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Royals Rumblings - News for January 10, 2017

Cleveland Indians v Kansas City Royals
I’ll never stop loving you.
Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

BP KC’s David Lesky looks at the Royals’ needs now, one of which he sees thusly:

So there are two places the Royals could look to find that left-handed bat, and they could do both and be just fine. The first is the obvious DH spot where they could use the role to give players half-days off and run with Cheslor Cuthbert, but the more I think about it, the more I wonder if it wouldn’t be a good idea to find out what Pedro Alvarez, Adam Lind or Brandon Moss might want. None of these guys are much more than strong-side platoon bats, but they all provide additional power that the team could use.

The other name, and this is the one that I think makes the most sense to this roster, is Stephen Drew. He hits left-handed, has some pop, and can actually fill in at shortstop, which is something the Royals have lacked over the last few seasons. Last year, he hit .266/.339/.524 with the Nationals. He’s not in any way consistent, but he’d be a nice fit on this team. Yes, they’d have to find something to do with Colon, which likely means they’d get very little for the World Series hero, but what can you do? I think Drew might actually make the most sense of any remaining free agent for the Royals.

At Baseball Draft Report, Rob Ozga reviews every pick of the Royals’ 2016 draft. About Khalil Lee, he says:

3.103 – OF Khalil Lee

If you’re going to go safe with the first pick, then it only makes sense to swing for the fences with the next one. Highly athletic two-way prep star Khalil Lee (170) certainly qualifies as a big cut from the heels that could either result in a majestic home run or the cooling breeze of a major whiff and miss. Of course, that presupposes that boom/bust prospects result in all-or-nothing players; a swing for the fence can just as easily result in a double high off the wall or a sac fly. Prospect evaluation can mean many things to many people, but one thing it ain’t (or shouldn’t be) is an exercise in projecting binary outcomes. Anyway, Lee’s upside is considerable and the arrow on his likelihood of getting there is pointing up after a tremendous pro debut that saw him turn tools to skills quicker than just about anybody outside of the Kansas City front office could have anticipated.

Lee has the physical ability to be a star if he can remain in center feel as expected. He’d still have above-average regular upside in a corner — we know he has more than enough arm for right field — but the thought of him maintaining enough quickness and flexibility as he fills out to stick up the middle is particularly exciting. Offensively, Lee has the bat speed, swing plane, and muscle to hit for real power, average speed to do a little damage on the bases, and the keen understanding of the strike zone one might expect from a legitimate pitching prospect. There’s a lot to like when the overall package is taken into account.

Dave Cameron opines that the Mariners are starting to look like the Royals:

The Royals teams of the last few years had one very obvious strength; their outfield defense was insanely good. From 2014-2016, their outfielders combined for +135 UZR and +121 DRS, blowing away the competition, and propping up a mediocre pitching staff by turning every fly ball in the gap into an out. During the same span, the Mariners outfielders ran a -43 UZR and -71 DRS, as the remnants of the Jack Zduriencik era left the team with a bunch of bat-first sluggers.

Now, though, there’s reason to think the 2017 Mariners might have the best outfield defense in baseball, or at least be in the conversation.

Dyson, of course, was part of the Royals great wall of defense, and now he’s going to be roaming the fairly vast left field in Safeco. Taking a guy with a career UZR/150 of +21, with almost all of his playing time in center field, and sticking him in left makes him a likely candidate to be the best defensive LF in the game.

Manny Ramirez heads to play independent ball in Japan while Hall-of-Fame voters evaluate his case in one of the most MannybeingManny moves ever as David Roth writes at Vice Sports.

BP’s Rob Mains looks at how hitting more or fewer groundballs affected batters this past season.

Craig Edwards at FanGraphs attempts to quantify pitcher fear when looking at Vladimir Guerrero’s HOF case.

Also at FanGraphs, Travis Sawchik investigates whether home-field advantage is becoming endangered.

How The OA could be portending the future of television.

South of the border, escalating gas prices have led to nationwide protests and chaos in the latest case of the PRI fleecing the Mexican people.

See how we’d be trying to snag the wigs of the rich if we were poors in the 18th Century.

So Uber sure did lose a lot of money in 2016.

The song of the day is “Runnin’” by The Pharcyde.