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Royals Rumblings - News for November 30, 2016

Don Wakamatsu is a closet stat geek.

Kansas City Royals v Texas Rangers Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Royals Rumblings - News for November 30, 2016

Don Wakamatsu talks Statcast and analytics.

Statcast™ also provides an outfielder's exit velocity and accuracy on throws, which is helpful for coaches in scouting opponents.

"We can also use baserunning efficiency as a coaching tool," Wakamatsu said. "It can take the guesswork out of the picture." Statcast™ also may replace, to a degree, another statistic -- batting average on balls in play (BABIP), which by itself provides little in terms of useful data, other than to serve as a possible warning sign.

"We had a situation last year where Paulo Orlando at one point had a BABIP of about .400," Wakamatsu said. "You know that will regress at some point."

Christina Kahrl at ESPN writes that the Royals should be “all in” for 2017.

In the broad strokes, that’s a formula for getting less than full value now and then maybe tearing down in July if things don’t go well. But if you’re the Royals and have to try to convince any of these guys to join Alex Gordon and Salvador Perez in signing multiyear deals to stick around in Kansas City, you can’t quit now. There’s a championship season to take seriously, and the Royals are in the other Central Division, the non-Cubs one where a 2017 title isn’t inconceivable. So after last year’s 81-81 season, the short-term future is totally worth investing in.

With that in mind, there are two things the Royals need to act on, accepting they’ll get Moustakas back at full strength next spring. First, they need someone to fill the DH at-bats abandoned by departing free agent Kendrys Morales. And second, they need a starting pitcher worthy of the front of the rotation. And doing it when their payroll is already projected to set a new franchise record north of $140 million won’t be easy.

Tony Blengino at Fangraphs looks at hitter contact-quality from AL second basemen.

Whit Merrifield got a shot as a 27-year-old rookie when Omar Infante finally turned into a pumpkin last summer. On the strength of an unrepeatably high liner rate and off-the-charts grounder performance (.390 AVG-.455 SLG, 281 Unadjusted Contact Score, adjusted way down to 85 for context), he was merely marginally acceptable. He sprays the ball around, almost never pops up, but projects as Johnny Giavotella with a little more authority and a lot less contact.

Sam Mellinger takes a look again at Salvy’s Wild Card-winning hit in his Mellinger Minutes.

Benjamin Chase at Call to the Pen lists his top ten Royals prospects.

Craig Brown at Baseball Prospectus Kansas City looks back at the Royals career of Edinson Volquez.

Former Royals General Manager John Schuerholz will find out this weekend if he will be inducted into Cooperstown.

Ryan Lefebvre argues that White Sox broadcaster Hawk Harrelson should be in the Hall of Fame.

The Mets sign outfielder Yoenis Cespedes to a four-year deal.

The Cubs sign outfielder Jon Jay.

Jim Callis lists his top 25 Arizona Fall League prospects with no Royals mentioned.

Keith Law on ESPN Insider questions whether MLB can create a fair international draft.

The Braves are looking for a spring training location which has lined the pockets of Florida politicians.

Why aren’t more NBA teams tanking?

A plane carrying a Brazilian soccer team crashed in Colombia, killing 76 people.

The fifteen most beautiful college campus libraries.

A reporter at FiveThirtyEight asked 8,500 internet commenters why they do what they do.

Nintendo is building a real life Mario World at Universal Studios.

Your song of the day is Gordon Lightfoot with Sundown.