Anne Rogers writes that Nick Loftin is in the best shape of his life.
This offseason was different. And when Loftin’s teammates began to trickle into Arizona for workouts last month, there were some who didn’t recognize him. Scouts have asked who’s playing third base during Cactus League games.
Adding 27 pounds will do that.
“To have teammates come back and be like, ‘Dude, who are you? What did you do?’ has been awesome,” Loftin said. “I didn’t necessarily want to change the narrative, but I wanted to do something that could help with what I do best: Hit a baseball. If I can continue to do what I do at the plate, win every pitch, put the ball in play, with this added muscle, who knows what could happen?”
David Lesky at Inside the Crown writes about the roster battles, particularly in the bullpen.
So far from what I’ve heard, Hernandez has looked great and even though he’s likely to be given another option, he might be on track for the bullpen. I have also heard nothing but rave reviews about Weiss, who I kind of thought of as an afterthought when he was removed from the 40-man, but he apparently looks like a potential weapon, so that’s interesting. I think guys like Lovelady and Snider and Cuas have a bit of an uphill battle for this roster just because of the veterans, but if any veteran is vulnerable, it’s Taylor, just because of the fact that he hasn’t pitched since 2021. He’s only thrown two innings, so far, but I think he would be the easiest to supplant by someone.
Fox Sports ranks the Royals #17 in baseball in “26-and-under” talent
The Royals’ top prospect pitchers all struggled last season, but the club is confident they will rebound.
“We didn’t perform well in the minor leagues last year,” Picollo said. “There’s been a lot of discussion among our guys that this should be an aberration.”
Left-hander Asa Lacy, the fourth overall selection in 2020, is a prime example. He has fallen from prospect rankings after consecutive disappointing seasons, particularly 2022, when he walked more men than he struck out over 28 innings. Lacy is still only 23. It’s not time to give up on him yet, especially considering his prospect pedigree.
“That’s not just us,” Picollo said of evaluating Lacy highly as an amateur.
Vahe Gregorian writes about the energy Salvador Perez brings to the team.
Kevin O’Brien at Royals Reporter considers Brooks Kriske’s chances of making the bullpen.
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