|Fantasy Take: The 2006 Kansas City Royals||| Print |||Send|
Written by Daniel Paulling (Contact & Archive) on March 31, 2006
There isn’t much Major League talent to like here. A few veterans here and a few youngsters there don’t make for a great team. However, in very deep leagues, those wily veterans and those promising rookies can help propel your team a spot in the standings. That might mean the difference between making the playoffs in your fantasy league and watching the money you spent on league entry fee going down the drain.
The Top Tier
The Royals don’t have anyone who really fits this category.
The Second Tier
2B Mark Grudzielanek – He’ll miss the talent from the Cardinals’ lineup, but this second sacker has always done a good job hitting for a decent batting average (.287 career), as well as having a little pop (eight last season), and scoring a few runs. He isn’t the best second baseman out there, but in an AL Only or very deep mixed league, Grudz could have some appeal.
OF Reggie Sanders – He’ll always give you a .270 average with 20-25 bombs, 70 RBIs, and a fair number of runs scored. Consistency is one of the biggest keys you want from the players on your fantasy and real team; Sanders gives you that. Draft him towards the later portions of the draft and keep him on your team.
The Third Tier
OF Emil Brown – If he does this season what he did last year, we’ve got something very good about to happen. Brown hit a respectable .286 last year, and managed to drive in 86 runs in a beleaguered Royals’ offense. Add in some better players around him on this new Royals’ look, and we might see that mark reach triple digits.
CL Ambiorix Burgos/Mike MacDougal – MacDougal is out 4-6 weeks, which means Burgos will be taking his spot at the end of the bullpen until Mac’s healthy, which seems to be getting less and less rare. Burgos struck out 65 in 63.1 innings, a good ratio. He should do well in his initial exposure to getting saves. MacDougal, the owner of a 100 MPH fastball, will probably reclaim the job once he comes back.
C John Buck – In the Carlos Beltran deal, Buck represented the best player the Royals got. After all, third baseman Mark Teahan (more on him later) seemingly flamed out, while pitcher Mike Wood is absolutely nothing special. Coming up through the Astros’ minor league system, Buck put together some special seasons with the bat, but nothing that would say he’s a future star. Expect a low batting average, but he could give you a few homers; enough to make it worthwhile to own him.
OF David DeJesus – After the Carlos Beltran trade, the Royals put DeJesus on the fast track to the Major Leagues. He had done well throughout the minor leagues, combining power and speed to put up some good seasons. Well, DeJesus did absolutely nothing last year. He seems to be only a consistent producer in the batting average category until further notice.
1B Doug Mientkiewicz – In only 275 ABs with the Mets, Mientkiewicz hit 11 homers. You know he’ll get his playing time with the Royals, because they don’t really have anybody to steal away his ABs. Project eleven bombs in 275 ABs over an entire season and you could be getting 22-25. Remember he can score runs, hit for high average (sometimes), and has a good OBP, if your league counts that. Oh, he’s moving to one of the best hitter’s parks in the American League, heading out of one of the best pitcher’s parks in the National League.
SS Angel Berroa – The former Rookie of the Year, Berroa, put up some fairly decent stats last year. A .270 batting average, eleven homers, and 55 RBIs should rank him comfortably in the second or third tier of shortstops. However, there was something that really jumped out about him: 108. Or the number of times he struck out. Why is that bad? He only walked 18 times. You don’t see continued success for players like that.
OF/DH Matt Stairs – Here’s somebody that actually wants to stay in Kansas City! Coming off the bench for the Royals, Stairs consistently put up 22-28 homer production until last season, when he lost a bit of playing time. Still .275/13/66 in less than 400 ABs is worth mentioning. The only question is if he gets enough at-bats to help out your ballclub.
1B/DH Mike Sweeney – The Royals’ captain, Sweeney, used to put up some very great seasons. However, once he signed a big contract, he began to get hurt and quickly slid out of the minds of fantasy owners. I’m here to remind you of him. In only 122 games, he hit 22 homers and drove in 83 runs. Combine that with a .300 batting average, and he’s quite the decent fellow. If healthy, he’ll produce 30/100 numbers with a nice .320 average. Don’t forget about him towards the end of the draft.
3B Mark Teahan – As promised, I will deliver you some more Mark Teahan content. The third baseman struggled for much of the season, and that is putting it lightly. But consider his months of September and October: .303/4/21. If he produces more like that, we might be able to see .270/20/85.