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Royals Rumblings - News for January 25, 2022

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Prospects, prospects, prospects!

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Milwaukee Brewers v Kansas City Royals
Nick Loftin #89 of the Kansas City Royals runs to second base after hitting a double against the Brewers on March 27, 2021 in Surprise, Arizona.
Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

Royals Rumblings - News for January 25, 2022

Alec Lewis of The Athletic takes a deep dive into the pitching in the Royals farm system.

Shane Panzini, RHP: One scout said simply of Panzini’s instructional league performance: “Up to 94 mph with an easy delivery.” His 6-foot-3, 220-pound frame is much different from Kudrna’s and Mozzicato’s. That’s why scouts often talk less about projection with Panzini than they do in regard to the other two. But what most scouts did not know was this: The Royals drove Panzini, Mozzicato and Kudrna to the University of Nebraska’s athletic performance lab this past fall. The school’s sports science department analyzed these young pitchers’ movements biomechanically. The Royals will likely use analysis from that baseline testing to help enhance the efficiency in movements of all three pitchers.

Alex Duvall at Royals Farm Report ranks Nick Loftin as the #5 prospect in the system.

During the 2020 draft cycle Loftin drew a bunch of comps to Whit Merrifield for his offensive profile and defensive versatility. At the time, I wasn’t entirely sure how much I liked the comps because I think Whit and Loftin do different things well, but I’m on board with the comp now in terms of overall value. Both guys profile similarly on offense. They’ll both hit a ton of doubles, double digit home runs, and for a high average. The biggest difference between the two in my opinion is that Loftin has a much higher potential to draw some walks and probably (definitely) won’t ever lead the league in stolen bases. Defensively, I actually think Loftin is capable of handling SS, 2B, and 3B in the big leagues, where Whit is more limited to 2B and the corner outfield spots. So, again, I may have gotten a little too caught up in the specifics during the draft process, but I don’t hate the comp anymore as it relates to overall prospect value.

Kevin O’Brien at Royals Reporter looks at the sixth tier of Royals prospects.

The only concerns with Parrish are that he doesn’t really possess overly impressive pitches (especially the fastball), and he doesn’t generate a whole lot of groundballs either (35.9 percent GB rate in NW Arkansas in 2021). It will be interesting to see how that skill set transitions to a more hitter-friendly environment in Triple-A, where Parrish will most likely start in 2022.

Murdock and Haake have similar profiles, with Murdock having the higher ceiling and Haake probably having the higher floor as pitching prospects. Murdock possesses a pretty solid fastball-curve ball combo (both were rated a 55 by FanGraphs), but his command and control have always been suspect, as evidenced by his 11.5 percent walk rate and his 1.73 K/BB ratio a year ago.

Shawn Childs at Sports Illustrated has a fantasy baseball outlook for the Royals.

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