I met Dave just a couple times at the park and at that time Pine Tar Press and Royals Corner had a semi-writing rivalry (is there such a thing?) as we were fairly new and trying to nab some of the readers that Dave had attracted. That didn't deter Dave from being a truly nice guy and someone I was happy to see at the park the few times we ran into each other. I even invited him to write for PTP a couple different times but he had been burned out at that time. It truly came as a shock to all of us in the Royals blogosphere family and gave us great sadness as Dave is a reason that many at Royals Review, Pine Tar Press and other sites started writing in the first place. I doubt I will create as many friends as Dave did here at Scout but I hope to give you a little bit of information that you've been missing so with that said on with the show.
From a distance – I will make it out to more Omaha games this year and give you some information on Aaron Brooks and other prospects with the Storm Chasers. From the sounds of it Omaha may soon be getting a visit from Moustakas, something that is long overdue if you ask me. As far as the Chasers go the best prospect besides Brooks on that team is likely Spencer Patton who in my estimation is better than Michael Mariot and should challenge for a bullpen spot in Kansas City sooner than later. His combination of 92-94 mph fastball, mid 80's wipeout slider and show me change is good enough to get major league hitters out regularly.
At AA NW Arkanasas I've been disappointed that Jason Adam hasn't been able to build on his strong finish from last year and is off to another slow start in April. It's still too early to make this declaration but it appears more and more that he could go the way of the bullpen where he could be strong with a fastball that could likely tick up to the mid-90's (play up even further with his extension) and a wipeout breaking ball. The frame, slow mechanics and lagging change up look almost identical to former Royal relief pitcher and failed minor league starter Blake Wood.
Wilmington starter Christian Binford is off to a spectacular start at High A ranking 5th in ERA, 2nd in strikeouts and 3rd in WHIP. It's just 6 starts but his numbers so far are reminiscent of Mike Montgomery in '09 and '10 when he used just 13 starts to get through High A. I wouldn't expect that quick of a promotion for Binford to AA as Kyle Zimmer could take one of those spots very soon but 15 starts and a promotion after the break could happen if he stays on this current path.
Single A Lexington has one of the players I am most intrigued at the Royals minor league affiliate in Samir Duenez and I'm sure I'll write plenty about him but they also have a few talented and blocked middle infielders in Ramon Torres, Humberto Arteaga and Carlos Garcia that are fun to watch. Speaking of Garcia he's had an impressive past 10 games going 13 for his last 33 as I write this with just his 5th career home run and three more extra base hits. It's been a couple instructs ago but his body and movement was impressive enough at that time to be labeled as a future major leaguer by a Mariners scout and at just 22 he could be a late bloomer who needs some more work at another level.
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