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Weekend Rumblings - News for January 29, 2022


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Weekend Rumblings - News for January 29, 2022

Alec Lewis looks at the depth of the hitting prospects in the system.

Erick Peña, OF: Scouts have shown interest in Peña from the beginning, and it’s easy to understand why. Peña stands 6-foot-3. He weighs 205 pounds. He’s long and lean. The body, in the words of one scout, screams impact big-leaguer. This is why the Royals paid him a reported $3.8 million to sign out of the Dominican Republic in the international free-agent market. Problem is, Peña’s talent has not translated into games. In 137 at-bats last season in the Arizona Complex League, the 18-year-old struck out 57 times and posted a .570 OPS. Handling the struggles wasn’t easy; it forced Peña to tweak certain elements of his routine in search of answers. The Royals, though, had some serious conversations with Peña about what might be possible if he stays the course. A scout provided his state of the union: “Longer-levered guys often need a swing adjustment after a growth spurt. I’m still a big fan.”

Lynn Worthy talks to MJ Melendez about his struggles, his comeback, and his future.

Late last season, the Royals played him at third base at Triple-A. The idea behind trying him at different positions being that it might help him get into the major-league lineup that includes an entrenched All-Star catcher and franchise cornerstone in Salvador Perez.

Melendez said he took it as a “compliment” for the Royals to try to find different ways to get him on the field.

“If I get an opportunity at any position, I want to be there to try to help the team win,” Melendez said. “Whatever I need to do, I’m excited, ready and willing to do.”

Alex Duvall at Royals Farm Report tops off his prospect rankings with - who else? Bobby Witt, Jr.

It’s going to be a fun run, Kansas City. Don’t waste time worrying about the day that Bobby Witt Jr. may not be wearing a Royals uniform anymore. We’ve got six or seven years minimum to relish it. There’s a chance that this kid will go down as one of the two or three greatest players in the history of the organization. There’s obviously a chance he’s more like Alex Gordon than George Brett, but to be talking about Alex Gordon as a potential floor for any player should speak volumes about how talented he is. The 2022 Royals are going to be fun to watch because so many of the guys that we’ve talked about in our preseason rankings should be debuting, but the 2023 Royals really could set up the beginning of one of the best windows this team has had since the early 80’s. The waiting is almost over.

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

Shortstops Vazquez and Candelario and catcher Hernandez going into 2021 were seen as young, raw, but highly projectable talents who could surprise in the lower levels of the Royals system, though they would take a while before they reached the Major League level. All three players were teenagers still going into last season, so it was expected that they were going to go through some growing pains, especially after a lost Minor League season.

That being said, all three went through more than just their fair share of struggles last season, and the main concern with the Royals’ ability to properly develop signings from Latin America recently is due to the struggles of this trio a year ago.

David Lesky at Inside the Crown writes about the labor talks and Hall of Fame voting.

Batoul Hammoud at Kings of Kauffman looks back at David DeJesus.

Former Royals pitcher Sam Gaviglio signs with the Dodgers and former Royals outfielder Rudy Martin signs with the Nationals on minor league deals.

What is the economic impact of this week’s labor proposals in baseball?

The Padres hire former Cardinals manager Mike Shildt as a consultant.

Former White Sox infielder Gordon Beckham announces his retirement.

Pitcher David Hess says he’s cleared for action following chemotherapy for a cancerous tumor.

Carlos Beltran will join the YES broadcast booth for Yankees games.

The Guardians extend their lease at Progressive Field through 2036.

MLB won’t require vaccines for minor leaguers in 2022.

Padres starting pitchers could become trade candidates.

Does Lou Piniella face a tough road to get into Cooperstown?

The night the Macarena took over Yankee Stadium.

The Sacramento Kings end their pursuit of Ben Simmons.

The new Kevin James movie about Sean Payton doesn’t sound great.

Parasites that thrive in warm weather are killing Minnesota moose.

Class reunions continue to be a popular TV trope.

Your song of the day is Loretta Lynn and Jack White with Portland, Oregon.