Back in November, MiLB.com named the KC Royals Organizational All-Stars (one player at each position). As of now, only eight players are still in the organization.
First, lefty Brandon Sisk was traded to the LA Angels for Ervin Santana. Sisk was named the Royals top reliever. He pitched in 50 games with Triple-A Omaha and recorded a 2.54 ERA in 67.1 innings. He also struck out 73 batters. Over his final ten regular season appearances, Sisk allowed just one run in 17.1 innings. JJ Picollo, the Royals‘ assistant GM, said that opponents do not get good swings against him. Maybe he has a chance in LA?
Next was first baseman Clint Robinson, who was designated for assignment and then traded to Pittsburgh for two low minor leaguers. His 37 doubles and 79 walks were tops in the organization, despite having lesser offensive numbers than in 2011 (.292, 13 homeruns, and 67 RBIs). Picollo talked about how Robinson makes everyone around him in the lineup better. Who’s going to be THAT guy in 2013?
Last week came the trade with Tampa Bay that sent Wil Myers, Jake Odorizzi, and Patrick Leonard to the Rays. Since Myers was the Royals Minor League Player of the Year, he was obviously named one of their top outfielders. He made mechanical adjustments to his swing, which increased his power (29 more homeruns than in 2011). And he did not sacrifice his average (he hit .314 in 2012). Myers is expected to be starting in the Rays outfield in 2013.
Odorizzi was the Royals top right-handed starter, as he won an organization-high of 15 games. In five Double-A starts, opponents hit just .191 against him. Overall, he had a 3.03 ERA and struck out 135 batters in 145.1 minor league innings. After the trade, Odorizzi stated that he plans on being ready to compete for one of the Rays rotation spots in 2013. He’ll just have to pitch down in the zone or he’ll continue to get beat by the long ball.
Leonard was the least touted of the Royals to be traded, but he was the best third baseman in the organization. In his first season of pro ball, he hit a homerun every 17 at-bats at rookie level Burlington (he led the Appalachian League with 14 homeruns). He is a big guy (6’4, 225) and the Royals were shocked with how good he is on defense. It’s too early to tell how Leonard will pan out, but maybe he will move Evan Longoria to first base sometime in the future.
So who is still left?