Archive for the ‘Lorenzo Cain’ Tag

Custom Card of the Day: 1980 Topps Lorenzo Cain   Leave a comment

Lorenzo Cain 1980 Topps custom card

What the Melky Cabrera trade means. plus Lorenzo Cain custom card   Leave a comment

Lorenzo Cain 1999 Topps custom cardThe Melky Cabrera trade was a good deal for the Royals. They had Lorenzo Cain ready and no place to put him and a desperate need for starting pitching. They got their pitcher but I am going to focus on how it will effect the Royals lineup. It is interesting how well this worked out for the Royals. I think Melky Cabrera had a career year last year. I’m not going to say it won’t happen again but I feel it is unlikely. Lorenzo Cain will replace Melky Cabrera but it will effect the lineup.

Melky Cabrera batted second basically all of 2011. Cain will not bat second in 2012. He will likely end up near the bottom of the lineup at number 7. This will be a good low pressure spot for him to get established in the major leagues. The move of Cain down will shift Johnny Giavotella up the second hole. This is where the Royals second baseman had batted in the minor leagues and he could be an excellent number two hitter. Cain could shift to the top of the lineup but it is unlikely will all of his strikeouts. If he cuts down on them he could be a candidate to be a leadoff hitter. This would allow Alex Gordon to move to the number two hole where I feel he would be most valuable for the Royals but it is unlikely.

Royals Report Card: Part 1   3 comments

So this is my Royals report card. I realize that this is nothing original, The Kansas City Star does it every year I believe. This will be my perspective and it would be cool to measure up my grading against theirs. This is strictly subjective and I took into account expectations, performance, stats and even attitudes that I have noticed from my limited perspective. I am going to do this in 2 parts; pitchers and hitters. I’ll start with the offensive side of things(also accounting for defense of course.)

Matt Treanor – Catcher: Grade B

The Royals bought Treanor from the Rangers and have since sold him back. All things considered, Treanor did exactly what the Royals wanted him to do, he was a veteran catcher and provided some experience to a really young team. His offense was alright, defense was great. I hope Brayan Pena was paying attention.

Brayan Pena – Catcher: Grade D

Pena wasn’t paying attention. Pena solidified the perception that he can never be a starting catcher in the major leagues this year. He is below average offensively and defensively in my opinion. He is a stop-gap backup catcher and he shouldn’t be on the team next year. Royals fans will always remember his falure to get tags down that directly cost the team a couple games this year.

Manuel Pina – Catcher: Grade B-

Pina was a spark when Treanor went on the DL. He got a very short look while the team waited on Salvador Perez. Pina did nothing wrong but didn’t wow fans the way Perez has. He should be a solid backup for Perez.

Salvador Perez – Catcher: Grade A

How can you complain about Salvador Perez? He has a cannon arm and has showed it. He is also hitting a not-so-modest .333 at this point. He has showed great power the other way and the ability to hit at the major league level. Expect a drop offensively next year but not defensively.

Kila Ka’aihue – 1st Base: Grade D

Kila just didn’t cut in KC. He only had 23 games to strut his stuff and had a big walk-off home run but only hit .195. He was surpassed by Eric Hosmer’s performance in every aspect.

Billy Butler – 1st Base/DH: Grade B+

#CountryBreakfast can flat out rake. He had a slow first half but really kicked it up after the break. He has pushed over 90 RBI now (career high) and had a power surge in the early second half. He was pushed to strictly the DH role by Hosmer and has now embraced it.

Eric Hosmer – 1st Base: Grade A

Eric Hosmer has been nothing short of spectacular in his rookie season. He has hit for power, average and been a very good at first base (no matter what certain stats say.) He is a very strong rookie of the year candidate and in less than one season has become the face of the franchise.

Chris Getz – 2nd Base: Grade C-

Chris Getz has a lot of haters. He doesn’t hit for a high average or extra base hits. He is good defensively and very good on the basepaths but these thing don’t redeem his insecurities at the plate. The team would likely be better off with Navarro as a utilityman than having Getz on the roster in 2012.

Johnny Giavotella – 2nd Base: Grade C+

Hasn’t been great defensively and has been average at the plate. He has had a typical half rookie season.

Alcides Escobar – Shortstop: Grade A-

Escobar is great in the field. He makes fantastic plays that most shortstops don’t. After a couple seasons of Yuni at short for the Royals, Escobar is a godsend. He is a .250 hitter and doesn’t really project to be a whole lot better. He doesn’t have much power but that should improve. With his defense he could hit .250 for the remainder of his career and remain a starter.

Mike Aviles – 3rd Base: Grade F

Aviles was the Royals starting third baseman on opening day. This is hard to believe now. He was terrible in the field and at the plate. He then proceeded to whine about playing time after Moustakas’ callup. He has been good for the Red Sox but contributed almost nothing to the Royals in 2011.

