Doing it again: Yost follows Brewer plan’ in Kansas City
Yost helped turn the Milwaukee Brewers from a perennial loser into a playoff team, and now will have the chance to do the same with the Royals. The ailing franchise has given him a two-year contract extension that will keep him in Kansas City through 2012.
Hired as a special adviser to baseball operations in January, Yost was called up to replace the fired Trey Hillman in May. He is 34-39 since taking over, and is confident his team is turning the corner.
“Soon as I got here this spring, I could see the light at the end of the tunnel,” Yost said. “To come in and help build that up at the top is very, very appealing to me. I never wanted to play my options out. I never wanted to go anywhere else. This is where I wanted to be.”
Yost, who was on the Atlanta Braves staff from 1991-2002, turned around a Brewers franchise from 2003-08 that had finished 56-106 and 41 games out of first place before he arrived.
The Royals have not made the playoffs since winning the 1985 World Series and have had only one winning season since 1994. They lost 100 or more games in four of five seasons from 2002-06.
“This is my type of deal here,” Yost said. “I like this. I like building. I like helping an organization when it’s struggling at the bottom. And this organization is not at the bottom.
“It’s at the tip of the iceberg. What’s below the water level is our player development, our scouting department, our prospects we have in the minor league system,” he added. “We have a number of incredibly talented young kids in our minor league system that I think are going to come up to the big leagues and help us win championships.”
The Royals farm system is teeming with blue-chip prospects, including first baseman Eric Hosmer, who had four hits in the Futures All-Star game, third baseman Mike Moustakas, shortstop Chris Colon and left-handed pitchers Mike Montgomery and John Lamb.
“When I got to Milwaukee, all our prospects were at low-A ball,” Yost said. “The majority of our kids are in High-A, Double-A right now. Plus, in Milwaukee our prospects inventory was young power hitters. Here we’ve got a beautiful mix of pitching prospects and young position players.
“So there is a lot more pieces involved with what we have now. Plus, with some of these deals we made, we’ve just added quality kids to go into that mix. There’s a lot more going on here now than when I first joined Milwaukee for sure.”