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Royals Rumblings - News for March 18, 2021

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Nick Pratto is that other prospect turning heads in camp.

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Kansas City Royals v Chicago Cubs Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

Royals Rumblings - News for March 18, 2021

Brad Keller saw some positives despite getting shellacked against the Mariners on Tuesday night.

“The only positive was I threw some good changeups, especially right-on-right to (Mitch) Haniger,” Keller said. “I think I threw four in a row right there to end the inning in the third. I got a swing and miss on the previous AB, two swing and misses on that last one. Other than that, battled all night and fell behind everyone. Fastball command wasn’t there.”

Ryan McBroom homered in yesterday’s loss, as he tries to make his case to make the team.

“It’s coming on in spurts for me right now, but I’m kind of starting to flatten and iron some things out as we go,” McBroom said. “My main goal right now is just keeping my swing short and compact and staying in the middle of the field because a lot of guys are throwing in the upper-90s, and you got to be able to get to it, especially at the top of the strike zone. You got to keep it short.”

Lynn Worthy writes that Kyle Zimmer is looking to take a step forward in 2021.

“Consistency,” Zimmer said of the key to performing for a full-length season. “There’s multiple facets to that. I think having your mental game right (is important), which is something we work on constantly. And obviously, physically.

“That just is hard work. Bottom line, just getting your body in the best place that it can be to be available every single day. That’s my goal is to be able to go out there every day and compete and let them know I’m good to be used on a daily basis.”

Dayton Moore is open-minded to the idea of Bobby Witt, Jr. making the team, writes Anne Rogers.

“I think we’re going to be very open-minded. When we came to Spring Training, we wanted to make sure we send a pretty clear message where we didn’t put unrealistic expectations on the player and just kind of let him go out and play. Try not to create just kind of an aura around him in that clubhouse with a team that — we have some young players, but we’ve got some veterans as well. You do not want to create an uncomfortable situation for him. So we were careful with our messaging, but he’s come in here and just done a tremendous job. He’s earned the respect of all his teammates, and now that he’s been able to do that, I’m very much open-minded of him being on this team as we break this camp.”

Sam Mellinger writes why Witt making the roster is a possible scenario.

He is wildly talented, and producing against the best competition the Royals are putting him in front of. He presents himself in a way that makes older teammates push for him, and the improvement of Seuly Matias and others has encouraged club officials about the usefulness of last summer’s alternate site.

One more time: None of this means Witt Jr. will make his big league debut on opening day against the Rangers, two months before his 21st birthday.

But it does mean the pieces are in place for it to happen, that he has an open-minded front office, aggressive coaching staff, and supportive teammates.

Joe Sheehan argues why Witt should not make the team to start the year.

Still, when I consider Witt’s lack of pro experience, the pitchers he has hit this spring, the roster logjam he would create, and that he wouldn’t be playing shortstop, it all adds up to leaving him in Surprise for another month. There is really no risk to doing so, whereas having him start the year with the Royals is almost all downside. Witt isn’t Fernando Tatis Jr. two years ago, with a strong professional performance record and no one in front of him.

Anne Rogers looks at how the bullpen is shaping up, and Carlos Hernández is still a candidate to make the team.

“The fact that he felt ready to rock and his adrenaline was going, those sort of things for a young player who hasn’t been in that situation before, it’s just good to see,” Matheny said. “Part of the test is how he feels [Wednesday]. But he’s in this conversation.

“This is a guy who could pitch multiple innings for you. Could do it at the beginning of the game, or, with the kind of stuff that he’s throwing right now, he could end the game for you.”

Alec Lewis has a terrific profile of lefty reliever Jake Brentz.

There was a 6-foot-1, 205-pound left-hander who threw a pitch that registered 99 mph on the scoreboard.

“That poor lefty (Will Benson) stood in there that first at-bat, the second pitch was 99 mph,” Royals manager Mike Matheny said. “And then the third was 100 mph. He struck out. And you could see people looking over, like, ‘Who is this guy?’”

Baseball America talks to scouts about prospects that have made an impression during spring training, like Nick Pratto.

“He made some adjustments at the alternate site and he looks really good. He’s got his swing shortened, he’s shortened up his load and just smoothed out his whole operation. They’ve done a really good job there. For me his stock is going up because he’s showing me that he can get to power against some quality arms out here. He’s always had feel to hit, there were just some issues in the swing that needed to be cleaned up. He’s just getting himself in a hitting position earlier. He has the bat speed, has the quickness in his hands. Now that he’s improved the operation of his swing, I think there’s some upside there.”

MLB Pipeline ranks the Royals tenth in their farm system rankings.

At Inside the Crown, David Lesky continues his roster projections.

Zach Kram at The Ringers looks at who was the top reliever each season for the last 40 years, with a pair of Royals on the list.

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