I said I'd get both of Kansas City's Single-A teams in today and if you're on the West coast, I did.
|High Desert Mavericks Batting Stats|
Quickly, our age appropriate Mavericks are Sanchez, Lubanski, Kaaihue, Butler, Donachie and Blanco. Only Blanco lacks a meaningful amount of at-bats.
Sanchez, the 21 year old third baseman, lacks patience and power. His strikeout rate is low, but unfortunately that's still only translating into a .275 batting average.
Lubanski, an outfielder, lacks plate discipline, but is demonstrating great power. Lubanski's strikeout rate is encouraging for a prospect of his type. He needs to improve his patience, but he's only 20 so there is some reason to be optimistic.
High Desert's youngest player, third baseman Billy Butler, is also their most impressive. At 19, Butler is showing good plate discipline and solid power playing for the Hi-A squad. He's also putting up a ridiculous tradtional stat line of .355/.440/.650.
The second most impressive traditional stat line belongs to first baseman Kila Kaaihue who is batting .337/.447/.530. His internal stats are nothing to sneeze at either. Kila has excellent plate discipline and respectable power to accompany his gaudy batting average and may warrant a promotion in the not to distant future.
Maverick catcher Donachie is showing some degree of patience and moderate power. It's difficult to ask for too much more out of a catcher.
None of High Desert's non-age appropriate players jump out at you, although both Keim and Powell have decent traditional stat lines due to their .300+ batting averages.
|High Desert Mavericks Pitching Stats|
High Desert's only age appropriate pitcher is 21 year old starting pitcher, Billy Buckner, who has pitched all of 16.7 innings. he's been fairly impressive in that small sample striking out nearly a batter per inning.
The stat most likely to grab your attention is the incredible 5.43 K/BB being posted by reliever Chris Demaria. Demaria, if he continues to produce at the same level, deserves consideration for a promotion to Double-A.
Nearly the entire staff is made up of pitchers with moderate strikeout totals and control issues. 24 year old John Gragg appears to be the best of them and should probably be considered for a promotion.
Kansas City's Lo-A affiliate has two age appropriate position players in Solis and Vega and one of the stupidest team names in professional sports in the Burlington Bees. Neither Solis nor Vega has posted an impressive traditional stat line, but Solis' internal numbers are a different story. A .194 BB/AB and .481 XBH% are fantastic, but sadly they are obscured by his .174 batting average.
Among those inappropriately aged, third baseman Lisson, first baseman Brown, and outfielder Ellis are interesting. Lisson is only 21 and combines patience with fairly good power hidden by a .234 batting average. Brown's patience and power are not diluted by a weak batting average, but he is 23 and needs to find his way out of Lo-A ball sooner rather than later. Ellis only has 38 at-bats, but appears to have patience and some power. The .158 average and small sample preclude me from drawing any other conclusions.
Burlington matches its age appropriate position player total with two pitchers meeting that same requirement. Both Cota and Damico have solid K/BB rates.
Cota, a starter, has shown the ability to get outs on his own and despite being charitable with regards to free passes has been quite stingy when it comes to the round trip.
Damico, a relief pitcher, has nearly equaled Cota's K rate while having somewhat more control walking only three per nine. Unfortunately he has not been able to keep the ball in the yard.
Of the legal drinking age crowd, Green, DeHoyos and Atencio have struck out better than two per each walk issued. Green, a 23 year old starter, has had the best control of staff, but has only moderate strikeout rates, though he has been quite effective at keeping gopher balls to a minimum. Relievers DeHoyos and Atencio have similarly kept the ball in the park though both have considerably higher K rates and walk rates than Green. All three should push for promotion this season.
Overall, despite the age Royals' high minors clubs, the system has a fair amount of talent in it even with so many of the teams' prospects already at the Major League level. Kansas City fans can stand to be cautiously optimistic about the future it would seem.