Baseball America revisits the Royals 2023 draft class.
Best Pure Hitter: Outfielder Spencer Nivens (5) has quick hands and a quiet swing, and he did a nice job doing damage with 92+ mph velocity this spring with Missouri State. He didn’t have the greatest performance in his pro debut, but he rarely swings and misses or expands the strike zone. Outfielder Jared Dickey (11) has a bit more noise in his swing, but he could be an above-average hitter and consistently puts the barrel on the baseball.
Kevin O’Brien at Royals Reporter writes about Royals with a precarious spot on the roster, such as Josh Staumont.
It’s one thing to be patient for a guy who has been lights out. That said, it’s a different story for a pitcher who’s been pretty mediocre for nearly two seasons and will be 30 in December.
Royals fans are rooting for Staumont to recover and buck the odds for pitchers who have had TOC surgery.
However, I’m not sure the Royals management is willing to be patient, especially since they will need to upgrade their bullpen considerably in 2024 and Staumont is not going to contribute in any form next season.
Preston Farr at Farm to Fountains wonders if Royals minor league hitting development is faltering.
Those struggles have started to plague the minor league hitters as well. Among minor league hitters with at least 200 plate appearances in 2023, the average OPS was 0.716. The average 2019 OPS that kickstarted a complete hitting development overhaul finished at 0.714. For one reason or another, whatever improvements the Royals saw in 2021 have not continued on and it’s a serious concern if this team wants to build an effective farm system.
The average OPS among Royals minor leaguers has dropped every season since 2021. At the same time, the average ISO (Isolated Power) has dropped at a similar pace.
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