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Royals Rumblings - News for January 17, 2022

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Happy International Signings Week!

WBC: Dominican Republic v Cuba Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

Royals Rumblings - News for January 17, 2022

Jesse Sanchez at MLB.com reports the Royals will sign two top 50 international free agents.

The Royals are expected to sign a catcher that resembles a young Salvador Perez and a dynamic outfielder with a good mix of tools to start the international signing period.

According to industry sources, the Royals have an agreement with catcher Juan Olmos, No. 25 on MLB.com’s Top 50 International Prospects list, for $800,000 and outfielder Henry Ramos, who ranks No. 45, for $800,000. Outfielder Erick Torres is also expected to sign for $500,000.

Alex Duvall at Royals Farm report continues his ranking of top Royals prospects with #21-25, including Anthony Veneziano.

Another big LHP in this Royals system, Veneziano is likely a reliever long-term due to a lack of plus-control, but there’s at least a chance he could start which is why we’ve got him a tick ahead of Tillo here. When he’s right, Veneziano will run his fastball into the upper-90’s and has even hit 100 mph a time or two. His slider is a good pitch made better by a filthy angle Veneziano is able to create with his lanky frame. His changeup has really good shape, though I didn’t see Veneziano use a ton of it against righties last year and so I still don’t have a great feel for how that pitch will play at the upper levels. The development of that changeup and the ability to keep his walks down will be the difference between the bullpen and starting rotation for Veneziano moving forward.

If Veneziano does wind up in the bullpen, which is a pretty strong lean for me at the moment, he’s going to be an absolute force to be reckoned with.

Kevin O’Brien at Royals Report is also ranking prospects, and he looks at the fourth tier in the system.

However, the Royals do have a pair of young international outfielders in the lower minors who have tremendous upside in Darryl Collins (who hails from the Netherlands) and Erick Pena (who hails from the Dominican Republic).

Of the two, Collins had the better campaign in 2021 and seems more ahead of the game in terms of making the Majors (though to be fair, he is older than Pena).

Last year, Collins played in 86 games and accumulated 343 plate appearances for the Low A Columbia Fireflies. While his .246 average doesn’t really impress, he did post a .367 OBP, and his 13.6 percent walk rate and 0.95 BB/K ratios demonstrate that Collins has a mature eye at the plate. His power wasn’t all that consistent in Columbia, as he only posted a slugging of .338 and ISO of .091. However, he did hit more flyballs in 2021 (0.88 GB/FB; down from his 1.36 mark in 2019 in rookie league ball), and when one watches his swing in action, it is easy to see Collins’ power metrics increase as he gets older and gains more strength while progressing up the Royals system.

Mike Gillespie at Kings of Kauffman remembers the worst pitcher contracts in club history.

Garrett Fuller at Inside the Royals writes about his Royals bobblehead collection.

Dayton Moore will be on The Whole Story podcast.

Longtime Marlins and Expos broadcaster Dave Van Horne is retiring.

At ESPN Insider, Buster Olney ranks the top teams.

Read where top international prospects are headed.

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