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Royals Rumblings - News for July 13, 2021

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Perez had power, but not enough

Salvador Perez #13 of the Kansas City Royals reacts during the 2021 T-Mobile Home Run Derby at Coors Field on July 12, 2021 in Denver, Colorado.
Salvador Perez #13 of the Kansas City Royals reacts during the 2021 T-Mobile Home Run Derby at Coors Field on July 12, 2021 in Denver, Colorado.
Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

Royals Rumblings - News for July 13, 2021

Salvador Perez participated in the Home Run Derby last night, and was electric. He was unfortunately matched up against the freight train of Pete Alonso who managed to crush 35 (and then go on to win for the second straight crown, so you can’t get too angry).

Kansas City Royals All-Star and fan favorite Salvador Perez set a MLB Home Run Derby record for catchers but did not advance past the first round Monday night in Denver.

Perez, a seven-time All-Star selection and the American League’s starting catcher, crushed 28 home runs in the first round of the Home Run Derby at Coors Field. He obliterated former teammate Mike Moustakas’ total of 10 from the 2017 contest.

Perez was matched up against defending champion Peter Alonso of the New York Mets in the bracket-style format. Alonso, who won the competition the last time it was held in 2019, set a first-round record with 35 home runs to advance past Perez.

Unfortunately, the main ESPN broadcast interviewed Alonso through Perez’s whole round, barely mentioning him. Plenty of Royals fans were big mad. Still, the main ESPN broadcast interviewed Perez in the second round to give him some airtime. But if you were watching the “Statcast” ESPN2 broadcast, you would have heard plenty about Perez.

Dayton Moore talked to reporters about why the Royals picked Frank Mozzicato, a basically unknown lefty from a cold weather state instead of the likes of Kumar Rocker, Brady House, and Khalil Watson.

“As we all know, you can never have enough pitching,” Moore said. “We’re going to have to take guys who have a chance to be No. 1 and No. 2 starters. You can look at certain college players, and you know they’re going to make it to the major leagues. But really, what’s their upside? No. 4 or No. 5 starters? No. 4 and No. 5 starters aren’t going to win championships. We’re going to be really aggressive. (Royals owner) John Sherman has spoken about sustained success. I’ve spoken about it. (Manager) Mike Matheny has, too. If you want sustained success, you’ve got to fill the pipeline with upside talent, and we’ve got to transition it and develop it properly. It’s going to take a little bit longer. We understand that. But we’re willing to pay the price for what we have to do long-term.”

With the 43rd overall selection in the 2021 MLB Draft, the Royals selected local pitcher Ben Kudrna out of Blue Valley Southwest, who is ostensibly the recipient of the underslot money the Royals got from Mozzicato. Here’s what Baseball America has to say about him:

Arguably the top prep arm in the upper Midwest in this year’s draft class, Kudrna has the projectable body, clean delivery, athleticism and strike-throwing ability that teams want to work with. He had a loud performance at the Area Code Games last year that helped solidify his position on the map, and he has continued to perform and rise up the board since. The 6-foot-3, 195-pound righthander has run his fastball up to 97, and he will sit 92-95 mph. The metrics are not great on the pitch right now, but with his size and the projection of future physicality, the belief is that he is going to end up throwing very hard. Kudrna has the ideal high school body when it comes to that projection, being narrow and high-waisted, tall with broad shoulders, and lean with plenty of room in the frame for physical growth and development. He has a fluid and pretty delivery, is very athletic, and offers a three-pitch mix with high upside. The 18-year-old’s secondaries still need work, but he has shown progress this year. Kudrna has also shown feel to spin his breaking ball and has flashed a plus slider with good tilt in the mid 80s at times, but he needs to continue to find more consistency with the pitch. The Louisiana State commit has a decent changeup in the low 80s right now, and he throws strikes.

You can see a full pick-by-pick breakdown of the Royals’ day two selections over at our friends at Royals Farm Report. Here’s what Alex had to say about the draft:

I’ll give this draft a C+. Worse talent could’ve made it a D+ pretty easily and a better track record of player development could’ve made it a B+ pretty easily. I like the talent a lot. I don’t have a problem with WHO they drafted. It’s more of an issue with who they drafted as it relates to their players development strengths and weaknesses.

Question of the Day

If Forrest Gump was being made today, what historical events and which historical figures would he have interacted with?

(yes, I’m getting these from AskReddit, but I’m in charge so deal with it)

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