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Weekend Rumblings - News for December 11, 2021

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The time Kevin Appier was almost a Chicago Cub.

Kevin Appier
16 May 1993: Pitcher Kevin Appier of the Kansas City Royals in action during a game against the California Angels at Anaheim Stadium in Anaheim, California. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Dunn /Allsport

Weekend Rumblings - News for December 11, 2021

Lynn Worthy writes about the Baseball America ranking of top ten Royals prospects.

No 1. Bobby Witt Jr., shortstop

In his first full season of professional baseball, Witt impressed with his performance as he made the jump from the Rookie level at the end of 2019 to Double-A and then Triple-A this year. He proved, in the words of Royals president of baseball operations Dayton Moore, that “he’s the real deal, on the field, off the field.”

Jim Callis profiles each team’s youngest hitting prospect.

Royals: Daniel Vazquez, SS (17 years old) (No. 19)Vazquez turns 18 on Dec. 15, a little less than one year after he signed a $1,497,500 bonus. It’s all about projection for the 6-foot, 150-pound shortstop. Vazquez earns his best grades for his defensive instincts and hands at the six, and there’s hope he’ll grow into power and more offensive production as he ages. The Dominican Republic native hit just .186 with one homer in 32 games in the DSL, an indication of how long he has to go to earn previous comps to Fernando Tatis Jr.

Al Yellon at Bleed Cubbie Blue writes about the time the Royals almost traded Kevin Appier to the Cubs for Mark Grace.

The Cubs’ chance to improve their rotation collapsed when Kansas City landed free-agent first baseman Wally Joyner, wiping out the need to trade for the Cubs’ Mark Grace.

Cubs officials went to bed Sunday night thinking that the deal — which reportedly included Rey Sanchez, Jerome Walton and Todd Benzinger — would be finalized in the morning. But Kansas City General Manager Herk Robinson telephoned Cub GM Larry Himes in the morning to tell them the Royals had found another first baseman.

Baseball America profiles Royals minor league pitcher Nathan Webb.

Fast-forward several years and Webb was one of five players the Royals added to their 40-man roster at the Nov. 19 reserve roster deadline. Kansas City drafted him out of local Lee’s Summit High in the 34th round in 2016.

Webb landed his dream job with the help of one of his friends, who is the son of longtime head Kauffman groundskeeper Trevor Vance. Webb and a few of his high school teammates were hired for part-time work over multiple summers.

“For the first job, I really couldn’t ask for anything better,” Webb said. “Being around baseball, being on the baseball field and in the middle of the game dragging the field was really cool.”

Those groundskeeping skills came in handy during the pandemic downtime in 2020 when he built a pitcher’s mound in his family’s backyard.

Jordan Foote at Inside the Royals looks at the projected future lineups for the Royals.

At Inside the Crown, David Lesky gives his Hall of Fame thoughts.

Mike Gillespie at Kings of Kauffman looks at the Royals roster if they started the season now.

The Blue Jays pursued Corey Seager before he signed with the Rangers.

Why Logan Webb’s breakout season looks sustainable.

What negotiations over the 2020 season tell us about today’s labor talks.

Why MLB is making a mistake by not putting rule changes on the table in labor talks.

What would Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens be without the impact of PEDs?

Endeavor Group Holdings purchases nine minor league teams, what will that mean?

The sale of Angel Stadium is deemed illegal by a state housing agency.

Some of the biggest team turnarounds in MLB history.

A Japanese baseball team will be creating a women’s team.

How the Chiefs turned around their defense.

Former Broncos receiver Demaryius Thomas dies at the age of 33.

What it’s like to get married in the metaverse.

The cream cheese shortage may stem in part from cyberattacks.

The 16 best TV shows of the year.

Your song of the day is Radiohead with Street Spirit (Fade Out).