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Royals Rumblings - News for March 10, 2022

Which Royals could benefit from a ban on the shift?

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MLB: SEP 16 Athletics at Royals Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Royals Rumblings - News for March 10, 2022

Alec Lewis writes that Erick Peña is looking to improve off a disappointing season.

Starting in August. Saylor and Peña talked about sticking with a plan and an approach. To repair his swing mechanics, Peña widened his stance and altered his posture, which led to “a better hip-hinge position,” Saylor said. Essentially, rather than his butt being directly underneath him, it jutted out, allowing his hips — which create the power in the swing — to move more effectively.

“One of the things that stood out to me with Erick during that time was, like any other competitor, he was frustrated with regard to his performance, but it wasn’t one of those ones where there was finger-pointing,” Saylor said. “He’s like, ‘I want to get myself into the right position to move consistently.’ That’s the thing that stood out.”

Anne Rogers profiles 2021 draft pick Caden Monke.

“He’s got some really different type numbers on the quantitative-analysis side,” Gibson said. “His fastball has two distinct movements. He cuts it and runs it. And you combine it with a deceptive delivery, he could do a lot of things. He could be a long or short reliever, he could start, there are a lot of different things down the road for us. And we’re not going to close any doors on him.”

Monke isn’t worried about his role; he’s simply taking in his first spring after a whirlwind 2021.

“I’m just here and whatever they want me to do, I’ll do,” Monke said “I’ll just go out there and compete. This has been what I’ve wanted to do since I was little.”

Jared Perkins at Royals Farm Report follows the ups and downs of Brewer Hicklen’s career.

The opportunity to be open led Hicklen to shift his perspective and led to unbelievable success. He turned it on in July, where he slashed .329/.446/.697 with seven home runs, 16 RBI, and 16 stolen bases! I mean… have a month. With that success, he also realized that every moment and performance doesn’t define who you are. “Players, myself included, tend to focus on only what’s happening at the moment. But it is important to realize there is always something on the other side,” Hicklen said. “Every moment of failure prepares you for success in the future. Every piece of success prepares you for an opportunity to mentor and teach someone in the face of adversity.”

David Lesky writes about the Royals who could benefit from a ban on the shift, like Ryan O’Hearn.

But when the infield didn’t show him the alignment above, his wOBA was .405. I wrote a couple of years ago on Royals Review that all the talk of O’Hearn’s bad luck was mostly a mirage and it would just take him from a bad hitter to a slightly less bad hitter if he had better luck. But if you start to remove the shift, the conversation changes a bit on him. He does hit the ball hard when he makes contact. He barrels it more than average. And until 2021, he walked at a well above-average rate. There are still massive contact issues here and shifts haven’t kept his ISO down to utility infielder levels, but there is no doubt the shift has hurt him.

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