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Weekend Rumblings - News for January 22, 2022

Baseball Prospectus names Bobby Witt, Jr. the top prospect in baseball.

Bobby Witt, Jr. in the dugout for the Omaha Storm Chasers in 2021
Photo by Minda Haas Kuhlmann

Weekend Rumblings - News for January 22, 2022

Baseball Prospectus names Bobby Witt, Jr. the top prospect in baseball.

Witt is the top prospect in baseball because he has as much upside as anyone and functionally can’t be nitpicked. He jumped straight from the complex to Double-A and mashed, then mashed more at Triple-A. Back in those halcyon complex days of 2019, we had some concerns about his ability to hit well placed upper-minors breaking stuff, concerns he completely shredded by last June. He hits the ball hard—not as hard as Rodríguez, but pretty hard—and with excellent launch angle optimization. He’s a capable shortstop, and if he gets moved to third or second by Kansas City’s organizational needs, we think he’ll really excel there long-term.

MJ Melendez (#35) and Nick Pratto (#72) also made their top 101.

David Lesky at Inside the Crown writes about Michael Taylor’s bat, or lack thereof.

Teams can win with an offensive hole in their lineup. The Astros gave Martin Maldonado 426 plate appearances and he hit .172/.272/.300. They had the best offense in baseball. Randal Grichuk had 545 plate appearances for the Blue Jays and had a wRC+ of 85. They had the second-best offense in baseball. The Twins gave Andrelton Simmons 451 plate appearances that were worse than Taylor’s and they had a 101 wRC+ as a team. So the point is that you can score runs and hit with a guy like Taylor in your lineup.

Alex Duvall at Royals Farm Report ranks Royals prospects #6-10, with Ben Kudrna on the list.

The ceiling on Kudrna is that of a legitimate ace in the big leagues. There is nothing this kid can’t achieve if everything breaks his way. That’s a laundry list of breaks that any pitcher needs to catch, including good health, good development, etc., but Kudrna has every tool a pitcher needs to become an ace. We’ll see if the Royals development staff really has turned over a new leaf, but early results are promising and I seriously could not be more excited to watch Kudrna, Mozzicato, Panzini, and Ben Hernandez next summer. Hopefully we’ll get to see these guys start 2022 with Low-A Columbia, but it will be an anxious couple of months until we find out for sure. There’s always TINSTAAPP to be cautious of, but I’m really optimistic about the future of these young arms.

Mike Gillespie at Kings of Kauffman looks at unbreakable records in club history.

You don’t need spring training for ballplayers to work out.

The MLBPA will make a counter offer to owners on Monday.

Who could replace Trevor Story at shortstop in Colorado?

Former Royals outfielder Tom Goodwin says he was bullied into getting the COVID vaccine to stay in coaching.

How much is Juan Soto worth?

Breaking down the flaws of the remaining top free agents.

Joel Sherman of the NY Post defends the practice of submitting a blank Hall of Fame ballot.

Which baseball movie had the best ensemble?

Can we fix the line score (R-H-E) in baseball?

Former big leaguer Sergio Mitre is sentenced to prison for a truly heinous crime (warning, disturbing news story).

Could the Cleveland Cavaliers be the top seed in the East?

Dale Earnhardt, Jr. will join his father in the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

What is the point of digital clothes?

Ozzy Osbourne’s NFT project shared a scam link, and followers lost thousands of dollars.

The weirdest depictions of the moon in sci-fi movies.

Your song of the day is Cake with Waiting.