Notes from JJ Picollo’s media session

With the release of the Royals minor league rosters yesterday, Royals Assistant General Manager of Player Personnel JJ Picollo met (virtually) with members of the Royals media to answer some questions about certain players and teams as we approach MiLB Opening Day next Tuesday. Here are some brief notes that I took down from the media session that I thought may interest you.

  • Austin Cox, Charlie Neuweiler, Christian Chamberlain, and Noah Murdock were left off of MiLB Opening Day rosters, but they’re all fine. A little bit of soreness and no real reason to rush them out to their respective teams. They should all be out in the next month or so.
  • Erick Pena was not on an Opening Day roster but the Royals are still excited for him. He still hasn’t ever played with kids his age. Went straight from signing to the alternate site to big league camp. Will get some confidence built up in Arizona before he goes to full season ball at some point.
  • Sounds like the Royals could use a “piggy-back” strategy for some of their younger starters, specifically in A-ball. Mr. Picollo mentioned Yefri Del Rosario, Stephen Woods Jr., Will Klein, and Zach Haake as guys who will probably start off in tandem starts, throwing 3 innings at a time until they’re built up a little bit.
  • Seuly Matias will start the year in High-A but he still has the best hard hit rates in the organization. Just want him to work on making some more contact before moving him up the ranks.
  • Several teams made comments to the Royals about how good Alec Marsh has gotten since leaving Arizona State. Marsh is consistently 95-96 and has touched 99 this spring. Carrying that velocity deep into starts and his arsenal of pitches has become lethal. No-brainer to send him straight to AA.
  • Made a couple of comments about Christian Chamberlain and Will Klein that sounded promising. Chamberlain is consistently 95+ and Klein’s changeup has come a long way. Both guys that they’re planning on keep stretched out for now.
  • Made a comment about how good 2B prospect Michael Massey has been all spring. Great to hear. Massey will be with the High-A club in Iowa.
  • I asked about Nick Pratto and MJ Melendez transitioning to AA after rough goes with High-A. Said it’s cool because they talk more about winning the championship in Wilmington than they do about their own successes or failures. Pratto lighting it up all spring.
  • Ben Hernandez was a no-brainer to throw in the Low-A rotation. Consistently 95 and teams have commented about how good his curveball has been. Changeup is still as good as ever. That sounded promising.
  • Yefri Del Rosario and Yohanse Morel may get a look in relief roles but could certainly pitch their way into their respective rotations. Can they help the big league bullpen next year?
  • Mentioned catcher Omar Hernandez and pitchers Matt Stil and AJ Block (all at Low-A) as guys who could have some serious helium after this MiLB season.
  • Heasley has been really good.

Photo Credits: Doc Riddle (@TheGrandOldGame)

5 thoughts on “Notes from JJ Picollo’s media session

  1. So much pitching. Homer Simpson drool.

    Anxiously awaiting Fangraphs updated Royals list. Eric has basically hinted the same about Marsh and that he’s skyrocketing up their list.

    Part of me wonders if Cox, Murdock, Neiwiller and Chamberlain are potentials for the Red Sox trade and perhaps they are deciding soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Who would you guess are options? We were led to believe they were 10-30 ranked guys and we assumed at least one of the two would be a pitcher if not both.

      Those guys all qualify (as do about a dozen others). I hope Marsh, B Hernandez, Heasley and a few others are squarely off that list. I’d rather trade Kowar quite frankly.


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