No, it’s not Friday, but I’m out of town Friday and Max is out today (PARTY! DRINKING! LOUD NOISES!) so here we are. This may be a little different than my typical Friday Rumblings, but not substantially.
Here’s some more day 1 draft stuff that was published yesterday or slipped through the cracks on Tuesday’s Rumblings:
Seth Wingerter at Royals Farm Report gives his day 1 grades:
Overall Day 1 Draft Grade: B
This grade is much heavier weighted on the final two picks as the first pick was essentially (or what should have been) a no-brainer. In picking McConnell, they may have to sign him over slot, as he’s a draft eligible sophomore and could theoretically make a rise in next year’s draft, which means the Royals must truly believe in that bat. As for Marsh, there is nothing flashy there, but a guy who could potentially become a back-end starter or a quality reliever someday. In combination with a very solid guy at the top who was the obvious pick, I would grade the Royals draft as average, giving them a grade of B.
Also, at RFR, something called an “Alex Duvall” looks at the Royals third pick, Alec Marsh.
I’m going to be really honest with you, I hadn’t spent more than about 2 minutes learning about Alec Marsh before KC drafted him last night. He popped up on my radar earlier this spring, and then I quickly moved him off of it. Here’s everything I knew about Marsh going into last night: low-90’s fastball, good mix of pitches. That’s about it.
It’s a really short article... Oh wait, there’s more. You should probably read it.
Rounding out the trokia of stories there, Marcus Meade explains “Why the Brady McConnell pick was such a brilliant idea”:
It takes great scouting to recognize when a player is being undervalued because of timing. McConnell is a draft-eligible sophomore with the tools to be a top-10 draft pick. He isn’t one because he got hurt after nine games of his freshman season and hasn’t fully developed his approach. But his power-speed combination is rare. The Royals front office understood the opportunity when they saw it.
In October 2016, #Royals area scout Chad Lee could have left the ballpark. Instead, he stayed to watch a sophomore.— Alec Lewis (@alec_lewis) June 4, 2019
On this special night, Lee recalls that one.
Story on the road to Bobby Witt Jr., the man the Royals wanted:https://t.co/blTpDKS0gR pic.twitter.com/8gLpE1NMRU
Patrick Mahomes? OK, that seems excessive. But what if I told you an average No. 2 pick from this century would be equal to one of the most valuable 25 players in Royals history? Here’s what Bobby Witt Jr. could mean for KC: https://t.co/6Pp4VPffJm— Rustin Dodd (@rustindodd) June 4, 2019
While the story by KC Kingdom’s Leigh Oleszczak also uses the dubious headline “Kansas City Royals find their Patrick Mahomes with Bobby Witt Jr”, she pumps the brakes on that assessment in the story that’s making the rounds.
She also takes a look at Brady McConnell and Alec Marsh.
Eric Longenhagen and Kiley McDaniel at Fangraphs dissect Day 1. Here’s the Royals listicle version:
Witt is a potential superstar. McConnell could be a shortstop with power, but we think there’s a chance he ends up with a 30 bat. Marsh is deadly when he has breaking ball feel, as both of them are big league out-pitches when located.
Is Day 2 more your speed? Then we have this:
Jesse Newell of the KCStar uses the first day of the draft to set up his story about the second day:
Yost said he did not play an active role in Monday’s draft process; in fact, he didn’t even speak to Moore or scouting director Lonnie Goldberg about which player the team was going to take. “I never ask them that, because I know that things develop fast and things develop differently,” Yost said. “So just sit back and watch it.”
R.J. Anderson of CBS Sports gives his “Seven takeaways from Day 2”.
Already bored of the 2019 draft and looking forward to next year? RJ Anderson of CBS Sports lists some potential high draft picks for next year.
Nothing draft-y at all? How about Twitter?
