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Royals Rumblings - News for August 21, 2018

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How can you not love a guy named “Maverick”?

Kansas City Royals v Tampa Bay Rays Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

Royals Rumblings - News for August 21, 2018

Jorge Lopez felt pretty good about his outing against the Rays.

“The guys just went up there and fouled, fouled, fouled,” López said. “When you’ve got guys like that you’ve got to keep making pitches and see what happens. I feel everything was good. My rhythm, timing. Just didn’t execute one — the curveball to Kevin Kiermaier (who lined a single to right field).”

Craig Brown at Baseball Prospectus Kansas City breaks down Salvador Perez’s “platinum sombrero” performance on Sunday.

Believe it or not, that was the first time Perez had whiffed four times in a game. Ever. Lefebvre mentioned it on the broadcast and Rex Hudler was as surprised at this info as probably everyone watching. You may even find it interesting to learn Perez has gone down on strikes three times in a game just 15 times in his career.

That’s amazing considering his overall lack of plate discipline, yet it’s a testament to his ability to put the bat on the ball on pitches outside of the zone. Perez has made contact on pitches outside of the strike zone when he swings 66 percent of the time in 2018. That’s a rate of contact above the league average of 63 percent.

J.J. Cooper at Baseball America highlights Nicky Lopez in his minor-league roundup this week.

Lopez established himself as a solid prospect early in his pro career. The former Creighton shortstop demonstrated a refined batting eye with enough defensive chops to be an average defender at short and above-average at second base. What’s encouraging for Lopez is he’s starting to show some increased power. He hit his fifth home run in just 43 games with Triple-A Omaha after hitting only two all of last season (and two in 73 games with Double-A Northwest Arkansas). If Lopez can produce even fringe-average power, the rest of his tools (plus speed, up-the-middle defense and on-base skills) will make him a solid big league regular.

Alex Duvall at Royals Farm Report notes that M.J. Melendez is on a record-setting home run pace.

The Lexington Legends have 14 games left on their schedule this season. MJ has currently hit 16 HR in 99 games played, which is one HR every 6.2 games. So, theoretically, if he keeps this pace up, MJ is on pace to hit 18 HR in 2018, which would be the most by a teenage catcher in the SALLY since at least 2006.

MJ has been on a tear as of late. In 20 games since July 25th, Melendez is slashing .347/.417/.625/1.042 with 5 doubles, 3 triples, 3 home runs, and a 187 wRC+. His BB% is up over 9% in that time and the BABIP gods have smiled down on Melendez to the tune of .468. He’s been one of the team’s best players all year, but you could argue he’s the best player in the organization when he’s swinging it like that.

Brett Phillips explains why he has the name “Maverick.”

2018 draft pick Kris Bubic made the MLB Pipeline Team of the Week.

Kyle Zimmer is working out at Driveline Bases and Kyle Boddy.

Leigh Oleszczak at KC Kingdom thinks the Royals might benefit from not calling up prospects.

Which contender has the toughest path forward?

The young MLB stars flying under the radar.

Who will have the better career - Juan Soto or Ronald Acuna?

A former player gives his account of trying to make ends meet on a minor league wage.

How baseball agents avoid conflicts of interest.

The college football pre-season poll is out and it doesn’t really matter.

The NFL season is going to be dominated by penalty flags.

A man falls through a hole in a museum designed to look like a cartoon hole.

The enduring appeal of the “fake relationship” rom-com.

Which returning shows and what new shows are coming to your TVs this fall?

Your song of day is the Traveling Wilburys with Handle With Care.