Friday, December 31, 2010

MLB Power Rankings # 30

It has been a while since my last post, but rest assured i have been working tirelessly on my MLB Preseason Power Rankings. Hopefully each day i will release a new one(although it may take a little longer)so today we start at the bottom with number 30. There were a multitude of contenders for this spot but a certain trade made one team stand out. That would be The KANSAS CITY ROYALS. With the trade of Zack Grienke they no longer have an ace to anchor their staff and provide someone to stop losing streaks. When i was doing these rankings i looked at one major statistic, team WAR (Wins Above Replacement), I made a range that each player could fall into in terms of their war and calculated it for the team. The Royals stood out as being the worst team by far by accumulating only 12-33 Wins Above Replacement. Lets take a more in depth look at the team by analyzing their rotation, bullpen and lineup.

1. Kyle Davies
2. Luke Hochevar
3. Sean O'Sullivan
4. Vin Mazzaro

The loss of Zack Grienke will be a huge blow to this pitching staff as they lose their ace and have no real option to replace him. Former top prospects in Kyle Davies and Luke Hochevar could provide solid production but more in the lines of middle to back of the rotation quality. Neither one will strike out a ton of guys and do tend to walk some guys so they could fall apart. Sean O'Sullivan acquired in the Alberto Callaspo trade can be a back of the rotation option but will be forced into the middle of the rotation along with Vin Mazzaro (acquired in the David DeJesus trade). After those four guys its fill in the blank for the 5th spot, possibly Gil Meche returning from injury, or any other garbage back of the rotation starter you can find. I would recommend they try Robinson Tejada as he has pitched excellent in relief and proved he could start in 2009. But no matter what they do the Royals pitching staff will struggle this season. But help is on the way with excellent pitching prospects on the way, but we likely see much of them this year.

CL-Joakim Soria
SU-Dusty Hughes
SU-Robinson Tejada
MR-Blake Wood
MR-Greg Holland

Joakim Soria has been one of the top closers in baseball the past few seasons, but the trouble is getting to him. The staff is going to stink this year and the middle relief and set up men outside of Robinson Tejada are not much better. Joakim Soria will not have many save opportunities to begin with but many of them will get blown by this relief corps before they can get to Soria.

1. Lorenzo Cain-CF
2. Alcides Escobar-SS
3. Billy Butler-1B
4. Kila Ka'aihue-DH
5. Wilson Betemit-3B
6. Alex Gordon-LF
7. Jeff Francoeur-RF
8. Mike Aviles- 2B
9. Jason Kendall-C

They have lost one of their main pieces in David DeJesus but we all knew that was going to happen. Billy Butler is currently the face of this franchise, but we are starting to see some of the pieces that will be a part of the future of this team come together. They got Lorenzo Cain and Alcides Escobar in the Greinke deal, both are speedy top of the order hitters who play good defense and should continue to improve. I am glad to see Ka-aihue being given a chance as he has proved himself in the minors and should provide solid offense as the DH. Wilson Betemit will most likely not play as well as last season but he is a solid option at third considering that he will likely be replaced by Moustakes at some point this season (hopefully). Gordon and Francoeur are both mediocre players at best now, Gordon still has that potential but it has never seemed to translate at the major league level and Francoeur has too many flaws in his swing to be the player he was early in his career. But both players should provide some needed pop to a pretty dead offense. Aviles is a nice middle infielder who can do some damage with the bat but will never be a star, and Jason Kendall provides little offense from behind the plate. All of this culminates in one of the worst offenses in the major leagues even with Chris Getz, Gregor Blanco and Melky Cabrera off the bench. I think the Royals will struggle to prevent themselves from losing 100 games this season. But the pieces are in place to contend in a few years if at least some of their amazing prospects contribute. But for this season they will be the worst team in baseball, barring a major miracle.

Chris "Da Franchize" Hart

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