John Lamb is working his way back. Photo: James Lamb

Kevin Goldstein Places Five Royals in Top 101 Prospects


As you may know, Kevin Goldstein is one of the bigger names in online baseball commentary. In the wee small hours of the morning, he released his Top 101 overall prospects in baseball, listing five players from the Royals system:

Conspicuously absent is Mike Montgomery.

When we talked to Goldstein on the Royalman Report in November, he’d listed Montgomery as a three star prospect and sixth among Royals prospects. At the time, it was a simple matter that Montgomery hadn’t pitched very well for his lowered ranking, but Goldstein conceded that the upside was still there, but the likelihood of Montgomery’s reaching that ceiling had lessened. (And it’s notable that Eric Hosmer wasn’t on Goldstein’s top 101 going into 2010, so it’s never a perfect list.)

This afternoon, Goldstein was on 610 Sports with Nick Wright and pointed out that Montgomery hasn’t been a great pitcher since the middle of 2010. The lefty had run over minor league batters to that point, but arm soreness put him on the disabled list twice. Then he struggled in 2011.

Even after a rough 2011 in Double A, Goldstein is big on Wil Myers, and despite Tommy John surgery, he likes John Lamb too. On 610, he also mentioned that Chris Dwyer is a prospect who could still be good.

Other mentions:

  • Goldstein is a Lorenzo Cain fan and thinks his combination of speed, defense and decent offensive production could result in a season that could come close to what Melky Cabrera accomplished overall in 2011.
  • Eric Hosmer could be even better this year than we expect. Goldstein mentioned he expects multiple All-Star appearances and MVP opportunities. He said .300 and 25+ homers is an annual possibility.
  • For Goldstein, Mike Moustakas is the most interesting player coming into 2012. Last year, Moose made adjustments to hit better but the power wasn’t there. This year, the goal is to continue to hit with those adjustments in mind while adding the power back into his approach.

Follow Goldstein on Twitter – he has great information, and if you’re not 100% baseball-minded, he tosses in some pop culture commentary as well.

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Tags: AL Central Baseball Bubba Starling Cheslor Cuthbert Eric Hosmer Jake Odorizzi John Lamb Kansas City Royals KC KC Royals Lorenzo Cain Mike Montgomery Mike Moustakas MLB Royals Wil Myers

  • NathanielStoltz

    Mike, as you obviously know, I came up with slightly different placements of the Royals prospects on the top 100, but man, I think Goldstein’s take is spot on on a lot of these guys.

    I totally concur with his points about Montgomery. Double-A is a big jump, and it can wreck a lot of prospects. It does seem to have taken a rather permanent bite out of his numbers, and he didn’t recover in 2011. That said, he’s a lefthander who throws 92 consistently, and it’s damn difficult to find a 92+ lefty who was able to stay in the rotation and didn’t turn out to be at least a mid-rotation guy. So if Montgomery still projects as a starter (and I think we all agree he does) it’ll be interesting to see if the results eventually catch up to the stuff again, since they seem to for so many.

    Also loved that he kept Lamb in there. I think Sickels gave him a C+ or something, and I feel like that sort of rating is just taking the TJ too seriously. Other than my own, I don’t think I’ve seen another list that kept Lamb in the top 100.

    I don’t know if you saw, but Goldstein was talking about Bubba some in his chat today. Compared him to Donavan Tate–which is a comp I use myself, as a bit of a cautionary tale. Obviously, Goldstein still ranked Bubba pretty high, higher than I did, but he seems to share my “Let’s make sure this guy can actually make decent contact and control the zone some before going crazy about him” concerns.

    I’m still stunned that every single list out there has Myers 11-19. I’d have thought some would be jumping off the bandwagon, especially given that some of the reports floating around out there seem iffy. Obviously, I’m squarely on his bandwagon, but it’s just interesting, because he seems like he should be a far more divisive prospect than he actually is.

    I also love the aggressive ranking of Odorizzi. Was thrilled to see him above Parker (although, as an A’s fan, I hope Parker proves my skepticism wrong, of course).

  • michael.allen.engel

    @NathanielStoltz My mind changes on Odorizzi about every other week. I think he might develop into the kind of guy who is dynamite as a #3 but can do a lot as a #2 and if necessary could carry a staff. Then there are weeks where I get afraid from his jump to NWA.

    I didn’t catch Goldstein’s chat today but yeah, that’s a definite concern with Bubba. Kansas 6A high school baseball isn’t exactly a hotbed of competition, even if it has developed some guys (Jason Adam for instance).

    As for Lamb and Myers, I think the context of their situations is obvious to a lot of people – and they’re both the “type” of player that should react well to adversity. I think that counts in their favor for some.

  • jim fetterolf

    Maybe I’m on the fringe, but I’m still real high on Montgomery and think he’ll be the next big thing to move down the road to KC. What I saw in last year’s Futures Game was an elite pitcher, lighting up the radar gun at 96-98, smoothly and effortlessly. I thought he should have made the team then, but didn’t mind more seasoning until I heard that his training had been changed in Omaha, which resulted in the seemingly typical loss of velocity and command that cookie cutter training seems to produce. After an off-season doing his own thing, then the new Royals’ pitching regime seeming more tolerant of modern training, per Greg Schaum, I expect Monty to be a stud in ST and be up when Sanchez is traded at the latest, if Duffy or Paulino falter at the earliest. Just given his proximity to the majors and likelihood of being productive, I consider him the top prospect in the system, but proximity does carry extra weight for me.

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