At BP KC, Doc Riddle previews the Lexington Legends’ first playoff series in 12 years:
Both the Legends and the Braves are young teams, with the average age of each team’s batters under 21 years old. The Legends finished first in the league in runs scored (682; 4.98 R/G), fourth in hits (1151), second in homers (137), first in steals (164), third in team average (.258), and second in OPS (.733). Rome finished seventh in runs scored (578), third in hits (1176), sixth in homers (89), eleventh in steals (78), third in team average (.258; tied with Lexington), and fifth in OPS (.699).
Lexington’s pitchers finished seventh in team ERA (3.62), sixth in hits allowed (1119), second in most HR allowed (129), eleventh in fewest BB allowed (349), and sixth in strikeouts (1147). Overall, Rome finished in ninth in team ERA (3.74), seventh in hits allowed (1085), eighth in HR allowed (86), first in fewest walks allowed (422), and seventh in strikeouts (1143).
Kings of Kauffman’s Tyler Dierking tries to assert that the Royals might have a starting pitching tree:
When you looked at the Kansas City Royals system before the 2018 season, starting pitching was a wasteland. The system was filled with hopes and long-shot prospects, none seemingly close being MLB ready or on the way to being ready.
That seems to be changing quickly right now. The offseason acquisitions, players traded for, and 2018 Draft have stocked the Royals full of potential starting pitching. I know, “potential”. We have used that word to describe many starters and they have all fallen short. Whether it be the lackluster career of Luke Hochevar as a starter, the injuries that follow Kyle Zimmer, or the fall out of many other pitching prospects, “potential” almost seems like a bad word.
But this time feels different. The type of pitchers the Royals have don’t feel as much like a project and have shown extreme amounts of success already within the system.
Nick Pratto and Jackson Kowar led Lexington to victory in their first playoff game:
A big night at the plate by Royals No. 6 prospect Nick Pratto was the difference as Class A Lexington defeated Rome, 3-1, in the opening game of the South Atlantic League semifinals. He did a bit of everything in the victory, going 2-for-3 with a home run, two RBIs and two stolen bases. The 2017 first-rounder finished his first full season on a tear, hitting .415/.479/.744 with 15 extra-base hits and 19 RBIs over his final 21 games.
Leading Lexington on the mound was Jackson Kowar (No. 4), the No. 33 overall pick in this year’s Draft. The 21-year-old righty permitted one earned run on five hits over five innings in what was the longest outing of his career. He struck out five, did not issue a walk and threw 36 of 57 pitches for strikes en route to his first career win. After a shaky start to his pro debut, Kowar gave up just two earned runs over his final 17 frames (five starts) down the stretch.
At the Athletic (obligatory subscribe here and give OMD ten Amazon bucks), Peter Gammons talks about Royals cast-off Clay Buchholz and the resurgent season he could be having for Kansas City but is instead having for Arizona.
Also at the Athletic, Julian McWilliams reports that the A’s clubhouse is getting irritated with bullpenning.
Grant Brisbee retrains the focus on the misremembering of McGwire/Sosa.
- Sheryl Ring updates us on Francisco Mejía’s lawsuit.
- Kiley McDaniel wonders whether we should adjust how we evaluate pitching prospects.
- Carson Cistulli points out that Sean Doolittle has thrown down the gauntlet and wants opposing hitters to celebrate excessively if they hang dong off him and matching any fines incurred in a donation to charity, further establishing Doolittle as one of the game’s best dudes.
- Nicky Lopez made Carson Cistulli’s Fringe Five prospects list column on Tuesday.
Have we learned anything from the financial crash ten years ago?
Fresh hop beers are so hot right now.
Season Three of Serial has been announced.
Rob McElhenney and Charlie Day sit down for an interview with /Film in advance of It’s Always Sunny’s 13th season premiering last night.
The song of the day is “Forest Green” by Justin Vernon and Aaron Dessner side project Big Red Machine: