
2008 Eric Hosmer, 1B Royals
2009 Aaron Crow, RHP Royals
2010 Christian Colon, SS Royals
2011 Bubba Starling, OF Royals
2012 Kyle Zimmer, RHP Royals
Bubba Starling, 2011
Eric Hosmer, 2008
Alex Gordon, 2005
Mike Moustakas, 2007
Luke Hochevar, 2006
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Kansas City Royals

The Royals' 2012 marketing slogan was Our Time. It should have been Déjà Vu All Over Again.

Kansas City again found itself unable to contend in one of the weakest divisions in baseball, the American League Central. The Royals finished below .500 for the 18th time in 19 seasons and have gone 27 years since their last playoff appearance. Many players on the current major league roster weren't alive the last time the club made the postseason.

A playoff run in 2012 would have been a serendipitous early arrival for a team fielding rookies or second-year players at catcher, first base, second base, shortstop, third base and center field. But those hopes took a hit early with the loss of closer Joakim Soria and starters Danny Duffy and Felipe Paulino to Tommy John surgeries, gutting an already thin pitching staff.

There will be no such excuses in 2013. Now two seasons removed from being the first club ever to place nine players on Baseball America's Top 100 Prospects list, Kansas City will field largely the same lineup as the one it rolled out for most of the second half of 2012. No. 1 prospect Wil Myers will be ready to help the big league club and second baseman Christian Colon might join the team late in the year, but otherwise, no significant position players are expected to arrive from the minors before 2014.

General manager Dayton Moore and his staff have developed a lineup that should be an asset if it continues to mature. The bullpen is equally young, homegrown and talented. If the Royals fall flat in 2013, it likely will be for the same reason they've struggled throughout Moore's 6½ years as GM: an inability to produce starting pitching.

The six drafts Moore has overseen in Kansas City have produced a total of 26 big league starts—18 by Duffy and eight by Everett Teaford—the 21st-best total in baseball over that stretch. High-dollar draft picks Chris Dwyer, Tim Melville and Mike Montgomery haven't developed as hoped, nor has $6.9 million Cuban defector Noel Arguelles. John Lamb is another arm sidetracked by Tommy John surgery.

Kansas City has multiple holes and no frontline starters for its 2013 rotation. Luke Hochevar, drafted No. 1 overall in 2006, has gone 38-59, 5.39 in parts of six seasons and posted the second-worst ERA (5.73) among major league qualifiers in 2012.

Jake Odorizzi, acquired in the Zack Greinke trade with the Brewers, could claim a spot during spring training. Otherwise, the Royals will have to look outside the organization for other options. They acquired Ervin Santana from the Angels for minor league reliever Brandon Sisk in October, with an eye toward more moves as the offseason continued.

Moore and his front office have plenty of incentive to solve their pitching problems. Just eight clubs have failed to make the playoffs since he was hired in May 2006, and the Royals are the lone team in the group that hasn't made a GM change.

If Kansas City fails to advance to the postseason in 2013, Moore will have one of the five longest GM tenures without a playoff appearance in the last two decades. Former Royals GM Herk Robinson leads that list with nine playoff-less seasons.

The Royals sacked the ad agency that came up with the Our Time slogan. If their time doesn't come in 2013, more firings may ensue.

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