The Farm System Problem
The problem is that the font of high-end prospects has dried up. The KC Royals haven’t really drafted very well since 2010. High round picks Christian Colon (no 4 overall in 2010), Kyle Zimmer (no. 5 overall in 2012) and Bubba Starling (no. 5 overall in 2011), haven’t developed into above average major league starters—nor does it appear that will ever happen. Perhaps Zimmer can get back on track if this winter’s thoracic outlet syndrome surgery fixes his chronic arm problems.
More from KC Royals News
- KC Royals Rumors: Is a monster move in the cards?
- KC Royals Free Agent Hunt: 3 Tampa Bay pitchers
- Grading the 2022 KC Royals: The $25 million man
- KC Royals Winter Meetings Tracker: Expectations met
- KC Royals Winter Meetings Tracker: Day 3 update
Moore also traded away top prospects Sean Manaea (sandwich pick, 2013) and Brandon Finnegan (no. 17 overall 2014) in deadline deals that pushed his team over the top for the 2015 title. It’s hard to build up a critical mass of above average players when you can’t access high upside prospects. A string of failures from top 5 draft picks makes matters worse.
The solution might have been to sell off players in the last year of their contracts like Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Lorenzo Cain, and Danny Duffy. However, of that quartet, only Duffy had big year in 2016. For the other three, last season hurt their trade value.
Aside from the big four, Alcides Escobar, Jason Vargas, and Mike Minor will hit free-agency next season. Ian Kennedy could opt out of his deal with a strong season, giving up the final three years of his current contract along with $49 million in guaranteed money.