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Royals Rumblings - News for October 15, 2020

Who will make the jump from the minors next year?

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Kansas City Royals outfielder Kyle Isbel (76) fields a base hit during the Royals summer camp workouts on July 08, 2020 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, MO. Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Royals Rumblings - News for October 15, 2020

Lynn Worthy writes about which minor leaguers are close to helping out the Royals.

A small-market club like the Royals can’t endure regression without far-reaching ramifications. That’s something that assistant general manager/player performance J.J. Picollo thinks the Royals have avoided thanks to work done daily at the alternate training site during the season and the ongoing fall camps.

“The guys that were at the alternate site, we’re looking at it like it was a season,” Picollo said. “They didn’t quite get 500 at-bats. They’re going to end up with about 250 at-bats, so it’s not quite a full season. But because of the type of pitching they were facing and the quality of pitching they were facing, for a lot of guys it was beyond the levels they’ve played at in the past.

“It gives us a pretty good indication that they’re ready to jump a level. I’m not ready to say that guys are ready to jump two levels. I think that will take care of itself in time. I think there was definitely improvement, progress, and we got a lot of individual time that you don’t normally get during the season.”

Alec Lewis looks at who on the roster may have the least job security.

Ryan O’Hearn, 1B: The 2020 season was unfortunate for O’Hearn. He showed up to the summer training camp feeling good but then tested positive for COVID-19 (though he was asymptomatic). The late start kept him out of the lineup and affected his timing. He didn’t produce, though, and that’s the bottom line. With Dozier seeing time at first base at the end of the 2020 season, O’Hearn’s opportunities appear to be dwindling.

Ben Badler at Baseball America previews who the Royals may sign in the international signing period.

Their top targets in the 2020-21 class that opens on Jan. 15 are a pair of shortstops from the Dominican Republic. One of them is Daniel Vasquez, one of the top prospects in the class with a bonus that should come in the $1.5 to $2 million area. Vasquez has trended in the right direction as he’s grown into a taller, lean frame with high physical upside and athleticism in the middle of the diamond. He moves around well at shortstop with fluid actions and body control, along with a short righthanded swing with good bat-to-ball skills and power that should come as he fils out his 6-foot-2, 158-pound frame. He trains with Jaime Ramos.

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