The Royals signed the largest international free agent class in club history.
The 28-player group included 16 pitchers (12 right-handers, four left-handers), four outfielders, four shortstops, two catchers and two corner infielders. Francisco lauded the depth of the class.
The Royals see big potential in the skill set of outfielder Erick Torres, a right-handed hitter who trained at the same site as Ramos, as well as the hitting ability of shortstop Ivan Sosa. They’re very intrigued by the combination of the hitting ability, size and tools present in shortstop Josi Novas and the intangibles, makeup and advanced ability of middle infielder Charles Nova.
“I think we got very good talent for that amount of money that we invested in these players,” Francisco said. “We’re just fortunate that those players were available and our staff — our international scouts, cross checkers and supervisors did a hell of a job along with Albert Gonzalez kind of overseeing the whole process.”
The Royals went into the international signing period with a bonus pool of $6,262,600.
Whit Merrifield was the guest on Chris Rose’s podcast:
(hint: if you don’t have time for the whole thing, the YouTube page has timestamps of the different topics they cover!)
Asa Lacy just missed Baseball America’s Top 100:
Asa Lacy, Royals: It was a difficult debut for the 2020 fourth overall pick, as Lacy struggled with command, finishing 2021 with a 17.3% walk rate. There’s no questioning the quality of Lacy’s stuff, particularly his powerful fastball and slider combination. His pitchability and command for his big stuff has become a major concern. It still cannot be understated the upside that Lacy does possess. After a normal offseason under the tutelage of the Royals development team, an improved version of Lacy who is more in line with expectations could emerge early in 2022.
The Royals Farm Report prospect ranking reached #4, first baseman Nick Pratto:
The swing had apparently changed a bit, giving him access to more power, and the reports on him out of the front office were just too good to ignore.
I’d say they knew what they were talking about. Nick Pratto’s .375 ISO was the highest ISO posted of any hitter in any AAA league last summer. The only 22-year old to post a better ISO at the AAA level since 2006 is Yordan Alvarez in 2019 (.399). The only other one even close was Anthony Rizzo. The power that Nick Pratto brings to the plate is legit, and his ability to access that power in games is legit. The swing-and-miss concerns with Pratto are also legit, but we’ve quite literally only seen his power production replicated one other time at the AAA level, so that should balance out in some capacity in the big leagues. Pratto doesn’t quite have the raw power of MJ Melendez I don’t think, but he is so good at seeking out pitches that he can drive and his swing is so geared towards lifting the ball to his pull side that he should hit plenty of HR in the big leagues.
Also at RFR, the latest episode of the podcast features Drew Saylor.
MLB Trade Rumors collected all of yesterday’s updates on the MLB negotiations.
Ben Clemens at FanGraphs pooled reader feedback in the quest for an updated line score. What format would you put on a scoreboard if R | H | E went away?
David Ortiz was the only player elected into the Hall of Fame yesterday. Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Curt Schilling and, Sammy Sosa all fell off the ballot.
Runners of Royals Review: how cold is too cold to run outdoors?
Launching today: a collaboration between Dolly Parton and Duncan Hines cake mixes. Dolly and dessert are two of my favorite things in the world!
Krispy Kreme will give you free doughnuts if you donate blood before the end of the month.
Disney will change the approach to their upcoming live-action ‘Snow White’ after actor Peter Dinklage called out how it’s 2022 and they were still going to perpetuate weird stereotypes.
Today’s Reddit question: Adults: Whats one opinion of yours that completely changed when you grew up?
SOTD: Shenandoah - Two Dozen Roses (great song BUT ALSO, she said within :30 that he’s not welcome at her place anymore, so maybe...leave her alone?)