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Weekend Rumblings - News for December 29, 2018

The farm system is improving.

SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Weekend Rumblings - News for December 29, 2018

Jim Callis at writes the Royals have one of the most improved farm systems in baseball.

While the Mariners clearly had the game’s worst farm system at the start of 2018, the Royals were in the discussion for second worst. Kansas City hasn’t improved as much as Seattle, but still made notable gains, starting with a Draft in which it had three first-round picks that turned into two college arms who unexpectedly fell in their laps (Brady Singer and Jackson Kowar) and a third who opened eyes in a stunning pro debut (Daniel Lynch).

The Royals’ Draft extends deeper than that, with left-handers Kris Bubic (supplemental first round) and Austin Cox (fifth), plus outfielder Kyle Isbel (third), already ranking among their best prospects. Several prospects already in the system also boosted their stock, with outfielder Khalil Lee showing all-around tools and outfielder Seuly Matias, catcher MJ Melendez and first baseman Nick Pratto teaming (along with several draftees) to help Class A Lexington win the South Atlantic League championship.

MLB Pipeline names Ashe Russell as the worst Royals first-round draft pick over the last ten years.

MLB Pipeline’s top-rated high school pitcher in the 2015 Draft, Russell suddenly lost the ability to find the strike zone after his pro debut. He pitched only two innings in 2016, and hasn’t appeared in a pro game since, walking away from the Royals in June 2017.

Former Royals pitching coach Brent Strom, now with the Astros, is named Baseball America Coach of the Year.

Pitcher Matt Shoemaker signs with the Blue Jays.

Dallas Keuchel wants a five-year deal.

The Angels are interested in David Robertson.

Fans thought Pirates pitcher Trevor Williams was Bryce Harper, so he had some fun with it.

Rays outfielder Tommy Pham says the team has no fanbase at all.

Grant Brisbee thinks Nelson Cruz is a strange fit for the Twins.

Republican lawmakers may take aim at the agreement MLB signed to allow Cuban players to sign.

History suggests Edgar Martinez as a good shot at getting into the Hall of Fame.

Bud Selig will have an autobiography titled “For the Good of the Game.”

Most of the internet is fake.

An oral history of the comedy Step Brothers.

Viewers of the Black Mirror film Bandersnatch are overwhelmed by the myriad of choices to select.

Your song of the day is Chet Baker with I Waited For You.