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Royals Rumblings - News for December 20, 2019

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The Royals are one of the most successful franchises of the decade.

MLB: New York Mets at Kansas City Royals Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Royals Rumblings - News for December 20, 2019

Jonathan Mayo at MLB.com thinks the Royals’ farm system could take a step forward.

The Royals took a nice step simply by drafting Bobby Witt Jr. No. 2 overall in last June’s Draft. He’s No. 8 overall on the Top 100 and a strong first full season could give Kansas City the kind of elite-level talent at the top of the list that good farm systems need. The 2018 Draft class is already moving the system up the ranks after a strong first full season on the mound, with Brady Singer and Daniel Lynch leading the way. Jackson Kowar and Kris Bubic could join them in the Top 100. If some of the struggling bats, Nick Pratto or MJ Melendez for instance, right themselves, then they’ve got something cooking in KC.

You could see different lineups next year.

Some are praising the Maikel Franco pick up.

David Laurila at Fangraphs writes a bit about Mike Matheny’s instruction on analytics.

“It was just [about] continuing to improve in every area,” said Matheny. “It’s [about] trying to stay ahead of what some of the norms are, some of the expectations. A lot of it was really myself connecting with people like Ari Kaplan, who was heading up the course, and asking them to evaluate me. What are some of the trends, some of the tendencies, some of the things that are weaknesses that need to be worked on.”

Will Leitch at MLB.com ranks the Royals as the ninth-most successful franchise this decade.

The Royals had three winning seasons this decade. Two of those seasons ended with them in the World Series. Think the Yankees wouldn’t be envious of that sort of success rate? The Royals had missed the playoffs every season from 1986-2013, but they made those two appearances count, coming within one game of the Giants in 2014 and then winning the whole thing in 2015. They may have had a losing record for the decade -- only the Mariners, Orioles, Rockies, White Sox, Padres and Marlins were worse -- but flags fly forever.

Michael Huckins at Kings of Kauffman looks at Royals players who are facing a make or break season.

There are good reasons to give Ryan O’Hearn another shot to prove himself. He has shown signs of being able to kill mistakes, which is necessary for a big league slugger. And, even when he was struggling in 2019, his walk percentage was still over 10 percent. His strikeout rate, while a bit high, was an identical 26 percent for both seasons. His hard-hit percentage was a promising 42 percent for both seasons. When O’Hearn connects he still hits the ball hard.

The White Sox sign former Royals third baseman Cheslor Cuthbert.

The Brewers sign first baseman Justin Smoak to a one-year deal.

Gio Gonzalez signs with the White Sox.

The Angels sign Julio Teheran to a one-year deal.

The Indians are talking about trading pitcher Mike Clevinger.

The Reds emerge as a candidate to acquire Francisco Lindor.

Yoenis Céspedes is drawing trade interest.

The MLBPA files a grievance on behalf of Jacoby Ellsbury.

A Nolan Arenado trade is not a preposterous idea.

Rob Arthur at Baseball Prospectus writes that tanking doesn’t work like it used to.

The NCAA wants Congress to intervene after states allow college athletes to be paid.

The worst NFL teams to ever make the playoffs.

What do we do with artificial turf we no longer need?

The first reviews of Cats, the movie, are wild.

The best video game surprises of 2019.

Your song of the day is Bad Lip Reading with SEAGULLS! (Stop it Now).