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Kansas City Royals Top 20 Prospects

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Alex Gordon

KANSAS CITY ROYALS TOP 20 PROSPECTS

  1. Alex Gordon, 3B, Grade A
  2. Billy Butler, OF, Grade B+
  3. Justin Huber, 1B, Grade B+
  4. Jeff Bianchi, SS, B
  5. Luis Cota, RHP, B-
  6. Chris Lubanski, OF, B-
  7. Denny Bautista, RHP, C+
  8. Shane Costa, OF, C+
  9. Chris McConnell, SS, C+
  10. Mitch Maier, OF, C+
  11. Donnie Murphy, 2B, C+
  12. Andres Blanco, SS, C+
  13. Billy Buckner, RHP, C+
  14. Chris Nicoll, RHP, C+
  15. Kila Kaaihue, 1B, C+
  16. Mike Aviles, SS, C
  17. Joseph Dickerson, OF, C
  18. Brent Fisher, LHP, C
  19. Angel Sanchez, SS, C
  20. Danny Tamayo, RHP, C
The Royals system is unbalanced. They have three top-notch offensive prospects in Gordon, Butler, and Huber, all of whom should be ready in 2007. They have some depth in infielders. Bianchi and McConnell will need time but both look solid on both offense and defense. Blanco and Sanchez have excellent gloves but shaky bats. Murphy was overmatched in the majors but is too young to give up on.

But the system thins out quickly. Outfielders Lubanski, Maier, and Costa have all been disappointing in one way or another, although all three still have decent chances to be useful in some capacity. Pitching is very thin. Luis Cota and Denny Bautista have power arms but command problems. Tamayo, Buckner and Nicoll have good command but don't throw hard.

The Royals have been drafting better since the disastrous Colt Griffin pick in 2001. In addition to Gordon, the '05 class has sleepers like Bianchi, Dickerson, and Fisher who all bear close watching. But overall progress with the rebuilding effort has been slow, and the organization faces tough competition given the deep nature of the Cleveland and Minnesota farm systems.