There will be plenty of Danny Duffy news in EVERYTHING ELSE here today, so this will be for all the other “news.”
Jim Callis published MLB Pipeline’s all-defensive prospect team, and Bubba Starling was the second outfielder listed:
Starling's offensive shortcomings have prevented him from living up to his status as the No. 5 overall pick in the loaded 2011 Draft, but his defense has been as good as advertised. The one-time Nebraska quarterback recruit makes it look easy in center with his solid speed and keen instincts, and he, too, possesses a plus arm.
The Brothers Zimmer talk about the chance that they could face each other in the bigs as soon as this season:
If the stars align just right -- with Brad forcing Cleveland's hand and Kyle having a strong comeback from surgery last summer to address thoracic outlet syndrome -- the brothers could clash as American League Central rivals at some point in 2017. It might be more likely that the Zimmer boys will realize their childhood dream in '18. No matter when that moment arrives, Brad has an idea of how his older brother will pitch him.
"I think he'll come after me," Brad Zimmer said with a smile during MLB's Rookie Career Development Program earlier this month. "I would hope he would. He talks a lot about it."
Kyle Zimmer’s response?
RotoGraphs’ Marc Hulet does a quick review of the Royals’ minor league high- and lowlights:
The ’16 Draft Pick: Khalil Lee (OF): Lee has a polarizing prospect entering the draft. Some teams preferred him as a southpaw hurler (who could throw 92-94 mph) while others liked his athleticism in the field. The Royals chose the latter option and he showed a lot of potential in his debut. The 33 walks in 49 games definitely stands out for someone who didn’t focus solely on hitting as an amateur. He also showed some good pop with 21 of his 49 hits going for extra base hits. Given his age (just 18), he’ll likely open the year in extended spring training before being signed to a competitive league in June but Lee could quickly rise up the prospect charts and develop into a real steal as a former third round pick.
In looking at AL center fielders’ hitter contact quality, Lorenzo Cain rated quite nicely, with Tony Blengino writing:
I mention the volatility of line-drive rates at least a couple times in each one of these articles. Still, there are some players with a knack for maintaining high — or low — liner rates over the long haul. Lorenzo Cain appears to be one of those who routinely squares up the baseball. From 2014 to -16, his seasonal liner rate percentile ranks were 78, 78 and 80. Pretty consistent. Cain has also tended to hit his grounders harder than the league average over the years. Such players, especially when they run well, tend to have high batting-average floors. Cain is what he is, but a well above-average defender with average to slightly above-average offensive ability for his position is good enough for me.
Craig Brown looks at the Royals’ payroll picture.
Adam Dorhauer tries to suss out what the best way to evaluate a team’s true talent level is at The Hardball Times.
BP’s Rob Mains digs into hitters’ plate discipline.
Hollywood is taking a shine to the dark, dangerous female.
Mike Judge has a new animated show coming to Cinemax.
CDC head Tom Frieden tells us what viruses he’s looking out for on the horizon (and other less sensational stuff).
Seems like the DMV really chapped this guy’s ass off.
The song of the day is “The Drugs Don’t Work” by The Verve.