06/08/11 7:46 PM ET
Royals still loaded down on their farm
By Adam Holt / MLB.com
A combination of injuries, underperformance and favorable Spring Training impressions have resulted in many of the ballyhooed players in the Kansas City farm system making their Major League debuts in 2011.
Pitchers Nate Adcock, Tim Collins and Aaron Crow all made the Opening Day roster and their eventual Major League debuts to start the season. Six more players have been called up from the Minor Leagues since then, with four making their big league debuts in the process.
First-round pick Eric Hosmer (2008) was named the Royals' Player of the Month for May, after a debut month were he hit .283 with five home runs. Crow, a first-rounder in 2009, was briefly named closer when incumbent Joakim Soria struggled. Third-rounder Danny Duffy (2007) has come in and posted a 4.43 ERA in four starts for the Royals.
That's not to say the farm has been picked over, though. The Royals' top-ranked system still has a glut of talent that should be ready to make the big league club in the next year or two.
Here's a look at some of the Royals' recent picks and where they are in the pipeline.
Mike Moustakas: The second-overall pick in 2007 is considered the Royals' top hitting prospect. The third baseman is enjoying a solid season for Triple-A Omaha, entering play on June 8 with a .287 batting average, .347 on-base percentage and .498 slugging percentage. He also has 10 home runs and 44 RBIs for the Storm Chasers. He's 16-for-46 in his last 10 games with a .984 OPS, and should he stay hot, will likely get called up to the Majors this summer.
Clint Robinson: A 25th-round pick, Robinson leads Omaha with a .351/.438/.606 line, with 13 home runs and 43 RBIs. The designated hitter is certainly knocking the ball around, but with Billy Butler and Eric Hosmer already in the Majors at DH and first base, Robinson could find it difficult to break in.
Mike Montgomery: The 36th-overall choice in the first round, Montgomery has seemed to hit a wall this season. The left-hander is just 2-2 with a 5.23 ERA in 12 starts as of June 8. Opponents are hitting .246 off of him, although Montgomery does have 51 strikeouts in just over 60 innings pitched. He still has time to turn things around, especially considering that he's just 21 years old.
John Lamb: The jury may still be out on the Royals' fifth-round pick. He recently underwent Tommy John surgery, and the left-hander was 1-2 in eight starts for Northwest Arkansas this year, with a 3.09 ERA. Still considered one of Kansas City's top prospects, although his recovery from surgery will dictate his future.
Wil Myers: The Royals' third-round pick, Myers was taken as a catcher, but recently moved to the outfield. Similar to what the Nationals have done with Bryce Harper, the Royals believe Myers is close to being a big league hitter, but his catching skills are not nearly advanced enough. Myers spent some time on the disabled list, but is hitting .301 with a .366 on-base percentage in 22 games for Double-A Northwest Arkansas.
Christian Colon: Kansas City's first-round pick is hitting just OK at Double-A Northwest Arkansas, with a .247/.320/.330 line. Colon's biggest issue may be his lack of power -- just eight of his 45 hits have gone for extra-bases. He could come around though, as he hit .358 with 17 home runs for Cal State Fullerton in 2010.
Adam Holt is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.