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Royals Rumblings - News for June 8, 2021

Nick Pratto makes the Baseball America Top 100 prospect list...for a minute.

Kansas City Royals v San Diego Padres Photo by Rob Leiter/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Royals Rumblings - News for June 8, 2021

Craig Brown chimes in on Adalberto Mondesi’s injuries.

Mondesi is not “soft,” nor is he “lazy” or “doesn’t care.” I’ve seen quite a few nonsensical takes on this matter. Yes, he’s missed some considerable time in 2019 due to two separate injuries. The shoulder sublimation came on a diving play and required surgery. I’ll repeat that…his shoulder injury required surgery. This year’s oblique, while frustrating for it to happen in the last game of spring training, was a serious type of injury for a switch-hitter. The oblique is a key muscle for a ballplayer. You take your time on that and make sure everything is healed...

Mondesi’s untapped potential and injury history has left many frustrated. I get it. The Royals are better with him on the field and his talent, as we saw briefly, remains tantalizing. But to call him “soft” or anything similar is wrong.

Mike Matheny explained the reason for the Jakob Junis demotion.

The Royals skipper said Junis’ long-term role hasn’t been decided, but the organization is looking for him to find a more consistent rhythm while down in the Minors.

“I think it’s just getting him into a good place, getting him longer stints which are more controllable in the Minor League setting is a better spot to get some of that worked out, to get him feeling confident about his pitches to where he can come back and help us in a number of roles,” Matheny said.

Kevin O’Brien at Royals Reporter writes about the enigmatic Brady Singer.

The first big issue for Singer’s slider has been his struggle to generate strikes consistently on the pitch. Singer’s slider generates a lot of swings and misses, as he is generating a whiff rate of 30.8 percent and a K rate of 26.9 percent this season, according to Baseball Savant. Furthermore, according to Pitcher List data, he is generating a 40.7 percent O-Swing percentage (swings outside the strike zone) and a swinging strike percentage of 17.6 percent, which are both improvements from 2020. When the slider is clicking, Singer can flat out be hard to hit at times on the mound, as evidenced below in this punch out of White Sox third baseman Yoan Moncada:

But Singer depends on hitters chasing to be effective with his slider, especially this year. His called strike rate is only 11 percent, and his CSW is 28.5 percent on the slider this year, which are 5.2 percent and 2.9 percent declines from a year ago. His slider has also been particularly bad at generating non-swinging strikes as of late

Clint Scoles at Royals Academy notes that Baseball America added (then subtracted) Nick Pratto from their top 100 prospect list.

The Pratto move is a big success for the Royals hitting development staff which was changed up going into last year after a rough 2019 for some major prospects. Pratto has improved his contact rate (12.8% vs 16%), ISO rate, and walk rate. That ISO rate isn’t likely sustainable given his history, but the Royals front office saw Pratto’s home run numbers balloon last year, fans saw it tick up in spring, and the start is showing the power is pretty legit. Double-A is a pretty small league with teams that have seen Pratto plenty in spring training and instructs. If they continue to work around him as Tulsa did during the last series, the Royals may want to consider bouncing him to Triple-A like they did Mike Moustakas a few years ago. It’s early in the season, so temper excitement to say he’s a super stud just yet, but given the struggles some other players have had a Double-A, it’s nice to see the start to Pratto’s season.

The Royals designated Jake Newberry for assignment to make room for Jackson Kowar.

Trevor Story will reportedly not be re-signing with the Rockies.

Journeyman Patrick Wisdom is carrying the Cubs right now.

The Mariners demote top prospect Jarred Kelenic to the minors.

Yoan Moncada is an offensive paradox.

Why the Mets might actually be good.

A look at the top 25 players under the age of 25.

The Blue Jays will stay in Buffalo through July 21. lists a trade chip for each team.

Mike Schmidt tops the list of players for most WAR generated for the team they were drafted by.

Justin Klugh at Fangraphs looks at the oddly-named Danville Otterbots in the Appalachian League.

A look back at how players refused to play following the assassination of Robert Kennedy.

The U.S. Navy denies a request by Cameron Kinley to delay his commission to try out for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The fans that threw objects at soccer players during the U.S. vs. Mexico match in Denver are under investigation with one facing criminal charges.

The FTC settles with executives of the defunct MoviePass over allegations they fraudlently blocked customers from using the app and failed to protect user privacy.

How the 1964 Olympics changed Tokyo forever.

Is there a housing bubble?

Your song of the day is Childish Gambino with 3005.