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Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Avert your eyes

Apparently, the new KC Royals GM Dayton Moore, fresh off his many year's service in the Braves organization, thinks his old team's long-term success was built around...Otis Nixon.


Moore just traded pitching prospect J.P. Howell for Tampa Bay outfielder Joey Gathright, who is fast. The Royals also received light-hitting potential utility infielder Fernando Cortez.

Granted, there is a good chance that Howell will not amount to much as a major league pitcher. But since he's a 23-year old left-handed former #1 draft pick (2004) out of the University of Texas, there's also at least some chance he could be valuable.

Gathright, a 32nd round draft pick in 2001, is unlikely ever to amount to much as a major league hitter. He has one career homer through over 1700 professional plate appearances. One.

His lone reliable asset is speed, though he did get on base at an impressive clip throughout his minor league time because of high batting averages and OK walk rates. However, in the majors, pitchers will definitely NOT need to "work around" a guy with ZERO power. They won't have to nibble for strikes because he's unlikely to cause that much damage.

His major league on-base average is an uninspiring .316 in about 275 plate appearances (nearly half a full season). He's also age 25, so WYSIWYG.

To a Royals fan like me, Gathright is all too reminiscent of the "Tom Goodwin era" -- and we do not look fondly at those years. Goodwin stole 150 bases in his nearly three seasons as a Royal, but the team was sub-.500 each year.

This is not a promising beginning for Moore.

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