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KoK Prospect #11: Chris Dwyer

Chris Dwyer checks in at #11 on the 2010 Kings of Kauffman prospect list.

Who: Christopher Paul Dwyer
DOB: 4/10/1988  Swampscott, Massachusetts
Position: LHP
Height: 6’3″
Weight: 210
Bats: Right
Throws: Left
Acquired: 2009 Draft (4th round)

~ Baseball America #9
~ Diamond Futures #12
~ Royals Review #11
~ The Royal Tower #9b
~ John Sickels C+
~ Baseball Prospectus #9


2009 Idaho Falls (Rk) 8.2 4.15 2.31 12.5 8.3 15.6 1.88

Dwyer is the first 2009 draft pick to crack my top 17.  As a 21-year old draft eligible freshman he was a bit of a rarity but first round talent is first round talent regardless of the packaging.  Dwyer had significant leverage in negotiations since he could return to school and his demands scared a lot of teams off.  Fortunately when it comes to spending money in the draft and international markets, the Royals have morphed into one of the more aggressive teams in all of baseball.  Unphased by Dwyer’s bonus expectations, Kansas City grabbed him in the fourth round and paid him $1.45 million to sign.  Coupled with Wil Myers and Aaron Crow, the team wound up with three legitimate 1st round talents in their draft class despite not having a pick in the second round.

Dwyer’s selection was a bit of a gamble because he will turn 22 years old next month and has only one year of college experience and 8.2 professional innings.  His lack of experience could work in the team’s favor.  Since he is far less refined than most pitchers his age, what Dwyer has shown to this point could be just scratching the surface.  He already features a low-90s fastball and impressive curveball which both profile to be plus pitches.  He also has a better changeup than most pitchers his age, regardless of experience.  If you’re keeping track, that’s three pitches that figure to be plus or average offerings at the major league level.  With such a high degree of talent comes a great deal of risk however.  With his limited experience Dwyer is very raw and will require a lot of coaching and instruction to get him to a point where he can repeat his delivery and harness his control.  This risk is somewhat mitigated by the fact that he is an excellent athlete who was a star quarterback in high school.  If he is coachable he should be able to make the necessary adjustments and move through the system quickly as a result.

The thing that Dwyer needs most at this point in time is to simply log professional innings and gain experience.  Like Wil Myers, it was long reported that the Royals had agreed to terms with Dwyer well before the signing deadline.  Thanks to Bud Selig’s aversion to over slot deals, Chris and the Royals were stuck waiting for the commissioner’s office to approve the deal.  Since that didn’t occur until right before the deadline, Dwyer’s 2009 professional experience was limited to just 8.2 innings of work at Idaho Falls.  It was a showcase of the good and the bad.  In the limited sample he flashed his electric stuff but also a lack of control and inconsistency in terms of locating his pitchers.  Right now Dwyer is a thrower, but if he can evolve into a pitcher and stay healthy, the Royals could have something truly special on their hands.

He got to dip his toes in the waters of the Pioneer League last season.  Baseball America, Diamond Futures, and The Royal Tower anticipate the Royals will send him to Wilmington.  While he will need to move quickly to make up time, I think he would be better served by opening 2010 in the rotation for the low-A Burlington Bees pitching alongside John Lamb.  With his stuff he could survive in Wilmington, but with the work ahead of him in terms of his mechanics, control, and consistency, the smarter move is without question sending him to Burlington, Iowa.  If he has success and shows improvement with the Bees a mid-season promotion to the Blue Rocks would certainly be appropriate.

(Wally Fish is the lead blogger for Kings of Kauffman and FanSided’s MLB Director.  Subscribe to his RSS feed and add him on Twitter to follow him daily.)

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  • Justin

    Wally, on Around the Horn they’re talking about possible MLB realignments, with the Royals and Rays switching places so the Rays can contend in the central and the Royals can “rebuild” in the east.

    My audible response: “What the shit?!”

    Your thoughts.

  • Wally Fish

    Floating Realignment would make the BCS look the most brilliant system ever devised in the history of mankind.

    What happens to your season ticket base if the Royals or Indians were to tell their fans, “hey next year we’re going to go get our brains beat in by the Sox and Yanks in the AL East so that maybe we can switch divisions down the road and compete several years from now.

    Teams switching divisions to rebuild and publicly throw in the towel not only would erode that team’s fanbase, but it would also adversely impact the competitive balance with respect to the teams that were actually trying. If the Royals chose to go into the AL East so the Yankees and Red Sox would play them 18 times each, I’m guessing the Angels, Rays, Twins and others would not be too pleased.

    If the purpose is to help competitive balance they should look at ways to actually address the problems instead of trying to come up with a “workaround” that really wouldn’t work around a damn thing.

    On the bright side, when brainstorming, such bizarre out-there ideas like this can result in the development of some very real and tangible solutions that have nothing to do with the ideas from which they were born.

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