The KC Royals have been signing older pitchers to minor league deals lately, so why not sign a 26 year old lefty?
Not sure if you have noticed the hashtag on Twitter that was started around Christmas that is my headline, #SHall2KC, but it was started by the family and friends of that 26 year old lefty.
That would be Shaeffer Hall, who is a Lee Summit High School graduate (which is in Missouri in case you did not know). He was also drafted in 2009 out of the University of Kansas by the NY Yankees.
I had the chance to see Hall pitch the last three seasons with Double-A Trenton (and his one solid spot start with Triple-A Scranton in 2011). He was the Thunder’s Opening Day starter in 2012. He did nothing but win in the Yankees farm system, but he does not have eye-popping stuff, so they cut him loose during the 2013 season. That came after they suddenly moved him to the bullpen this past season (3.32 ERA in ten appearances out of the Trenton bullpen). Hall’s a great guy who did everything the Yankees asked of him and I personally think he got screwed (mainly because he was not a high draft pick or considered a prospect). His manager in Trenton, Tony Franklin, had great things to say about him.
Oakland signed Hall, but demoted him to High-A after a three scoreless inning performance in Triple-A. He struggled with Stockton in the hitter-friendly California League and is now a free agent.
Hall would be a great addition to the Royals minor league system. It would definitely be extra motivation for him to get to the big leagues to pitch in his home state and in front of tons of family and friends. It would also be a nice signing for the Royals (much like the signing of Tommy Hottovy a few years ago) and if they sent him to Triple-A Omaha, the Storm Chasers could market him. It would be a nice story in spring training, and who doesn’t love a feel good story?
Sure, Hall allows his share of baserunners, but he knows how to get out of trouble. He had an ERA of 3.67 in Trenton in 2012 (27 starts).
If given the chance, Hall could help the Royals down the road (even if just for a spot start). Plus, he is a lefty and you can never have too many of those. He also would look a lot better wearing a blue closer to that blue he wore at Kansas.
So go and get on the bandwagon to help bring Shaeffer Hall to Kansas City!