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Greinke wins first post season award, prospects continue development at AFL

By Michael S. Ruggles

(OCT. 21) – Royals right hander Zack Grienke was named The Sporting News A.L. Pitcher of the Year Wednesday. Giants starter Tim Lincecum was named N.L. Pitcher of the Year. The award gives K.C. fans hope that Greinke won’t be overlooked in Cy Young Award voting. Cy Young Award winners will be announced on Nov. 17.
Greinke finished the ’09 season with a 16-8 record, league leading 2.16 era, 242 strikeouts, six complete games and three shutouts. But Greinke suffered from poor run support as the Royals averaged just 4.2 runs per game this season. By comparison, CC Sabathia was supported by a Yankees offense that scored 5.7 runs per game this season.

KC prospects playing in Arizona Fall League

The Arizona Fall League season began on Oct. 13 and concludes with the championship game on Nov. 21. Seven Royals are playing for the Surprise Rafters managed by Royals Advanced A Wilmington Manager Andre David. (Incidentally, former Cubs outfielder Brant Brown is serving as hitting coach for the Rafters.)
The seven Royals named to the Rafters were: right handed pitcher Federico Castaneda, right hander Blake Wood, lefty reliever Brandon Sisk, shortstop Jeff Bianchi, third base star prospect Mike Moustakas, outfielder David Lough, and lefty pitcher Ben Swaggerty.
Swaggerty has struggled in his first three appearances in the AFL, giving up six hits and five earned runs with a strikeout and two walks in 3.1 innings. Wood started a game on Oct. 16 and got credited with the win, giving up two earned runs on three hits in two innings with a walk and a strikeout.
Sisk has thrown three innings in two appearances in the AFL, giving up three hits and one earned run with one strikeout and one walk. Castaneda and Lough have yet to appear in an AFL game this fall.
Bianchi is following up a solid season at Wilmington and NWA where he hit .308 in 490 ab’s, pounding out 29 doubles, 151 hits, 74 runs scored, 22 stolen bases, nine homers and 70 rbi’s. So far in the AFL, he has eight hits in 26 ab’s with three runs scored and four rbi’s.
Moustakas might be showing signs of developing into a solid rbi hitter. Still only 21 years old, the ’07 number two overall draft pick hit .250 this season at Wilmington, but slugged 16 homers and knocked in 86. Five games and 21 at bats into the AFL season, Moustakas already has seven hits, four runs scored, three doubles, a homerun and nine rbi’s. The power KC fans are hoping for seems to be starting to come for Moustakas.

Crow may be sent to AFL

In an article on the Royals’ website, K.C. Asst. GM of Scouting and Player Development, J.J. Picollo, said it’s possible that this year’s first round draft pick, Aaron Crow, might be sent to get 4-5 appearances in the AFL.
After not signing after being drafted in the ’08 draft, Crow signed late in the summer with the Royals, the team he grew up rooting for as a kid. Now a year-and-a-half removed from his senior season at the University of Missouri, Crow is eager to start pitching in games after throwing just a few innings in an Independent league this spring.
The Royals took a cautious approach with Crow, who spent two weeks doing shoulder excercises, workouts, and arm strength tests at the team’s instructional league complex in Surprise, Arizona. The Instructional League closes Oct. 23. Picolo said in the MLB article that Crow is doing so well that he might be sent to pitch for the Rafters.
Though it might be too soon to hope that Crow makes the Roayls big league club out of Spring training next year, reports that he is throwing 91-95 mph with a sharp slider and change-up give K.C. fans hope that he could be a cornerstone in the rotation by 2011 or 2012 to go along with Zack Greinke.

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