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Royals Rumblings - News for December 29, 2020

Will 2021 be a breakout season for Adalberto Mondesi?

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Detroit Tigers v Kansas City Royals Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Royals Rumblings - News for December 29, 2020

Jeffrey Flanagan lists the Royals player poised for a breakout in 2021.

Royals: Adalberto Mondesi, SS

Over his final 22 games in 2020, Mondesi showed what a dangerous player he can be when his full skill set is on display. In that span, he hit .376 with a 1.130 OPS and had six doubles, two triples, six home runs and 19 RBIs. Mondesi also stole 16 bases and played elite-level defense.

This is the player the Royals have been touting for years, and if he can put it all together for an entire season, the 25-year-old Mondesi will emerge as one of the best players in the Majors.

David Adler at lists the rookie pitchers who made an impression in 2020.

Who would’ve guessed what the Royals would have in Staumont? The 27-year-old showed impressive velocity in a cup of coffee in 2019, but it was nothing like what he brought in 2020. All of a sudden, his fastball turned into the biggest fastball in the Majors. Staumont didn’t touch 100 mph once in 2019; in 2020, he hit triple digits 36 times, including 101 mph 20 times and 102 mph twice. Staumont threw the fastest overall pitch in MLB in 2020 — 102.2 mph, tied with one by Jacob deGrom. He also had the fastest strikeout pitch — 102.0 mph — and four of the top five. Staumont notched more 100-plus mph strikeouts (eight) and 101-plus mph strikeouts (five) than any other pitcher, on top of being the only one with a 102 mph K.

Kevin O’Brien at Royals Reporter wonders if Jakob Junis will be the latest Royals pitcher to benefit from a move to the pen.

All these former Royals converted starters saw an increase in velocity in their fastball because they could let loose more now that their innings and pitch counts were far less as relievers. And thus, if all four of those former Royals pitchers saw increases of around 2-3 MPH in fastball velocity, the same could be true of Junis, which could make his fastball, a pitch of weakness for him lately, more effective. Junis did see his run value on his fastball drop from 12 to 0 from 2019 to 2020, so a 2-3 MPH increase in 2021 could not only make his fastball more effective, but also help his slider get back to those elite levels of 2019.

An interview with former Royals pitcher Mike Magnante on his time with the Astros.

“Within the first week of Spring Training, I heard more about what I did well rather than what I heard with the Royals,” Magnante explained. “With the Royals, it was always about what I couldn’t do.”

The Cubs send Yu Darvish to the Padres in a seven-player trade.

The Padres have reportedly come to agreement with Korean free agent infielder Ha-seong Kim.

Pirates pitcher Joe Musgrove is now drawing trade interest.

Ben Clemens at Fangraphs evaluates the Blake Snell trade.

The Padres see a window and are aggressively going for it.

How a new presidential administration could affect MLB and minor league baseball.

Is Andrew Knizer ready to be the starter in St. Louis if Yadier Molina doesn’t return?

The Rangers sign utility player Charlie Culberson to a minor league deal.

Researchers discover a “lost” no-hitter that is now recognized as the first in American League history.

76ers executive Daryl Morey is fined $50k for a tweet about James Harden.

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The best documentaries of 2020.

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