Royals Rumblings - News for January 14, 2019
Minor league pitching coach Steve Luebber talks about being assigned to Wilmington.
“We had pitching meetings in September,” Luebber said. “Before the meetings, the minor league director said he wanted me to go there for different reasons.
“My wife and I had talked about it about a week before that. I was thinking they might want me to go there because of some of the people who are likely to be there are off the Lexington team and were in last year’s draft. Sure enough, right before our pitching meetings, he asked me that very thing.”
Marcus Meade at Royals Farm Report looks at five breakout prospect candidates.
Nick Heath (24 years old, CF)
Heath turned heads in the Arizona Fall League this year, and his ability to make hard contact coupled with his elite speed give hope to those already looking for the heir apparent to Billy Hamilton.
The key for Heath will be his strikeout rate. At just over 27 percent across A+ and AA last season, Heath struck out far too often for a speed merchant. He needs that number to be no higher than 20 percent or he’ll need insane BABIP numbers to remain offensively viable. He has higher than typical BABIP numbers because he hits the ball hard and has speed, but he won’t be able to sustain BABIP numbers above .350 in AAA and the majors.
2. Whit Merrifield, Royals
Merrifield turns 30 this month -- he’s older than Altuve, actually -- but he just led the Majors in hits (192) and stolen bases (45), and turned a good first full season (2017’s .288/.324/.460, 105 wRC+) into a very strong second year (.304/.367/.438, 120 wRC+), along with 12 homers. That’s probably about the best performance he can offer, but even if he takes a small step back, you’ll take an above-average bat with elite baserunning skill and strong defense. We’re just looking at 2019, so we don’t have to worry about his long-term profile here.
Josh Staumont is highlighted by MLB Pipeline for having the best fastball in the system.
Staumont had the hardest fastball in the 2015 Draft, when he went in the second round out of Azusa Pacific (Calif.) and led the Minors in strikeout rate (12.2 per nine innings) in his first full pro season. He has topped out at 102 mph with a four-seamer and can reach the upper 90s with a two-seamer, though he has averaged 7.1 walks per nine innings in the Minors.
Morgan Vogels at Kings of Kauffman profiles prospect D.J. Burt.
Cheslor Cuthbert cleared waivers and was assigned to Omaha.
Wil Myers is an outfielder again.
The Rays are looking at Matt Davidson as a two-way player.
Grant Brisbee wonders what his WAR would be if he got to play Little League as an adult.
How you can use called strikes in the minors to find sleeper catcher prospects.
A Good Samaritan helped Chiefs lineman get out the snow before the game, so Allen rewards him with AFC Championship tickets.
The Chargers’ meltdown as told by Phillip Rivers facial expressions.
One day our sun will solidify into a giant crystal orb.
How did Baby Shark crash into the Billboard Top 40?
Eddie Murphy has signed off on a Coming to America sequel.
Your song of the day is DJ Shadow (featuring Run The Jewels) with Nobody Speak (NSFW, language - clean version)