Aug 14, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals pitcher Greg Holland (56) delivers a pitch against the Oakland Athletics during the ninth inning at Kauffman Stadium. The Kansas City Royals won 7-3. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Fans Wrong About Royals' Development System

A myth has developed around Dayton Moore’s farm system that, honestly, even I bought into. Kansas City Royals fans have grown so sick of losing that our pessimism has carried an undeserved legacy from the last front office regime to this one. Royals fans largely believe that the organization can’t develop players. More accurately, they can’t develop players as well as other teams.

As it turns out, the Royals are pretty good at turning homegrown talent into Major League wins.

For small market teams that can’t afford the most valuable free agents, player development is a key element to success. Journalists, including the Kansas City Star’s Andy McCullough, have tried to point out the team’s successes such as the mostly homegrown bullpen and Sal Perez, but no one has really tried to show just how successful the Royals have been at developing talent.

Since Dayton Moore took on the General Manager position in 2007, each team has drafted around 400 players. Some are better at scouting and developing talent than others. On one lame and useless hand, we have the Twins, who have only drafted seven measly players who turned into major leaguers from 2007-2014. Those seven players have a combined WAR of 5.1.

On the other deft and clever hand, we have the Braves. Of the players they’ve drafted between 2007 and 2014, 22 players have reached the major leagues, combining for a staggering 73.7 WAR.

It’s impossible to separate how much of these players’ successes were the result of the development staff and how much of their successes were because the organizations had adept scouts. What matters is the end product: how many guys contributed in the MLB.

The rankings by WAR are:

1. Braves 22 players reached the majors, 73.7 WAR

2. Nationals 25, 57.9

3. D’backs 33, 54.3

4. Giants 26, 53.5

5. Marlins 17, 43.7

6. Reds 21, 42.7

7. Brewers 22, 41.4

8. White Sox 16, 40.8

9. Cubs 21, 38.5

10. Angels 22, 38.4

11. Cardinals 33, 34.6

12. Royals 16, 31.3

13. Orioles 12, 31.1

14. Rays 9, 29.5

15. Tigers 25, 27.5

16. Mariners 21, 25.5

17. Blue Jays 26, 23.2

18. Indians 19, 22.7

19. Pirates 17, 19.6

20. Mets 14, 19.0

21. Rangers 25, 18.7

22. Athletics 16, 15.6

23. Padres 33, 14.1

24. Astros 10, 13.2

25. Rockies 17, 12.5

26. Phillies 26, 9.2

27. Red Sox 20, 8.4

28. Dodgers 15, 7.6

29. Yankees 16, 6.7

30. Twins 7, 5.1

The above numbers don’t take into account with what team the player accumulated his Wins Above Replacement, only that the Royals drafted and developed the player. If we were to take into account the current value of what Dayton Moore got back in trades for drafted players, the WAR would move them up a couple ranks.

As is, the Royals have produced 16 Major League players who have accumulated 31.3 WAR, making them the 12th best team overall at developing talent. So, not only are they not among the worst teams at developing talent, they’re in the upper half.

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