Over at Royals Review, Shaun Newkirk releases his top 25 Royals prospects for 2018.
In a system with no upper-tier talent, couldn’t an argument for safety be made? Now I’m not making that case in my list necessarily, but given everything we know at this point, couldn’t a case for a player like Richard Lovelady or Trevor Oaks or Ryan O’Hearn (players who have had success in the upper minors) be made over guys like Nick Pratto or Seuly Matias or Khalil Lee (players who have had lesser success perhaps in the lower levels)? This isn’t to discount tools, but if you believe future value/overall future potential includes both tools and risk, players who are closer to the majors and have had success should be less risky than those in Rookie Ball. At some point, tools can’t overcome results. It’s not as simple as that, and just because a player performs well in the upper minors doesn’t mean he necessarily has the tools to succeed in the majors, and all things equal the tools should win out.
And then Sean Thornton wonders if the Royals are finally committing to a floating DH.
In fact, that flexibility is exactly why more and more teams have ventured away from employing a full-time DH. In 2017, only ten batters had enough plate appearances as the designated hitter to quality for the batting title. Of those ten, only five posted a wRC+ of 100 or more (Ryon Healy straddled that league average with exactly 100), with Nelson Cruz, Corey Dickersonand Edwin Encarnacion being the only notable batters to fill this role while also posting 2.5 fWAR or more. Most teams have realized the freedom they are allowed when they tear away from the shackles of one lone DH and treat it as a revolving door.
Heading over to the FanSided network, Jordan Foote of Kings of Kauffman looks at a possible reunion with the one and only Gregory Holland.
Signing Holland would not only bring a familiar face and fan-favorite back to Kansas City, but it would also likely come at a team-friendly cost and allow Herrera to return to his 8th inning role. If Dayton Moore is considering fielding a decent team, he may also consider Holland.
And then Tyler Dierking breaks down what all these recent one-year contracts mean for the Royals.
I will say this, if Duda, Jay, and Moustakas are still on the Royals roster in August it needs to be because they are competing for the Wild Card. If they are out of the mix, and those three had a solid first half, and they are still on the team in August, then the Royals missed on a major opportunity to rebuild the farm system and speed to rebuilding process up.
David Lesky of KC Baseball Prospectus looks at what Spring Training stats are real and which ones are fake.
After a breakout year, Merrifield is hitting .484/.484/.968. He as three doubles, three triples and two home runs in 31 at bats. You can see by the average and OBP that he hasn’t walked any, but coming off the year he did and seeing him sting the ball seemingly every time he makes contact is really encouraging for Merrifield to continue to grow. His extra base hit numbers prorate to about 150 per 600 at bats, so that probably won’t hold, but he’s basically looked as good as the numbers suggest.
There was a no-look pickoff yesterday and it was beautiful.
“I’ve been doing this a long time,” said a former major league catcher now serving as a pro scout for a National League club. “I’ve never seen that play work before — ever.”
The minor leagues are starting to adjust to pace-of-play rules.
Here’s how it would work. If the No. 9 hitter makes the last out of the ninth inning before a game goes to extra innings, then he (or a pinch-runner) would be placed on second base to begin the 10th inning. For scorekeeping purposes, the runner placed on second base will be considered to have reached via an error, though no error will be charged to any fielder or the opposing team as a whole.