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Royals Rumblings - News for October 18, 2017

A complete teardown could be coming.

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at Kansas City Royals Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Royals Rumblings - News for October 18, 2017

Sam Mellinger thinks the Royals may try to bring back Eric Hosmer, but if they can’t, it’s going to be a long year.

But if Hosmer leaves, you’re not going to be impressed with the rest of the offseason. The Royals are probably going to sit back, fill holes on the cheap where they can, and give a group that would still have Sal Perez, Danny Duffy, Whit Merrifield and others a chance to be the 2018 version of the 2017 Twins.

But if that wasn’t working by July 31, I believe the Royals would seriously consider embracing a bigger rebuild, even if it meant dealing their most valuable assets in a time when the draft rules have discouraged tanking.

Craig Brown isn’t wild about the idea of Salvy moving to first base someday.

The offensive decline was halted just a bit last summer as he posted a .259 TAv, which was the first time in four seasons that metric actually increased. He posted a career high in home runs and slugging percentage, but that was it as far as offensive positives. The point is, the bat really isn’t good enough to move out from behind the plate.

While the bat plays at catcher (for now) the defense is where Perez has made his reputation. Obviously, it’s not perfect. His pitch framing and pitch calling are subpar. The arm remains plus although he threw out his lowest percentage of potential base stealers (27 percent) of his career in a full season. His footwork did seem to improve last year.

At any rate, Perez is valuable to the Royals as a catcher, but that value won’t translate to first base. It doesn’t now, when he’s seemingly in the prime of his career. It’s difficult to see how that would work when he’s in his 30s.

Jim Callis at highlights Royals in the Arizona Fall League, like shortstop Nicky Lopez.

Lopez's progress at the plate will determine when he'll join the Royals and whether he'll ultimately be an everyday player or a utilityman. When Kansas City selected him in the fifth round out of Creighton, he was one of the better college defenders available in the 2016 Draft.

Lopez, 22, has lived up to that reputation in pro ball. With soft hands, a strong arm and a nifty internal clock, he can make all of the plays at shortstop. He's also reliable, making just eight errors in 99 games at short and one error in 25 games at second base this season.

"Lopez reminds me of Nick Ahmed, that same kind of competitiveness with more bat," said Royals farm director Ronnie Richardson, who was with the Braves when they drafted Ahmed in 2011. "He's a plus defender with a chance to hit more than Ahmed. He sprays the ball around, has a good approach and he'll develop his bat as he gets stronger."

Dayton Moore is high on players in the Instructional League, such as 2017 first-round pick Nick Pratto.

"Pratto has a very advanced approach at the plate, an approach that will continue to serve him well as he advances through Minor Leagues," Moore said. "He has an easiness to him in the field and has the ability to be an above-average defender. He looks good and he's right where he should be."

Keith Law also mentions Lopez (INSIDER) in his look at prospects in the AFL.

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