Jarrett Seidler at Baseball Prospectus writes about Bobby Witt Jr. and defensive projections for young players. [$]
Infield range is pretty tough to actually scout, if I’m being brutally honest. You can tell when a player is too slow or not agile enough for a position, sure, but a lot of what gets picked up as range in modern defensive stats is hidden to the naked eye...
So now we’re back to Bobby Witt Jr. He does the flashy, noticeable things on defense—enough of them to be perfectly fine at third base. But at shortstop, Witt’s just not reacting quickly enough to get to balls, no matter how fast and agile he is; when you’re seeing this great athletic play on TV, you’re missing that before the camera cut to him, he already lost a step or two that he’s now trying to make up.
David Lesky at Inside the Crown considers contract extensions for young Royals, such as Brady Singer.
This is the one that I’ve reported on before they’re talking about a couple of options with him. I don’t know when his arbitration hearing is set for, but they do have a slight time crunch to get something done if they want to avoid that because hearings are happening. From what I understand, they’d love to lock him up into his free agent years, but there’s also some traction on covering arbitration seasons for the simple reason of cost certainty on both ends. I can understand being cautious here. As I’ve said before, a year ago we wondered if Singer was even going to be in the rotation (and he wasn’t until May). Now he’s the best pitcher on the staff. It’s a lot in one year. My guess is something gets done, but I don’t know that it beats his arbitration hearing.
Patrick Karraker at Bally Sports Kansas City gives his analysis of the Royals’ roster.
Scott Barlow, Aroldis Chapman, Dylan Coleman, Amir Garrett, Zack Greinke, Brad Keller, Jordan Lyles, Brady Singer, Ryan Yarbrough
With the addition of three major league free agents and the re-signing of Greinke, the Royals’ pitching staff is more established heading into spring training than it’s been in several years. The most intriguing story line with this group will be whether Keller and Yarbrough, both of whom shuttled between starting and relieving in 2022, are able to earn spots in the Opening Day rotation.
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