Royals stock up on the future

BOB ELLIOTT, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:32 AM ET

TORONTO - When the Blue Jays last saw the Kansas City Royals it was the first week of June, draft week, you know, the time when young bucks are added to organizations.

First baseman Eric Hosmer, 21, the Royals' first-round pick from 2008, was playing his 29th game.

Since then, the Royals, generally regarded as having more prospects in their organization than any other, have added:

* Third baseman Michael Moustakas, 22, a first-round pick in 2007, batting .206 with 13 RBIs after being promoted June 10, the day after the Jays left 12th Street and Vine.

* Second baseman Johnny Giavotella, 23, is hitting .258 making his debut Aug. 5. The 5-foot-8 second-round pick from 2008 has drawn comparisons to Boston Red Sox's Dustin Pedroia and not only because of his size.

* Catcher Salvatore Perez, 21, a free-agent signing in 2006, owns a .194 average after being recalled Aug. 20.

All three are starting for manager Ned Yost.

Right-hander Aaron Crow, working out of the bullpen, is 3-3 with a 2.41 ERA and 56 strikeouts in 56 innings and lefty Danny Duffy, 22, is 3-8 with a 5.48 ERA in 17 starts, striking out 78 in 88 2/3 innings, are already with the Royals.

The highly respected Baseball America rated the Royals prospects No. 1 this spring in their annual organizational rankings. Former Atlanta Braves executives general manager Dayton Moore and scouting director Lonnie Goldberg, a former Guelph resident, saw their top billing come after being ranked 11th in 2010.

The Blue Jays were ranked fourth, up from 19th overall.

Hosmer was ranked the top prospect, while Moustakas, Duffy and Crow made the top 10. Others on the way are catcher Wil Myers, lefties John Lamp and Mike Montgomery, shortstop Christian Colon, left-hander Chris Dwyer and outfielder Brett Eibner.

Alex Gordon and Hosmer each drove in two runs in an eight-run sixth on Saturday to best the Boston Red Sox and Tim Wakefield.

Yet each team needs a veteran presence and that's lefthander Jeff Francis of North Delta, B.C., and outfielder Jeff Francoeur.

The Royals gave Francoeur a two-year, $13.5-million US deal, a raise from his current $2.5-million salary.

And you thought that the Blue Jays were young and had prospects.


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