It’s been five cold months since the Kansas City Royals gave up the first pick in the 2007 draft by winning the last game of the season in Detroit. Finally back on the diamond, the Spring Training schedule started with a loss to the Angels and a win over Texas.
We won’t get into much heavy analysis over a couple of exhibition games; especially since ten players who weren’t even good enough to get profiled in the Spring Training Preview series took the field.
In the first game alone, 18 different players had at bats, and seven pitchers were used.
Of note: Mark Teahen started in right field for the Royals, allowing Alex Gordon to fight for the starting spot at third base in the same way President Bush had to fight his way into Yale.
Baseball America released their 2007 Top 100 Prospects list on Wednesday. The Royals placed three players on the list, with Alex Gordon landing the number two spot behind Daisuke Matsuzaka, the shiny new Japanese pitcher the Red Sox plunked down $100 million to get in the off season.
Here's how they ranked:
2. ALEX GORDON, 3b, Royals
College Player of the Year in 2005, Minor League Player of the Year in 2006 . . . Rookie of the Year in 2007
25 BILLY BUTLER, of, Royals
His bat will have to carry him, but it can--he's a career .344/.417/.564 hitter in pro ball
32 LUKE HOCHEVAR, rhp, Royals
After a celebrated holdout, he improved his stock in indy ball and went first in the '06 draft
The Rockies and Devil Rays had 8 and 7 players on the list, respectively, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Dayton Moore is talking up the fresh mountain air or the booming real estate market in Florida to Reggie Sanders.
Jorge De La Rosa has the inside track on the #4 spot in the rotation. His 3.33 ERA in the last month of the season made an impression on manager Buddy Bell.
Mike Sweeney won’t be allowed to visit Tucson this spring. Fans of the Diamondbacks, Rockies and White Sox must be disappointed, but it’s their own fault for always trying to get horsey-rides from the major leaguers who come into town.
Finally, the players are all a bunch of ninnies when it comes to wearing synthetic polyester hats.