Royals Protect Four, Finalize 40 Man Roster

Friday marked the final day for the Royals to add players to their 40 man roster to protect them from the Rule 5 draft.  The result: four players out, four players in.

To make room, the Royals designated pitchers Bryan Bullington, Victor Marte and Gaby Hernandez for assignment. Outfielder Jordan Parraz was DFA’d as well.

But that’s not what you’re interested in, is it?

Here are the newest members of the Royals 40 man roster:

In my overview of the Royals 40 man roster, I created six openings by also dropping Philip Humber, Henry Barrera and Josh Fields who both remain on the roster.  I didn’t have a strong objection to any of them staying with the Royals, it was merely a way to make room for two of my favorite prospects in the Royals system not named Mike, Eric or Wil – Louis Coleman and Tim Collins.  I also expected Jordan Parraz to stick around, though Lough and Robinson are higher priority players and Lough is the most prepared to step into a vacated spot on the active roster.

Teaford’s strong 2010 earned him his spot and was an easy decision I’m sure.  Pitchers are especially vulnerable in the Rule 5 draft since bullpens are deeper and they can have their action limited while staying on the active roster.  Teaford led the entire Royals organization in wins with 14 and saw his strikeout rate jump from a career 6.32 batters per nine innings to 10.2 K/9 in 2010.

The Royals have a lot invested in Derrick Robinson.  After selecting him in the fourth round in 2006, Robinson has struggled for the most part, but in the past two seasons he’s shown signs of improvement and the Royals love his athleticism.  After making adjustments to his batting stance, Robinson hit five homers in August of 2009 and the changes stuck through 2010 as he posted his best offensive season as a professional for Double A Northwest Arkansas.  Robinson is the prototypical leadoff hitter, with great speed but little power.  Still, his .286/.345/.380/.725 line in 2010 and three consecutive seasons of 50+ steals make him one to watch.

Clint Robinson won the Triple Crown in the Texas League and owns a career OPS of .909 through four minor league seasons.  The Royals are stacked at first base with Billy Butler and Kila Ka’aihue in Kansas City already and with Eric Hosmer on the way, but Robinson’s bat is too potent to leave out there in case someone takes a flyer on him.  He’s never played above Double A, but he’ll also be 26 when spring training rolls around, so he’s older for his level.  He was unlikely to be selected in the Rule 5 draft, but the Royals had expendable players so why not?  Also if Butler or Ka’aihue get traded, or if Hosmer ends up moving to the outfield as some have suspected may happen, Robinson provides solid depth.  He could also be a valuable throw in to finalize another trade.

When you read about David Lough, you notice he’s described often as another version of David DeJesus.  Just as DeJesus was solid in many areas but not spectacular in them, Lough brings the same kind of balance.  He has nice gap to gap power and should hit a lot of doubles once he makes it to the big leagues.  He also projects to have a bit more pop than DeJesus ever did.  He has good speed and isn’t deficient in any one area.  Not bad for an 11th round draft pick.

If anyone manages to make it onto the active roster out of spring training, I’d put my money on Teaford, barring injuries or other moves to clear a spot for Lough to make the team.  Not that Lough doesn’t deserve a look, but with Mitch Maier, Alex Gordon, Gregor Blanco and Jarrod Dyson in the mix as well, it’s a bit crowded in Kansas City.  I think the Royals view Lough as an everyday outfielder, so if he can’t play every day in Kansas City, he’s better off doing so in Omaha as a Storm Chaser (still can’t get used to that name).  If Maier is released or Dyson is sent to Omaha or Gordon gets hurt – again – Lough may get his shot.

Assuming Dayon Moore lost Jeff Francoeur‘s phone number.

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Topics: AL Central, Baseball, Clint Robinson, David Lough, Derrick Robinson, Everett Teaford, Kansas City Royals, KC, MLB, Royals

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