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Royals Rumblings - News for January 4, 2022

Here comes the prospect lists!

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Milwaukee Brewers v Kansas City Royals Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

Royals Rumblings - News for January 4, 2022

Jonathan Mayo at MLB Pipeline writes about the five most-improved farm systems.

The Royals have gone from No. 17 at the start of 2020 to the top five now, and while there are other organizations who made a larger leap rankings-wise, the Royals belong here because of the high-end impact potential here. Having Bobby Witt Jr. is plenty, and the fact he went from Double-A to Triple-A in what was, in effect, his first full season and nearly pulled off a 30-30 season, doesn’t hurt. But the Royals also had breakout performances from prospects like catcher MJ Melendez, who led the Minors in home runs, and first baseman Nick Pratto, who joined Witt and Melendez in playing well across two levels of the upper Minors. The Royals saved money in taking high-ceilinged high school lefty Frank Mozzicato in the first round of the 2021 Draft, allowing them to add eight members of our Draft Top 250 to the system, six of whom are currently in the Royals’ Top 30.

William Boor at lists Asa Lacy among his prospects primed for a bounce back.

Lacy’s first full season didn’t go as planned as the southpaw pitched to a 5.19 ERA over 52 innings and also dealt with a minor shoulder injury. After being shut down in late July, Lacy was able to recover enough to make four appearances in the Arizona Fall League. While the numbers weren’t impressive, the 22-year-old still has the stuff to succeed. In addition to a mid-90s fastball, Lacy throws a trio of pitches — fastball, slider, changeup — that each grade out as above average or plus. The command issues (7.10 BB/9 in 2021) certainly need to be addressed, but a lefty with four quality pitches and the ability to miss bats (13.67 K/9 in 2021) is always worth keeping a close eye on.

Kevin O’Brien begins his ranking or Royals prospects, beginning with the top five.

Loftin may be my most polarizing Tier One prospect, and I totally understand. After Lacy, it was tough to find a fifth prospect that fit in this category, and one could certainly make the case for Vinnie Pasquantino after his tremendous 2021.

That being said, I think Loftin could be a star, though he may be closer to that “Whit-esque” star than the “Salvy-esque” one.

Eric Herauf at Prospects 1500 ranks his top 50 Royals prospects.

Craig Brown at Into the Fountains ranks Salvador Perez’s home runs.

Jordan Foote at Inside the Royals is skeptical of Carlos Santana.

Eric Treuden at Call to the Pen writes about what the Royals need to do once the lockout is over.

Mike Gillespie at Kings of Kauffman has his New Year’s resolutions for the Royals.

Evan Dreilich at The Athletic gives an update on labor discussions and where things stand.

Ken Rosenthal is not welcome at MLB Network anymore after his criticism of Rob Manfred.

David Schoenfield at ESPN writes about the best and worst free agent deals from the last decade.

How Tyler Matzek conquered the yips.

Fanatics acquires Topps trading cards for $500 million.

Baseball America writes that their prospect rankings are loaded with catchers.

Former Cubs outfielder Larry Biittner dies at the age of 75.

What are baseball’s oddest ballpark quirks?

The Week 18 Chiefs game has been moved to Saturday.

Who are the top MVP candidates in the NBA?

Money has never felt more fake, does it matter?

BlackBerry phones will stop working this week.

The 40 most-anticipated television shows of 2022.

Your song of the day is Curtis Harding with Can’t Hide It.