By Mark Schremmer
Globe Sports Writer
There is no doubt the Kansas City Royals are playing well. And there is no doubt that general manager Dayton Moore deserves a lot of credit for that success.
However, I’m here to correct a misperception among many fans and members of the media. Often, I hear about how Moore and his staff did a great job building this team through the draft.
That sounds great and all, but when you really look at the roster you realize that just isn’t true.
Let’s take a look at Kansas City’s 25-man roster and how each player was acquired.
C Salvador Perez – signed as an amateur free agent in 2006.
1B Eric Hosmer – selected in the first round of the 2008 draft.
2B Chris Getz – acquired in a trade with the Chicago White Sox in 2009.
SS Alcides Escobar – acquired from the Milwaukee Brewers in the Zack Greinke trade in 2010.
3B Mike Moustakas – selected in the first round of the 2007 draft.
LF Alex Gordon – selected in the first round of the 2005 draft.
CF Lorenzo Cain – acquired from the Milwaukee Brewers in the 2010 Greinke trade.
RF Jeff Francoeur – signed as a free agent in 2010.
DH Billy Butler – selected in the first round of the 2004 draft.
UT Elliott Johnson – acquired in a trade with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2013.
UT Miguel Tejada – signed as a free agent in 2012.
OF Jarrod Dyson – selected in the 50th round of the 2006 draft.
C George Kottaras – selected off waivers from the Oakland Athletics in 2013.
SP James Shields – acquired in a trade with Tampa Bay in 2012.
SP Ervin Santana – acquired in a trade with the Anaheim Angels in 2012.
SP Jeremy Guthrie – acquired in a trade with the Colorado Rockies in 2012.
SP Wade Davis – acquired in a trade with Tampa Bay in 2012.
SP Luis Mendoza – acquired in a trade with the Texas Rangers in 2010.
CL Greg Holland – selected in the 10th round of the 2007 draft.
RP Kelvin Herrera – signed as an amateur free agent in 2006.
RP Tim Collins – acquired in a trade with the Atlanta Braves in 2010.
RP Luke Hochevar – selected in the first round of the 2006 draft.
RP Aaron Crow – selected in the first round of the 2009 draft.
RP Bruce Chen – signed as a free agent in 2009.
RP J.C. Gutierrez – signed as a free agent in 2011.
So the breakdown is:
- 10 through trades (40 percent)
- 4 free agents (16 percent)
- 4 draft picks pre-Dayton Moore era (16 percent)
- 4 draft picks in Dayton Moore era (16 percent)
- 2 amateur free agents (8 percent)
- 1 waiver wire pick up (4 percent)
Yes, eight of the Royals’ 25 players were draft selections. However, Moore can’t take the credit for drafting Butler, Gordon and Dyson nor the blame for drafting Hochevar since he became general manager in 2006 and didn’t take over the Royals’ “draft board” until 2007.
Moore was general manager when the Royals picked Moustakas, Hosmer, Holland and Crow. So three of his six first-round picks have made it to the majors, and he found his closer with a 10th-round pick. Not too shabby.
But to say that Moore built this team through the draft is a major exaggeration.
Crow is a good set-up man and was an All-Star in his rookie season, but he was drafted to be a starter. Hosmer and Moustakas may still turn into stars, but for now they are hitting .250 and .195, respectively, and are both coming off dismal 2012 seasons. Holland was a good find for the 10th round.
For this current Royals’ roster, Moore’s drafts have yielded two good relief pictures and two position players who you could argue are holding the team back.
Not hardly the cornerstone of success.
The Royals’ two best position players – Gordon and Butler – were selected when Allard Baird was general manager.
The heart is this team was built through previous draft selections, two great amateur free agent signings and several quality trades.
Moore deserves a lot of credit for this team’s success, but the fans and media are attributing it to the wrong area.
His trades should be what stand out.
All five starting pitchers were acquired through trades. Escobar and Cain are key players for the Royals up the middle that were acquired from the Brewers in the Greinke trade. Tim Collins was picked up from Braves for a half a season of Rick Ankiel and Kyle Farnsworth.
Guthrie, who may be Kansas City’s most consistent starter, was acquired from the Rockies for a player who is no longer in the major leagues.
So give Moore credit for the Royals being first in the AL Central standings. But just don’t say it’s because of his draft picks.