Royals Rumblings - News for February 24, 2022
Lynn Worthy talks to General Manager J.J. Picollo about the pitching depth.
“From potential starting pitching depth, it’s as good as we’ve had it during our time here. It puts us in a good position. When we talk about sustained winning and winning over a period of time, you need those pitchers to keep coming. The scouting department has done a great job to put us in that position, but we feel like we’re there right now.”...
“We always say it’s the currency,” Picollo said. “You look up and teams always need pitching. So if you’re ever involved in any talks and you have pitching, you’re probably a target for a lot of teams to try to acquire quality pitching. That’s why we say you can never have enough between injuries, trades, roster decisions to make. All different things can impact how long you can keep that depth together. I’d rather have it this way than not.”
Fangraphs ranks four Royals in their list of top 100 prospects, plus Vinnie Pasquantino at #111.
Pasquantino is not a graceful athlete — even his home run trots look like they require a fair bit of effort — but he can really hit, which is the thing we care about most. There are missile defense systems with less precise tracking ability than Pasquantino, who seems to be lasered in on everything that crosses the plate, and is on time with remarkable consistency. He will track and whack breaking balls that most hitters would swing over top of, and he can also flatten his bat path and get to fastballs at the top of the strike zone. At age 23, he was a little old for a bat-only prospect who split the year between High- and Double-A, but his numbers there were incredible. He walked nearly as much as he struck out (he only K’d 13% of the time) and he has such precise feel for contact that we think he’ll get to all of his modest raw power in games. It’s an atypical first base profile since there isn’t loud raw power, but the hit/power blend projects for an output similar to Yuli Gurriel’s, and we’re confident Pasquantino’s hit tool will make him a consistent annual run producer.
Alec Lewis has a nice profile of Vinnie and asks what he thinks of making some of these lists.
“I think I’m a good hitter,” he said. “I think I’m a good baseball player. I think I’m a good defender. So what is somebody writing about me going to do? Should that affect my confidence? I should hope not. It’s cool. Like, I’m not going to say it’s not. Because when I was drafted, I was nowhere near those lists. In my mind, I’ve had two pretty good years. I’ve earned it.
Jim Callis writes about the best defensive prospects in baseball.
1B: Nick Pratto, Royals (No. 2/MLB No. 65)
While it took four years after the Royals made him the 14th overall choice in 2017 for his bat to break out, Pratto’s glove has shone consistently during his pro career. He’s extremely athletic and aggressive for a first baseman, possesses soft hands and has a strong arm that also made him a pitching prospect as a California high schooler.
Jim Bowden makes some bold predictions.
17. Bobby Witt Jr. fills his mantlepiece with awards
The 2022 AL Rookie of the Year Award. A 2024 Silver Slugger Award. The 2025 AL MVP Award. Witt will win them all, then hit 50 home runs a season in ’25 and ’26. In 2028, he will become a free agent and leave Kansas City to sign a 10-year, $574 million contract with the Rangers. How’s that for a bold prediction?
Batoul Hammoud of Kings of Kauffman tries to project the season for Nicky Lopez.
Owners say the season will be shortened with no make-ups if a deal isn’t done by Monday.
ESPN talks to insiders about how a baseball lockout could end.
Tom Verducci laments that the biggest issues in baseball aren’t being discussed in labor talks.
The Padres are interested in Athletics first baseman Matt Olson.
Where could Freddie Freeman end up if he doesn’t return to Atlanta?
Marcus Stroman slams the Mets after departing.
Rangers third base prospect Josh Jung is out six months with a shoulder injury.
Who are some contract extension candidates after the lockout?
Former Mariners and White Sox infielder Julio Cruz dies at age 67.
The Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame continues to overlook an all-black team from the 30s.
Did Connecticut coach Danny Hurley deserve to be ejected for rallying the crowd?
Tom Brady will star in a football-themed road trip movie starring Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, Rita Moreno and Sally Field.
Paramount+ is giving us a live-action Fairly OddParents show.
Why do the Oscars love portrayals of real people so much?
How Abbott Elementary revived the television sitcom.
Your song of the day is Faith No More with Epic.