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Royals Rumblings - News for February 8, 2017

This is still a speedy team.

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Kansas City Royals Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Royals Rumblings - News for February 8, 2017

David Lesky at Baseball Prospectus Kansas City looks at who is key for the Royals in 2017.

With Soler, the sky remains the limit. He’ll be just 25 this season, and there are signs that he might be close to figuring things out as long as he can stay healthy. I’ve talked about his strike zone judgment quite a bit in the past, and that’s something that’s very encouraging to me. He isn’t necessarily elite, but he doesn’t swing at pitches out of the zone nearly as frequently as so much of this lineup. That’s a good thing. I think there’s a compelling argument to be made that him playing every day will help him to find consistency and to develop at a quicker rate than he did with the Cubs.

Sam Mellinger looks at why the Royals are facing a thin system right now.

An incomplete but somewhat informative point can be made by looking at the firstround picks from those seasons: Aaron Crow, Christian Colon, Bubba Starling and Kyle Zimmer. Crow went 12th overall. The others were all in the top five.

Mike Trout, Shelby Miller, Chris Sale, Matt Harvey, Francisco Lindor, Anthony Rendon, George Springer, Addison Russell and Corey Seager are just some of the guys the Royals left on the board when they picked.

Yes, I understand, we could play this game with every team, in every draft. But particularly now, with MLB rules prohibiting teams from overpaying picks (which is how the Royals got Wil Myers in the third round of 2009) the Royals have to be better than most.

Instead, from those four drafts, Colon is the best of the bunch.

Dayton Moore says he hasn’t abandoned speed and defense.

"We still have guys like Terrance Gore and Billy Burns and Paulo Orlando and Lorenzo Cain and Whit Merrifield," Moore said. "We've got speed. Our first baseman [Eric Hosmer] can go first to third and score from second with the best of them. We're not going to abandon that.

"We know what wins in this ballpark. We know what we have to do. But also we know we have to score more runs and hit the ball out of the ballpark a little more. I think we'll be capable of doing that.

"It doesn't mean we won't rely on defense. We will, especially late. We've got enough horses that can cover this outfield."

Lee Judge takes a closer look at Jason Hammel.

New billboards show the new marketing slogan for the Royals in 2017.

The Royals are looking for local artists and property owners to have painted murals around town.

Former Royals catcher Tony Cruz signs with the Padres.

Former Royals outfielder David Lough signs with the Tigers.

The Yankees sign former home run champ Chris Carter.

Mike Napoli signs a one-year deal with the Rangers.

Commissioner Rob Manfred is proposing a higher strike zone and changes to intentional walks.

The Athletics are naming their field after Rickey Henderson.

Rays owner Stu Sternberg continues to claim the team is losing money.

The slow pace of play isn’t keeping baseball from making boatloads of money.

Are routine plays underrated in defensive metrics?

A look at Danny Goodwin, the “can’t miss” prospect who missed.

What if the Chiefs drafted Tom Brady?

Soccer star David Beckham has an e-mail scandal.

Vizio gets busted trying to spy on your TV-watching habits.

Sagging ratings at ESPN are hurting Disney.

The unlikely success story of Sturgill Simpson.

Your song of the day is The Pretenders with Back on the Chain Gang.