Today is Tony Peña's birthday ... and this is one of my all-time favorite stories. https://t.co/KyVy2mIuvN— Joe Posnanski (@JPosnanski) June 4, 2019
This year’s unluckiest team so far – depending on how you define luck https://t.co/5oO8pe3b7S— Eno Sarris (@enosarris) June 4, 2019
You won’t believe who makes the list?!? Actually, you probably will because if it didn’t include the Royals, it would be below the next divider not above it.
This is still a little hard to read, but Pete Grathoff at the Star put together some of the social media posts from current and former Royals who remembered Yordano Ventura. He would have been 28 on Monday.
Friday, I was wishing for a new edition of Sam Miller’s article where he tracks how many Hall of Famers Mike Trout passes in a given month. The new one dropped yesterday! While there are a couple of other outlets that publish similar stories, I really like Miller’s. He tries to put these accomplishments into historical context.
It’s weird to just glance at the Baseball-Reference.com page of somebody who debuted in 1894 and quit, more or less, in 1911. It’s like trying to feel around in the dark while wearing oven mitts. There was no MVP award during his career, so there are no MVP results going down the right side of his page. There was no All-Star Game so no All-Star appearances, nor Gold Gloves. There are no intentional walks to signify a player was feared or was the best hitter in his lineup. No caught stealings, so who knows what to make of his stolen base totals. No real sense of what the style of play was like in those precise years -- was nine home runs a lot? Was four? Or how, in those decades of play, those styles were changing dramatically. Fred Clarke was a left fielder who once made 45 errors in a season and was probably the best defensive left fielder of his day. What even was that game?
Speaking of Trout, over at
Troutgraphs Fangraphs, Ben Clemens has the awesome title “Pitchers Plan, and Mike Trout Laughs” to help describe his dominance in another way:
Imagine being a pitcher who has to face the Angels this year. It’s not hard to figure out which batter you most need to prepare for. When the Angels played the Cubs last night, Albert Pujols batted third, which is a lot less imposing in 2019 than it was in 2008. Shohei Ohtani had the night off, which meant that Tommy La Stella was the best non-Trout bat in the lineup. He’s having a good year, as Jay Jaffe noted, but unfortunately for him, he’s still Tommy La Stella. Cesar Puello batted fifth, and hey, good for him. Still, though — the scouting report was probably just Mike Trout written in various fonts over and over again.
The save was invented 50 years ago and Emma Baccellieri of Sports Illustrated tells its tale. Comically, the URL includes the terms “mariano rivera” and “yankees”, even though neither appear in the story.
Soon, the save was everywhere. Fans heard the term from managers, players, reporters. It just wasn’t always clear what they meant. Holtzman’s definition was popular, but there were teams who evaluated their relievers with a system like Roth’s, and there were those who used a formula in between. Cardinals’ skipper Johnny Keane ignored these definitions and concocted his own—he kept a little black book in the dugout, saying that he made a note “if a pitcher does a good job in protecting the lead,” even if he did not close out the ninth.
I’m a little conflicted what to do here. I feel like the video game music should be for the “who gives a darn, it’s Friday” days of the week and we’re clearly not there today. It’s June and I’m the substitute teacher, so we’re going with Alice Cooper’s “School’s Out”.
I assume that when most people do this, they snag the music video. Only, “School’s Out” predates MTV by at least half a decade so I’m having to look for live performances.
On YouTube, I stumbled across this gem. Apparently, in 1978, Alice Cooper did an entire episode of The Muppet Show! You know what? I’m just going to leave this episode synopsis here as it speaks for itself:
Alice later reveals himself to be an agent of The Devil, offering the Muppets “fabulous riches and worldwide fame” in a Faustian exchange for their souls. Kermit shudders at the idea, Miss Piggy gives it a test run but ultimately decides it’s not worth the sacrifice (or the makeover), and Gonzo spends much of the episode looking for a pen to sign the contract. He becomes so desperate that he, in quick succession, offers to trade the Vile Bunch Drummer a chicken, all of his chickens, and finally his soul for a pen before realizing that he has “other plans for that.”
Just imagine how that would play in today’s world. Anyways, here’s the video: