Minor League Minutes: 5/1/18

Our own Marcus Meade takes a look at Royals outfield prospect Rudy Martin.

Martin’s defense might be another story. I haven’t had a chance to see him play in person, but reports suggest his arm is only average where Dyson’s arm was solidly above average. Despite an average arm, Martin should still be able to stay in center field, which he needs to do or his value will drop drastically.

And also on the site, Drew Osborne recaps the week for the Royals AA Northwest Arkansas Naturals.

Naturals starting pitchers are averaging 4.2 innings per start. They had a string of mostly good starts this week highlighted by Foster Griffin’s 7.0, 0 R, 4 H, 1 BB, and 9 K outing. This was easily his best start and the team’s best start of the year to this date. Scott Blewett and Zack Lovvorn also added quality starts this week going at least 6.0 innings with 3 or fewer runs allowed. Glenn Sparkman missed a quality start by 1 out when he struck out 9 over 5.2 innings with only 2 runs. Griffin and Lovvorn both missed a second quality start by 1 out as well when they both went 5.2 innings. Emilio Ogando had the only poor start this week when he gave up 3 in just 2.1 innings. The Naturals seem to be extending their starters to about 95 pitches now and will soon work up and over 100.

Traveling over to Royals Review, Max Rieper ponders if the Royals will lose 100 games.

The loss of Salvy hurt, and while he is back, any more injuries could be a pretty devastating blow for a team with paper-thin depth. The Royals have gotten excellent starting pitching performances from Ian Kennedy, Jake Junis, and Jason Hammel which could regress as the season continues. Mid-summer trades will hurt this roster greatly, particularly if Kelvin Herrera and Mike Moustakas are dealt. Last summer, the Tigers dropped 41 of their final 58 games after the July 31 trade deadline.

Dayton Moore says that the Royals have made draft decisions due to social media posts.

Moore talked a lot about how the personal lives of their players was an important factor since it would impact their professional lives. He stressed the importance of the knowing who the players’ male role model was as a kid, whether it be their father, uncle, or coach. The team conducts extensive background checks on potential draftees, talking to everyone in their life, including teachers, family members, even ex-girlfriends.

Fangraphs released their Royals prospects rankings, having a lot of interesting things to say about some players in the system.

At this age, there’s time for Matias to iron those out. As soon as he does, he’ll be one of baseball’s top 20 prospects because he has game-changing power and some defensive value. If he can’t, the list of big leaguers with this kind of power and similar issues with Ks is still littered with quality contributors.

Also over at Fangraphs, Jeff Sullivan looked at how the Dodgers might be in some trouble with the recent injury of stud shortstop Corey Seager.

Corey Seager is done for 2018, having never fully recovered from the elbow problem that dogged him down the stretch. The team decided to try the rest-and-rehab plan, as opposed to sending Seager into surgery right away, but it didn’t work out. Justin Turner will be back sometime soon, sure. Yet Seager is among baseball’s very best shortstops. Enrique Hernandez is not. Breyvic Valera is not. Chris Taylor might now return to short for all I know, but that’s more shuffling than a solution. There’s no way to lose someone like Seager and not be a lot worse off for it.


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