Thursday, April 15, 2010

A Case of the Davids.

David Lough doesn't carry a high profile - if you asked anyone but the most die-hard Royals fans who he is, it's doubtful they could tell you. But you should know who David Lough is. Not because he's the best prospect in the Royals system, not even close, but because he might be the closest to Major League ready, and because is development could allow the Royals to trade David DeJesus.

At 23 years of age, Lough experienced a breakout year in 2009 at AA, batting .331 with 24 extra base hits, including nine home runs. Lough focused primarily on his football career while in college, but his skills on the baseball field are developing quickly. Lough can steal a few bases, though he wont be a standout base stealer at the Major League level. By all accounts he plays an above average left field.

In his limited time so far at AAA Lough is performing ok, though not as well as he did in his AA stint. Of course it's extremely early in the season, far too early to be drawing any conclusions from his effort at this level. The one area that stands out for Lough to improve at the plate is in his discipline. It should seem obvious that this would be an area where he would struggle given that he didn't commit himself to baseball until just a couple years ago, but with 8 strikes outs and just one walk in 28 AAA at-bats, it's the one skill holding him back. That being said, I'm confident Lough can cut down on the strikes outs and with a little improvement in what has been a poor walk percentage throughout his career, become a league average bat.

All of which brings us back to the other David, the one you already know. Royals left fielder David DeJesus. The best left fielder no one cares about... Well, that last sentence isn't probably very accurate, I'm guessing there are actually quite a few contenders that DO care about David DeJesus and would like to see him in left field for them. If his development could make DeJesus, who isn't getting any younger, or more affordable into a legitimate trade chip, that could help the team acquire more much needed young pitching to add to the talented core the team is building up.

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