FanPost

Can the Royals screw this up?


In a word: Yes. 

In two words: Hell yes.

I was looking at some old team pages on Baseball Reference and that's what led me to this.  I was reminded of the 1998 Kansas City Royals

Mind you that at this time they were not as top-heavy in highly rated prospects as they are now (and what teams ever have been as loaded as the Royals appear to be) but they probably thought their playoff draught would be coming to an end soon.  Fast forward a decade and I've got bad news manager Tony Muser.

At catcher - 24 year old Mike Sweeney

In centerfield - 24 year old Johnny Damon

In right field - 24 year old Jermaine Dye

And making his major league debut that year was 21 year old Carlos Beltran.

The minor leagues also had some promising players.  Pitcher Jim Pittsley made the BA Top 100 5 straight years from 1993 to 1997, peaking at #24 in 1996. 

Other top 100's from 1996-2001 were:

Glendon Rusch (83, 89)

Carlos Febles (30)

Orber Moreno (57, 83)

Dee Brown (92, 11, 48)

Jeremy Giambi (64)

Chris George (40, 25)

Kyle Snyder (70)

Dan Reichert (75)

Mike Macdougal (79)

They also had a 23 year old Jeff Suppan.

The collection of major league talent under 25 turned out to be something special.  The career baseball-reference WAR of Sweeney/Beltran/Damon/Dye currently sits at a combined 145.4

Add in the 14.8 WAR that Suppan has been worth since 1998 when he joined the Royals, and it goes up to 160.2.

Of course the problem is that Sweeney is the only player that had a career of note with the Royals, and pitcher attrition rate killed them.  Pittsley won 7 career games and Dee Brown probably goes around town now telling people he's Dee Brown the basketball player, not the baseball player.  (In his best season he hit .245)

(Also, how can the name "Dee" Brown be so popular?  There's an NFL running back, two baseball players, and two basketball players all with that same name)

I am excited about the Royals collection of young talent, and I'm not trying to be a Debbie Downer, but a history lesson from BR taught me a valuable lesson today.  Be cautious.

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