Kauffman Stadium Park Factors: Hits 115; Runs 130; HRs 120
(100 is average, under 100 is favorable to pitchers)
Values ~ 2000: NA 2001: NA 2002: -$2 2003: $8
Affeldt continued to make solid progress last year, improving upon his ratios. Unfortunately, Affeldt continues to be plagued with chronic blister problems that forced him to spend time in the pen and limited him to just 126 IP overall. He throws a low 90s fastball and has made progress with his curve and change. He's slated to be in the rotation to start the season and could provide nice upside; he's a quality pitcher when healthy.
Values ~ 2000: $11 2001: -$10 2002: -$6 2003: $12
Anderson is a control pitcher who throws strikes, does not run deep counts and, because he stays around the plate, has above average hit and HR rates. He gets his outs with flyballs; Anderson's K rate is usually below .5 which I consider a red flag. His walk rate is usually low enough to make his WHIP attractive. He has a high 80's fastball, a changeup and a slider. In the game I last watched he worked the outside corner and down in the zone against RH batters with good success, changing speeds well. He had the best year of his career last year setting personal marks for wins and ERA. I doubt he'll approach last year's value in 2004.
Values ~ 2000: NA 2001: NA 2002: -$6 2003: $12
May pitched more like what Kansas City hoped for when they signed him prior to the 2002 season after May pitched four years in Japan. His hit rate improved 14% and his walk rate was 34% lower last year than in 2002. May's fastball is substandard and he doesn't overpower batters, relying on changing speeds and breaking stuff to keep hitters guessing. He continues to give up HRs at a very high rate. I'd be surprised if he delivers another double digit value to owners but should be considered as a back of the rotation starter.
Values ~ 2000: NA 2001: NA 2002: NA 2003: $3
Gobble is a highly regarded starting prospect. He was repeating AA after missing part of 2002 due to groin and shoulder problems when called up at midseason. His ratios at the time of his call-up were good though not spectacular (Hit Rate = .98; K/BB Ratio = 2.5; HR Rate = .083). He struggled initially but pitched better in September and showed the kind of control that has been his hallmark in the minors. He could probably benefit from some AAA time, but should have been helped by his experience last year and should be watched. He's apparently likely to open the season as the #4 starter.
Values ~ 2000: $4 2001: $14 2002: $8 2003: -$1
Appier's arsenal - sinker, slider and splitter - almost all have downward movement. He's very effective when he gets ahead in the count and throws pitches out of the zone getting hitters to chase. He will occasionally deliver a 90 mph rising fastball, but most of his stuff is in the 80s and is not especially overpowering. Appier flips his glove toward the batter as he makes his delivery, creating a distraction as hitters try to pick up his pitches. However, he's coming off a down year that was ended by elbow surgery for a torn flexor tendon. He is not expected back until after the start of the season but should be in the rotation when he's ready to go. Appier starts the season on the DL but is expected to return soon.
Values ~ 2000: NA 2001: NA 2002: -$8 2003: -$1
Rule V draft pick who had never pitched above A ball but was forced to try to get major league hitters out at age 21. KC had him in the rotation to begin the season last year and he was showing only marginal improvement in his ratios before he underwent elbow surgery to remove bone chips and missed most of the year. Low 90s sinking fastball and an effective change, but his breaking pitch needs work. Not expected to build value. Asencio will have Tommy John surgery and miss 2004.
Values ~ 2000: NA 2001: NA 2002: $2 2003: $3
Hernandez got off to a terrific start in 2003, going 4-0 with a 1.36 ERA in April, then experienced elbow problems which led to Tommy John surgery in September. He's expected to miss 2004. He has an average fastball, slider and two types of change-ups - a circle change and splitter. I saw a Hernandez start in late 2002 and the game analyst thought he was favoring his elbow. His slider was inconsistent and although he persevered to a win, his stuff wasn't that good. I'll need to see him when he's healthy.
Values ~ 2000: NA 2001: NA 2002: NA 2003: -$3
Former first round draft choice who missed 2000-01 with Tommy John surgery. KC has been very cautious with him, allowing him to pitch just 75 innings in 2002 and just over 120 last year. The ratios were encouraging considering that it takes 12-18 months to recapture form following that type of surgery. Snyder had labrum surgery and will miss the season.
Values ~ 2000: NA 2001: $1 2002: $1 2003: $15
MacDougal has a mid 90s fastball but has been working on his secondary pitches. He managed to hold onto the KC closer role all season despite being among the league leaders in blown saves and lacking the plate command normally required of relievers in that role. To his credit, his walk rate was much improved over his 2002 minor league numbers so he's apparently been helped by major league instruction. He should be down your list of closers but there's apparently upside here as MacDougal continues to make progress. MacDougal has been plagued by a stomach ailment this spring, has lost a lot of weight and opens the season on the DL.
Values ~ 2000: $16 2001: $8 2002: NA 2003: $9
Leskanic rebounded well from his 2002 season lost to shoulder surgery and was especially effective after the trade to KC. Leskanic has two quality pitches - a low 90's fastball and slider which he keeps down, getting a lot of groundball outs. Leskanic has had a closer role in the past so he's likely to pick up a handful of saves here.
Values ~ 2000: $9 2001: $8 2002: -$9 2003: $6
Sullivan throws sidearm and dominates RH hitters with his fastball/slider combination. He's been an excellent set-up man for a number of years but the workload appeared to have taken it's toll in 2002. He was used more judiciously lat year and was the better for it.
Values ~ 2000: NA 2001: NA 2002: NA 2003: $1
Carrasco is a Rule V pick who pitched reasonably well in relief for KC until September. He has a fastball that tops out at 94 and a breaking pitch. Strictly filler.
Values ~ 2000: -$1 2001: $5 2002: $3 2003: -$5
Grimsley's plate command started to deteriorate two years ago and his hit rate increased 31% last year. At 36, it's uncertain whether he can again become the fairly reliable set-up reliever he's been in recent years. Grimsley has a low 90s sinking fastball with outstanding movement. When I saw him, batters were laying off the pitch, which moved out of the zone and Grimsley issued a lot of walks. He threw an occasional breaking pitch or straight fastball, but basically stuck with the sinker. Not much interest at this point.
Values ~ 2000: NA 2001: NA 2002: $0 2003: $1
Field spent time at three levels last year and pitched well compared to recent seasons. He throws in the mid 90s and has a decent slider. He could become a contributor out of the pen but isn't worth a bid at this point.
Values ~ 2000: $0 2001: -$6 2002: -$9 2003: -$3
He looks like the second coming of Fernando without the screwball if you havenít seen him. He throws a cut fastball and curve and nibbles, nibbles, nibbles. His stuff doesnít appear to be overpowering, but he gets a lot of strikeouts, presumably by breaking his stuff off the plate. His walks are high - his walk rate has been .63 or higher every year in the majors but one. No interest.
Values ~ 2000: NA 2001: NA 2002: NA 2003: NA
Camp, signed as a minor-league free agent, unexpectedly made the Royals staff with a strong spring during which he changed the grip on his slider to gain better command of it. He has a sinker/slider repertoire and will need to maintain his improved control to stick. Not draft-worthy.