The BTS series continues its mission to find three middle to late round draft picks that may give you a leg up on your deep league compatriots. Today I continue with the Royals.
Let's begin our look at the Royals by taking a gander at catcher, Salvatore Perez. In what amounted to half a season of work, Mr. Perez hit 11 HRs, scored 38 runs, and drove in 39. Throw in his very impressive .301 BA, and, over a full season, you have a rookie of the year candidate. What can fantasy owners expect in 2013? I think, more of the same. Let's start with the batting average. Salvatore posted that .301 by maintaining a very respectable 91.10% CT. For anyone, let alone a rookie catcher trying to adjust to the major leagues, that is just sick. I am concerned about his low walk rate (3.90%), but even with the expected regression that will cause, I still think he will hit .267, which is still just fine from the catcher position. As with the BA, it is a little difficult to project next year's power numbers from just a half a season, but Salvatore did post an almost-league-average 97 PX, an average ISO of .170 and a slightly above average HR/F% of 13%. Over a full 2013 season I think owners can expect 16 HRs. If you are in a two catcher league, and Mr. Perez is your second catcher, you will be fine. If you are in a dynasty league you should enjoy some nice production in the coming years.
Next on the hit parade (see what I did there?) SS, Alcides Escobar. 2012 finally saw Mr. Escobar manage to keep his On-Base (OB) above .300 for a full season. For a base stealer, that is a must. How did he do that? Beats me. His batting eye (walks/strikeouts) declined for the second straight year to a way-too-low 0.27. His ct% is a very nice 83%, but he has very little plate patience walking a measly 4%. Even his statistically scouted speed (SPD) is declining (195 in 2010, 165 in 2011, and 134 in 2012), although it remains well above the league-midpoint of 100. In spite of all of this, he still hit a career best .293, last season. Don't be lulled into complacency, though. With the above underlying stats, I expect a BA more in the neighborhood of .256. I still think he will steal his share of bases, and owners should enjoy another 30+ season, but the drastic decline in SPD and batting eye over the last few years, to go with a challenging OB, is something to watch in 2013, especially if you have Mr. Escobar in a dynasty league.
Shall we finish up with 3B, Mike Moustakas? Why not? Mike had a nice rookie campaign in 2013, and I am a believer for 2013. His BA of .242 was nothing to write home about, but he belted 20 HRs, scored 69, drove in 73, and stole 5, for good measure. While I think the 0.31 batting eye will keep his BA around .245, I think the power is for real, and the 115 PX and 20 HRs can be repeated. Mike is a fly ball hitter and has the power to give owners some nice HR and RBI production. Stolen bases? I would not count on them, but you may get a few, just for kicks. You probably have a better option at 3B, but Mike will make a nice CI for your 2013 roster.
Did I miss a Royal you would like an opinion on? Ask, and I will do my best.