Wilson Betimit – 3rd Base: Grade C+

Betimit was trade bait from opening day on. His value never really got any higher than that day either. He had an average year and didn’t fetch much in a trade.

Yamaico Navarro – 3rd Base: Grade B-

In my opinion a fantastic trade. Aviles was dead weight and couldn’t play the field. Yamaico hasn’t played much for Kansas City. Navarro isn’t great but should be a solid utility infielder for the team in 2012.

Mike Moustakas – 3rd Base: Grade B-

He was no Hosmer in 2011 but still ended up having a respectable rookie campaign. He got hot at the end of the season and raised his average about 50 points. He started driving the ball and stopped popping out to 3rd base. He showed many encouraging signs for 2012.

Alex Gordon – Left Field: Grade A

After a few years of being a borderline major league player he lived up to his immense talent and had a just-off MVP type season. He was great in left field, had a ton of assists and has an outside shot at a gold glove. He showed good power and the ability to drive in runs which was my biggest concern in the past for him.

Melky Cabrera – Center Field: Grade A

For what Melky was expected to do how could you possibly complain? 201 hits? Nobody would have guessed that, not even Melky. He hit for good power, stole bases, scored runs and was the exact type of player this team needed. I hated this signing but he proved me wrong.

Jarrod Dyson – Center Field: Grade C

Dyson is good and field and has amazing speed. He is a liability at the plate and until he can get on base consistently will contribute very little in the big leagues. He is super fast and is worth carrying as a pinch-runner but needs to hit.

Jeff Francouer – Right Feild: Grade A

Francoeur was another signing I didn’t like. He didn’t walk and would swing at anything. He resurrected his career this head and had an amazing season. He never failed to impress in right field and has a cannon. He didn’t swing at junk as much as the past and maintained a good average. He was a great clubhouse guy and showed he will be a great leader for this young team.

Mitch Maier – Outfield: Grade B-

Maier never got a lot of playing time because of A) no injuries and B) great outfielders ahead of him. When he got a spot start he did admirably but never really got a chance to impress this year.

Lorenzo Cain – Outfield: Grade B

Cain tore up AAA Omaha and never got to the Royals until the last week of the season. He is ready to go but has no place to play. He would be very good trade bait for a starting pitcher if packaged with another high-end prospect.

Prospect Watch: Lorenzo Cain   Leave a comment

Prospect Watch Lorenzo CainLorenzo Cain is currently playing for the Omaha Storm Chasers but could be in the big leagues any time now. Cain was acquired in the Zack Greinke deal with the Brewers and at that time Milwaukee had him playing in the majors. The Brewers let Cain log some major league service time but so far through over 3/4 of the season the Kansas City Royals have kept him in AAA Omaha. He has performed well too. He is hitting .304 with 15 home runs and 70 RBI in 115 games. It is always dangerous to compare AAA numbers to MLB numbers but it is safe to say that the Royals would be very happy with that production. In fact: those numbers are eerily similar to the Royals current center fielders numbers. Melky Cabrera is batting .303 with 16 home runs and 74 RBI in 124 games.

Cain was dealt a blow when the Royals signed Melky Cabrera in the off-season then promised him the starting center field job. Cain was dealt another blow last week when the Royals extended Jeff Francoeur’s contract. That means the Royals current outfield of Gordon-Cabrera-Francoeur is in place and Cain may be the odd man out yet again next year. This leaves Cain in a similar situation as Clint Robinson in Omaha; not much left to prove and no place to go.

Mike Moustakas Major Legue Debut card   Leave a comment

Major League debut Mike Moustakas custom card

I whipped up this design a couple weeks ago for a local professional team named the St. Joe Mustangs and really enjoyed the design. I liked it so much that I decided I had to figure out a way to do something with the Royals in this design. I combined this design with an idea I had for my “2011 Just Fair” set. I thought about making a special parallel/short print type variation with a different picture of the player and their Major League debut on the front of the card. I saw the black line at the bottom of this card and the puzzle pieces really fell right into place.

So I made the set. The set consisted of 6 cards until tonight (Eric Hosmer, Danny Duffy, Everett Teaford, Louis Coleman, Tim Collins and Aaron Crow) and those cards will get posted soon. I decided that the next player to make his Major League debut for the Kansas City Royals would be the launch of this little subset I came up with. It just so happened that it was Mike Moustakas.

For the record Moustakas went 1-3 with a broken bat single(Nick Scott reference not intended) and a walk and run. I predicted 1-3 with a double and a walk and a strikeout with an RBI. I was close.

This is an idea I am proud of and think I would like to continue, possibly for years. I would reserve these cards for only those who made their Major League debut for the Royals from now on. For instance, Lorenzo Cain would not fit in the set because he has logged time with the Brewers. If someone like Iriving Falu would happen to get called up to spell Alcides Escobar, he would get a card in this set. Over the next couple weeks I will occasionally slip one of these cards in as my Custom Card of the Day.