Staff and players reported to Instructional League yesterday, September 20th. The first workout is set for today in preparation for the 18 game schedule that runs from September 29th through October 23rd. There has not been a lot written about the 56 players named to the roster, so here is a primer of sorts recapping each player’s 2009 season and prospect status as it stands today. I’m going to break this up into several sections. Catchers, infielders, and outfielders will each have their own post. Pitchers will be split up into at least two posts, maybe even three.
The roster I am working from is the one posted on www.kansascity.com back on September 5th. Finding information about Instructional League has been surprisingly challenging so if any of the following content is incorrect, please comment to this post or contact me via email with any necessary corrections. While trying to track down information about the instructional league, I was surprised how secretive some clubs are about their rosters. Fortunately there are a lot of devoted fans and autograph seekers out there that provide info on those teams via forums. Once the teams start practicing and playing games, the secret gets out so it seems kind of pointless to keep this information close to the vest. Anyway, the Royals should be applauded for providing this information to the media for public consumption ahead of time.
Jose Bonilla (8/4/88) Signed by the Royals out of the Dominican Republic 9/5/2006 (C=77 / DH=21)
2009 Burlington Bees: 0.217/.281/.311 with 5 HR, 6 SB, 29 BB, and 92 SO in 387 PA
Numbers dropped off across the board this season compared to his stint with the AZL Royals in 2008. His BB and SO rates do not suggest a long career in the organization. Based on some of the other talent coming along at catcher, he needs to show some marked improvement.
Fernando Cruz (3/28/1990) Royals 2007 6th Round Pick (C=25 / DH=24 / 1B=2)
2009 Burlington Royals: 0.277/.308/.394 with 3 HR, 2 SB, 7 BB, and 23 SO in 200 PA
Cruz has show steady improvement in his 3 years in the system and is still only 19.
Ryan Eigsti (8/24/1985) Royals 2007 15th Round Pick (C=104)
2009 Wilmington Blue Rocks: 0.201/.306/.278 with 3 HR, 4 SB, 42 BB, and 95 SO in 382 PA
Three seasons, three levels, and a career high 0.218 BA was set in 2008. This season he drew more walks and struck out less, but there is little else to get excited about. There are a number of younger players with higher upside that will probably pass him up, especially this next guy.
Wil Myers (12/10/1990) Royals 2009 3rd Round Pick (C=11 / DH=11)
2009 Burlington Royals: 0.125/.125/.438 with 1 HR, 0 SB, 0 BB, and 3 SO in 16 PA
2009 Idaho Falls Chukars: 0.426/.488/.735 with 4 HR, 2 SB, 9 BB, and 15 SO in 80 PA
Hello impact bat. Hello steal of the 2009 draft. It is really early on, but Myers could be the first legitimate “catcher of the future” that this organization has seen in a long time.
Salvador Perez (5/10/1990) Signed out of Venezuela 9/27/2006 (C=64 / DH=31)
2009 Burlington Bees: 0.189/.230/.236 with 0 HR, 0 SB, 6 BB, and 15 SO in 137 PA
2009 Idaho Falls Chukars: 0.309/.357/.421 with 2 HR, 0 SB, 19 BB, and 25 SO in 259 PA
He’s 19 and he proved he has conquered Idaho Falls the last season and a half. 2010 should feature a return to the Bees with, hopefully, better results. Something in my gut predicts good things for Salvador’s future.
Jin-Ho Shin (??/??/????) Signed 2/2009
2009 spent finishing school in Korea, Instructional League will be his organizational “debut.” Was given a $600,000 bonus to sign with the team back in February. Brings a power bat and impressive strength to the position.
Ben Theriot (12/8/87) Royals 2009 9th Round Pick (C=24 / DH=4 / 1B=1)
2009 Idaho Falls Chukars: 0.290/.389/.355 with 0 HR, 1 SB, 14 BB, and 16 SO in 108 PA
Had a solid showing in his first professional season with good plate discipline, but lacks power at this stage of his career. Despite the lack of SLG, it’s a good sign when a guy gets on base almost 40% of the time and walks almost as often as he strikes out.
Wil Myers is obviously the big name from the group of catchers and his performance this fall will probably go a long way toward determining what level he starts off at in 2010. Eigsti is the only one who played above Myers in 2009 and he certainly isn’t going to block Wil’s climb in the organization. Salvador Perez, Fernando Cruz, and Ben Theriot all seem to have some ability. The young Korean, Jin-Ho Shin, is a complete enigma at this point, but he brings a big 6′ 3″ frame and a power bat to Arizona with him.
No matter what happens, the organization depth and talent of the position has improved significantly thanks to the drafting of Myers and Theriot, as well as the signing of Shin earlier in the year. Dayton Moore and his staff are clearly doing some things right.
Next up will be the IF edition.