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Royals Rumblings - News for January 27, 2022

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College Students are Turning to Printed Books

Royals Rumblings - News for January 27, 2022

Mark Polishuk at MLB Trade Rumors looks at how AL teams have addressed their weakest position.

Kansas City didn’t get much from right field or the corner infield spots, as third base (-1.0 bwAR) and first base (-0.7 bWAR) were also sub-replacement level positions. Hunter Dozier is a key figure in this equation, as he dragged down all three positions with his rough showing in 2021. Carlos Santana also contributed to the first base woes with the worst season of his career, but the veteran slugger believes he can rebound now that he is past the leg injuries that hampered him last year. The Royals have help on the way in star prospects Bobby Witt Jr. and Nick Pratto, and with Pratto a defensive standout at first base, Santana might find himself relegated to DH or part-time duty unless he can recapture his old form.

Alex Duvall at Royals Farm Report ranks Asa Lacy as the #3 prospect in the system.

There’s no good way to sugarcoat that 2021 was a disappointing season for Asa Lacy. I get it. The walks were out of control and then he goes down with an injury before we get to see him make any kind of significant adjustments. He only made four outings in the Arizona Fall League, but he hit 100 mph while he was there and, quite frankly, somehow looked more dominant in three of those four outings than he did in most of his outings at High-A. He wasn’t around the zone nearly enough in High-A, and still struck out a third of all the hitters he faced while he was there. Even with that, his ERA was north of 5.00. I understand the caution flags and I understand why folks are taking him off of their top-100 lists. I’m just here to tell you that I think this is way too premature and way too reactionary to a guy that never looked comfortable on the mound last year and we now know that may very well be due to the injury he suffered midway through the season.

Kevin O’Brien at Royals Reporter wonders if the Royals will retain Whit Merrifield after his current contract.

While Royals fans should be encouraged by his running and defensive metrics (he ranked in the 92nd percentile in Outs Above Average last year, according to Savant), his batted ball metrics present a riskier projection in the long term.

Last season, Whit posted a barrel rate of 3.5 percent, his lowest rate since his rookie season in 2016 (2.9 percent). Correspondingly, many of Whit’s advanced batting metrics also suffered in 2021. He posted a career-low in terms of batting average (.277), his wRC+ was tied for the lowest mark in his career (91, also the number in his rookie season), and his .117 ISO was also the lowest number for him since 2016.

Clint Scoles at Royals Academy looks at the depth in the organization at catcher and corner infield.

Diego Guzman: The Royals thought enough to move Guzman to Arizona this year at 17 years old. The thought is he could grow large enough to move to 1st base in the future but they signed him because of his hitting ability. They see a rather large future power potential and patience at the plate. He struckout at a high clip this year in Arizona, but all the teens faced off against much more advanced pitchers than ever before with the squeeze off of split season teams. He’s one to watch for this year if he makes it to Columbia to see how he handles Low-A at just 18 years old.

An introduction to Werner Park, home of the Omaha Storm Chasers.

The new Imagine Downtown KC Strategic Vision pushed by the Downtown Council includes a downtown ballpark.

Mike Gillespie at Kings of Kauffman writes about the time the Royals lost 19 in a row.

The Royals Farm Report podcast discusses the top 30 prospect list.

New Omaha manager Scott Thorman joins the Storm Cast podcast.

Evan Dreilich at The Athletic has the latest on labor talks, with paying arbitration-eligible players a major sticking point.

Russell Carleton at Baseball Prospectus raises questions with paying players by WAR.

Looking ahead to the 2023 Hall of Fame ballot with former Royals outfielder Carlos Beltran.

The Marlins have interest in Pirates outfielder Bryan Reynolds.

The Rangers sign pitcher Nick Tropeano to a minor league deal.

One report has the Cubs, Mariners, Padres, and Giants expected to be finalists for Japanese free agent Seiya Suzuki, although another report says the Red Sox are the favorites.

Andy McCullough at The Athletic talked to minor league owners who lost their affiliation with MLB.

Who should be the first pick in 2022 fantasy baseball drafts?

What are the best mustaches in A’s history?

What are the best baseball movies for kids?

What happened to Deadspin?

Sean Payton was almost traded to the Dallas Cowboys, but the Anthony Davis NBA trade prevented it from happening.

Why are pandas so chubby if they only eat bamboo?

The high price of accepting your salary in cryptocurrency.

Fight Club was released in China and it has a very different ending.

Your song of the day is The D.O.C. with It’s Funky Enough.