Saturday, February 08, 2014

2014 Lexington Legends Preview: Part Three

An ongoing look at Royals prospects likely to make up the 2014 Legends roster

FEB 8th, 2014-Continuing on with a look at prospective players for our Lexington Legends in 2014, there are a lot of possibilities to consider.

One caveat concerning the Legends, this year: besides the young rookie-league prospects from the three rookie teams in Kansas City's organization, there are also a number of players who could likely be returning to Lexington for at least the first part of the season. There are a number of reasons for this (further experience in Class A needed, player too young to advance to High-A at this time, need to work on specific skills before facing higher-level players, etc.), but they are the sorts of reasons used to consider in the handling of players at all levels.

For the purposes of this post, I'm looking only at rookie-league players. Here's a look at four more players who could be hitting the Sally this year (or returning to the league for an encore):

Hitters

Bats: R Throws: R
Ht: 6'1” Wt: 175
Born: July 7th, 1993 in Los Angeles, California
School: Centennial HS (Compton, CA)
Drafted: by the Texas Rangers in the 4th round of the 2011 MLB Draft

Signed out of high school for $200,000 by the Rangers in 2011, Desmond Henry was acquired in the trade that sent Tommy Hottovy to the Rangers. Henry has outstanding speed (6.47 in the 60 at the 2010 Area Code Games, an easy 80 on the scouting scale), excellent range in the outfield, and his arm could grade out as 'plus' at his peak. Simply put, he's one to watch. Remember Terrance Gore, last year? Very similar, only Gore is likely stronger than Henry (even given the size difference). Henry swiped 20 bags with Burlington in the Appalachian League in 2013, batting .244 in 48 games. He was suspended in 2012 after an arrest on a charge of possession of alcohol by a minor, but it seems that this was an isolated incident. He may not ever produce much in the way of power (4 doubles, 2 HR in 2013), but players who are this fast are rarely required to do so. Keep an eye out for him.

Bats: B Throws: R
Ht: 5'10” Wt: 155
Born: January 22nd, 1993 in Moncion, Santiago Rodriguez, Dominican Republic
School:
Drafted: NDFA in 2009 by the Kansas City Royals

Torres spent 26 games here with the Legends last season, and is known to have line-drive skills with the bat and solid pitch recognition. He has steady defensive skills, though his previous numbers definitely seem to refute that assessment (13 errors in 42 games at short with Burlington). I see him more as a second baseman than as a shortstop, and that certainly doesn't affect the outlook on him as a prospect. Torres has good speed on the bases, hits his share of doubles (41 in 233 career games), and walks nearly as much as he strikes out. Mind you, he rarely strikes out; 116 Ks in 965 career PA is pretty darn good. He's pretty much a lock to start the year in Lexington, and I expect him to contribute in a significant way to the Legends.

Bats: R Throws: R
Ht: 6'2” Wt: 170
Born: February 9th, 1994 in Cartagena, Columbia
School:
Drafted: NDFA by the Kansas City Royals in 2011

Cano has a lot of projection left, possesses above-average speed and solid bat control, and has a solid-average arm from the OF. He definitely projects better as a left-fielder than if he were in right, as he doesn't have the sort of arm strength you'd ideally like to have in RF. He's got plenty of time to develop (he turns 20 tomorrow), and as he adds a bit of size he could become a gap-to-gap guy with a lot of doubles. Can might very well be an 'under-the-radar' type of prospect.

Bats: L Throws: R
Ht: 6'3” Wt: 225
Born: December 29th, 1992 in Lee's Summit, Missouri
School: Metropolitan Community College-Longview (Kansas City, MO)
Drafted: by the Kansas City Royals in the 12th round of the 2013 MLB Draft

Dulin has prototypical size for a 1st baseman, but his 6 triples and 5 steals in 46 games in the Arizona League last year are surprising. He's a powerfully-built hitter who manages to play an agile 1st base, with an above-average arm for first. He can turn on the ball very well and has easy plus power for his position. Dulin has some experience in the OF, but as he moves up the chain he's likely to play the majority of his games at the first sack. The best part, as far as I'm concerned, is that he's only 21 years old. Thus, he has some time to move up the chain and the 1st base prospects ahead of him might be thinned out a bit before KC has to make a decision on him. I like his future, but with hitters this big there's concern over injury risk. Playing full-season ball will tell us a lot more about how well he'll adjust to the pro circuit.


And the Preview goes on and on...Part Four coming soon, with a look at pitchers after that. Also, will be happy to write posts by request. If you have a favorite player you'd like to read about in more detail, drop me a line and I'll make it happen. 


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