BP’s top prospect list for the Royals came out yesterday, and they had a different Royal atop their rankings than the other ones so far this offseason. On Hunter Dozier, they had the following to say:
The Good: It might feel like we’ve been all over the place on Hunter Dozier—he’s ranked sixth, fifth, tenth, and now first in the system rankings—but his stock is basically right where it was in our 2014 and 2015 rankings, just in a much weaker system. Once again right on the fringes of 101 discussion (more on that next week), Dozier rediscovered how to hit in 2016, finally conquering Double-A and continuing on in the PCL and a cup of coffee in the bigs. The profile is the same as it ever was: potential for an average hit tool, above-average raw power that finally turned into some game power this year, a plus arm, and a fine glove at third despite being a big fellow. All sounds pretty good, right?
The Bad: Dozier completely forgot how to hit in the second half of 2014 and more or less all of 2015, getting stuck playing footsie with the Mendoza Line in the Texas League. The hit tool and approach have always been the question marks here, and he’s been known to look bad when he looks bad. We didn’t give up on him and he certainly put it back together, but there’s definitely some questions about what kind of contact he’ll make in the majors. For the defensive-conscious Royals, he’s currently stuck behind Mike Moustakas and Cheslor Cuthbert at third; Dozier’s best path to immediate playing time early in 2017 was probably in right, where he’s been blocked by the acquisition of Jorge Soler.
Craig Brown weighed in on the PECOTA projections for the Royals:
Last place in the American League. 71 wins. A return to the dark days. Jeez. You’d think the ghost of Tony Muser just walked through that door. It shouldn’t be a surprise anymore. If you thought PECOTA would be understanding after the Royals stumbled to a .500 finish last year, you haven’t been paying attention.
A little history: Recall that for the 2015 season PECOTA projected the Royals to win 72 games. If you’re a true Royals fan, you have that projection taped to your bathroom mirror and use it every morning as motivation to kick ass for the day. You’ll also recall the 2015 Royals won 95 games and capped their dash through the regular season with a World Championship. See? It works!
No matter how you slice into PECOTA, that 2015 projection was quite a miss. Then, last year, with the Royals returning most of the same roster that won those games in 2015, PECOTA went for 76 wins. Egads. Doesn’t PECOTA know flags fly forever? Except last year something funny happened on the way to October. The Royals played close to the projection and obliged with just 81 wins. That was an out-of-nowhere development only the computer seemed to think was possible.
Just before his designation for assignment yesterday, Clint Scoles posted an interview with Alec Mills at BP KC, with Mills noting the following on Jason Vargas:
6. What pitchers do you prefer to watch? Is there someone you try to model your game after?
I love to watch Jason Vargas pitch. That’s a guy who straight up knows how to pitch to guys. Everyone in the lineup has weaknesses and he can exploit those with the best of them.
Rustin Dodd looks to have broken the Alec Mills trade following the DFA:
The Royals have traded RHP Alec Mills to the Chicago Cubs for outfielder Donnie Dewees. Mills was DFA'd earlier today.— Rustin Dodd (@rustindodd) February 9, 2017
He also noted that it’s likely the “Royals had this deal — or a similar one — in place when they DFA’d Mills...”
On Donnie Dewees, Dodd tossed in:
Donnie Dewees is 23 years old. A second-round pick in 2015. Batted .284/.338/.416 with 31 stolen bases at two Class A levels in 2016.— Rustin Dodd (@rustindodd) February 9, 2017
Here is a video produced in May on Dewees by his then minor-league club the South Bend Cubs:
And for your pleasure, one last Dodd tweet that needs no comment:
Danny Duffy met Jason Hammel in KC today and asked: "You ready to get weird?"— Rustin Dodd (@rustindodd) February 8, 2017
Speaking of Danny Duffy, he is back on Twitter.
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The song of the day is “All the Wine” by The National.