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Undervalued Royals

When I go digging for sleepers/undervalued players, I often look to the Royals.  They're just a low-profile club and have been for years.  Some players to consider for 2009:

  • Alex Gordon, 3B.  Gordon had a slight gain in slugging and a large gain in walk rate.  Sadly, he attempted fewer steals per times on first base.  He's progressed slower than we'd hoped, but maybe next year he puts up the .280-30-100-90-15 line.
  • Billy Butler, 1B.  He slugged .476 after the break, flashing 20 HR potential.  He needs to improve against righties though.
  • Mike Aviles, 2B/SS.  Eligible at two crucial positions, and didn't slump much as the season went on.  No one thinks he's a .325 hitter but he still looks like a solid late option.
  • Ryan Shealy/Kila Ka'aihue, 1B.  Nothing amazing, but if one of these guys locks down a full-time job he could pop 20 HR.
  • Zack Greinke, SP.  Even with the breakout he might last til the 9th or 10th round.  He looked great in terms of strikeout and walk rates.  Solid pick who will probably last longer than he should.  180 Ks is hard to come by, and maybe the .312 BABIP comes down and brings his WHIP with it.
  • Gil Meche, SP.  Same analysis as Greinke, only slightly less so.  I wouldn't mind having both of these guys in my '09 fantasy rotation, yet they won't require early picks.
  • Joakim Soria, RP.  It would not surprise me to see Soria undervalued in a technical sense - a nasty 40-save closer can generate a lot of fantasy value.  Soria in the 6th or 7th round is probably a win for your team, though it's still recommended to wait back and get next year's Soria many rounds later or off the waiver wire.
  • Kyle Davies, SP.  I am intrigued by Davies' September - 2.27 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, 3.43 K/BB.  He did get to face the Mariners and A's that month, however.  Probably too risky for most mixed leagues.   


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