Minor League Minutes: 2/8/18

Royals Minor League News

Blaine Boyer returns for his second stint in the Royals organization, inking a minor league deal with the club.

Boyer is an interesting case. His K/9 last year in 41.1 innings out of the ‘pen with Boston. His BB/9 was 3.05. His FIP was an impressive 3.59, yet his ERA was 4.35. One thing of note, Boyer’s career GB% in the big leagues is 50.3%. Last year with Boston it was all the way down to 34.1%. Perhaps a return to his normal GB% could help Boyer’s success rate in 2018.

Jordan Foote at Kings of Kauffman previews the upcoming season for Hunter Dozier.

At best, Dozier’s 2017 season was an immense struggle. At worst, it was a complete and utter disaster. Either way, it was rough.

The Joplin Globe discusses the first Spring Training invite for Logan Moon.

“I want to make sure I stay healthy,” he said. “Last year, I had a little injury in spring training that took away some at-bats. I want to make sure I’m getting in with all the hitting guys and I want to make sure I’m getting as many eyes on me as I can. And I want to make sure I’m getting my timing down and I want to work on my pitch selection. Pitch selection has been an issue for me in the past and it’s something I’ve worked on during the off-season. I’m excited to see how that translates to live pitching. So, you just have to get there, see pitches and start reacting.”

Clint Scoles over at BP Kansas City takes an early look at California high school shortstop Brice Turang in preparation for the MLB Draft.

What he does bring to the table though is an above-average baseball IQ, which translates in a selective plate approach, proper placement in the field and smart baserunning. That patient approach combined with a plus hit tool, a balanced stride into the ball should lead to a high batting average at the pro level, as he’s already exhibited good coverage at the dish and the speed to beat out infield hits.

Royals News

PECOTA projections are out, and the Royals are projected to be the worst team in baseball.

Of course, that may not be as big of an issue this year with Lorenzo Cain, Mike Moustakas, and Eric Hosmer not on the current roster. This incarnation of the Royals has a lot of players past their prime, or players unproven at the Major League level. A projection of 66 wins may actually be right for a change.

David Lesky at BP Kansas City likes that they Royals have stockpiled a group of potential starting pitchers heading into Spring Training.

Junis is probably the guy, second to Duffy, who I think is most likely to beat the projection. After getting demoted following a rough start in July, he came back in August and threw 62.1 innings with a 3.61 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP with just nine walks. If he does that over a full season, the Royals are in business. I think I’d expect a little bit worse, but the control is for real and that slider can be downright nasty when he’s on. No, he’s not an ace and he’s likely not a number two even, but a quality number three is worth something, so I wouldn’t be surprised if his ERA is a full run lower than the projection and the counting stats are considerably better as well.

Alex Duvall at Royals Review predicts what Royals will hit their projections and which ones won’t.

I’m going to take the under on Whit for both of those reasons. I’m still not sold that he’ll be a Royal for all of 2018, and I think the league has shown an ability to adjust to young hitters. Whit Merrifield is not “young” per say, as Raul Mondesi is. He’s young in the sense that he still doesn’t have two seasons worth of at bats under his belt. Teams are going to adjust to Whit, and while I think he’s going to be fine, I also don’t think he’s a three win player.

MLB News

People may be forgetting about the young Dodgers stud Julio Urias…

Ultimately, batters swung and missed on 23.7 percent of the hacks that they took at Urias’ fastball in 2016. That was better than such lefty luminaries as Madison Bumgarner, Chris Sale, Robbie Ray and a certain highly decorated Dodgers teammate: Clayton Kershaw.

USA Today predicts where eight of the remaining free agents will sign.

There’s a debate among Hosmer’s friends whether he’d prefer to stay in Kansas City or try to be on the ground floor of the Padres’ restoration to greatness, but there’s no secret to the delay. He’s holding out for a nine-year deal, just like Prince Fielder back in 2012 with the Detroit Tigers, or least an eight-year, $184 million deal like outfielder Jayson Heyward received two years ago with the Chicago Cubs. Given how older free agents are valued nowadays, it’s not hard to see why he’d want an eighth year. Hosmer would be 35 at the end of a seven-year deal.

The MLBPA is reportedly ready to conduct a Spring Training camp for the remaining free agents.

Other News

Elon Musk shares his photos from outer space.

The Apple HomePod has arrived.

Should the stock market be worried about inflation?

Debating hypothetical LeBron James trades.

Photo Credits: John Sleezer—Kansas City Star

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