Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Interview with Keith of Royals Prospects

Below is an interview with Keith of the new Royals blog Royals Prospects
And your chance to get to know him a little better.

1. First off tell us a little about yourself and how you became a Royals fan.

I am a 29 year old account manager for a sports marketing firm in mid-Missouri. I grew up in a suburb of Dallas, Texas and found my love of baseball through the Texas Rangers. We lived about 15 minutes from Arlington Stadium and then the Ballpark in Arlington so we went to 20-25 games a year. My high school years proved to be the best for me as a baseball fan as Juan Gonzalez, Dean Palmer and Will Clark led the Rangers into the post-season a few times in the late 90's. The late 90's also coincided with the premier of my favorite player, Mike Sweeney. I got a lot of my friends onto the Mike Sweeney band wagon and soon every time the Royals came into town we were there for the entire series.

It only seemed natural that after I moved to Missouri in November 2007 I would become a Royals fan. Unfortunately, I travel a lot during the summer and I only made it up to Kaufman Stadium once this past season but during that time I got my wife to claim the Royals as her team as well. I see a lot of promise with this team in the future, and that promise was substantiated by the investment that they have put into their drafts the past two years.

Now with the blog that I started I hope to make it to as many Burlington, Omaha and Northwest Arkansas games as I can to see the guys first hand that I have been writing about. The Royals farm system is what will allow this team to succeed or fail moving forward, so it's incredibly exciting to be able to track the progress of guys like Moustakas, Duffy and Hosmer as they move through the system.

2. So Kc's your team now even when the play Texas ?

Yes, I must admit though that should Michael Young ever slap a double against the wall against the Royals I'll be cheering for him. I equate Michael Young to Mike Sweeney, both are class acts.

3. And since you were a Rangers fan what's your take on the steroid issue ?

It certainly spoils the results of their playoff teams in '96, '98 and '99 seeing as though they had several players on those teams that were at one time suspected of using steroids. Pudge Rodriguez is a shadow of his former self size wise and we all saw the steep decline of Juan Gonzalez. I hate seeing what the inflated late 90's and early 2000 statistics did to the record books.

4. Your thoughts on the Jacobs trade ?

Whatever you write about the Jacobs trade, half the people will shake their head and agree while the other half will think you don't have a clue. I personally liked the trade, here's why.
1. You gave up a relief pitcher that put up solid numbers in 2008 but how much can you really trust middle relief pitchers? It seems like year in and year out someone will come away and knock your socks off unexpectedly and vice versa your previous bullpen stalwart will get figured out by the league and will get kicked around.
2. You have another power bat to put in your line-up. People are scared about Jacob's production going down because he is moving into Kaufman Stadium...have you seen how expansive the set up is at Dolphin Stadium?
3. Look at the alternatives; I don't see anything substantially better. I'll start with Ka'aihue, yes he put up great numbers in 2008, what does it hurt to see if he can follow it up with a solid 2009 season in Omaha as well? He'll only be 25 in March and is a year removed from hitting .246 in Wichita. He's certainly a great insurance policy if Jacobs breaks more wind with his bat than a newborn. I truly believe Shealy is a AAAA player and we all know what Gload is all about because we got to see a ton of him this past season.
4. He's a cheaper version of Adam Dunn, let's take him through his arbitration years and see what kind of numbers he can put up.

5. Your Thoughts on Johnny Giavotella ?

Giavotella is an on base machine, pure and simple. During his freshman – junior campaign with New Orleans he averaged an OBP of .468 and he only struck out a little over 10% of the time, that is Joe Mauer esque! It was obvious that the Royals thought his experience in the Sun Belt conference and the Summer Cape Cod League would transfer over well as he put up solid numbers for the Low A Burlington Bees. His OBP dropped some, but I would still be happy with a .350+ OBP every year, especially seeing as though it was his first experience in professional baseball. It will be interesting to see if the decent pop he had in college will transfer over and if he can increase his SB percentage.
I have a feeling that he will live in the shadow of Mike Moustakas as he makes his way up through the system but it's hard not to be excited about this infield combo as they more than likely go to Wilmington in 2009.

6. Your list of top 10 Royals prospects ?

1. Mike Moustakas
2. Eric Hosmer
3. Daniel Duffy
4. Kila Ka'aihue
5. Dan Cortes
6. Carlos Rosa
7. Michael Montgomery
8. Johnny Giavotella
9. Tim Melville
10. Jose Bonilla
I think the tough thing about making the Royals top 10 list is that only 3 of the guys on my list have played above high A ball, it certainly doesn't give us a lot of data to formulate an opinion. What we do have is potential, and there is a lot of it in the lower tiers of the Royals farm system.

7. Favorite Royals blog or board (besides own)?

There are definitely some great ones out there but I'll go with the first one I found when I moved to Missouri and that is Rany on the Royals. He puts a lot of thought into his posts and I generally agree with most of what he has to say except for a recent post concerning the Mike Jacobs deal where he thought Billy Butler would be traded. I just wish he posted more.

8. Most you've paid for a Royals hat?

I hate fitted hats so I only spent about $16 on a unstructured Royals cap that I'll wear until it falls apart or my wife makes me buy a new one.

9.If you had a hot dog at the K what's on it?

I'm a picky eater so I hate to say that my dog would only be lathered up with ketchup and mustard, pretty boring dog huh?

10. Could you steal a base off John Buck (who couldn't) ?

I have poor instincts so I'd probably get picked off first before I could even try it.

Thanks again to Keith of RP for taking the time to do this and once again you've got to check out his new blog, there's new stuff daily

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