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Royals Rumblings - News for August 28, 2018

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It hasn’t all gone wrong for the Royals this year.

MLB: Cleveland Indians at Kansas City Royals Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Royals Rumblings - News for August 28, 2018

Dan Syzmborski at Fangraphs writes an elegy for the Royals this year.

As I see it, the largest danger for the Royals in rebuilding is not learning the right lessons from 2015. People hate to use the word “lucky,” but every World Series winner is, in effect, the good team that got the luckiest in October. The fundamental strengths or weaknesses of a roster remain unchanged whether the team wins the Series or gets bounced in the first round. Knowing the actual date when a team’s window will close is a luxury most teams don’t have, and the Royals didn’t make any serious push to make the team stronger or, alternatively, to rebuild in 2016 or 2017. This left the Kansas City in an awkward position, and they acquired fewer prospects than they would have otherwise had they started rebuilding at some point in 2016 or -17. The idea that ownership would be willing to spend $100 million on Eric Hosmer this offseason, for years that won’t actually matter in terms of winning a championship, rather than spend that $100 million during seasons which the team still had their core intact, is a worrying one.

Darin Watson at Baseball Prospectus Kansas City lists ten things that have gone right for the Royals this year.

The one-year contracts worked just like they should (mostly). Jon Jay and Mike Moustakas were signed in the early spring for two reasons: provide some reasonably good baseball ability, then get traded for prospects. They held up their end of the bargain (Moose’s WARP as a Royal this year: 2.6, Jay’s: 1.0), and the Royals acquired Elvis Luciano and Gabe Speier for Jay and Jorge Lopez and Brett Phillips for Moustakas. The latter two are in the majors already (and Phillips, thanks to his defense, appears to be at least a useful piece—if he hits, he could be very good). The former two are lottery tickets, probably, but that’s OK since it was highly unlikely Kansas City would receive a top prospect for four months of Jon Jay.

A suitcase claims another victim in the Royals organization.

Baseball America lists Nick Pratto as one of the hottest prospects in baseball.

Pratto has had a very odd year. Considered one of the best prep hitters in the 2017 draft class, Pratto has struck out more (28.5 percent of plate appearances) than expected this year. His power has also been a little less than expected as well. But the first baseman has also swiped 20 bags this season, which was equally shocking. Pratto is finishing strong and giving signs of improvement. He hadn’t slugged better than .430 in any month this season, but so far in August he’s hitting .341/.418/.600.

MLB Pipeline lists prospects that may be called up in September for each team.

Nicky Lopez, SS/2B, Royals’ No. 7

Lopez has been the Royals’ most consistent Minor League performer since they drafted him in the fifth round two years ago. He’s not as flashy a defender as free-agent-to-be Alcides Escobar or as tooled up as Adalberto Mondesi, but he’s a more reliable hitter than either and steady at either middle-infield spot.

Mike Sweeney has been helping out first baseman Ryan O’Hearn.

“If you talk to Mike Sweeney, he’s the ultimate motivational guy,” O’Hearn said. “He just encouraged me to keep going and not worry too much about the future and things I can’t control. He’s definitely picked my spirits up and influenced me to just forget about that and play.”

The Royals sign Darryl Collins, a 16-year old outfielder from Curaçao.

Beat writer Maria Torres is leaving the Star for the Los Angeles Times.

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