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Royals Rumblings - News for July 11, 2023

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Blake Mitchell made it sound like he plans to sign with the Royals soon.

In the Royals’ farm system, Mitchell will join fellow catcher Carter Jensen as the next wave of talent at his position. He is excited for the opportunity and is hoping to matriculate to the majors at an accelerated rate.

“I want to be on the fastest track,” Mitchell said. “I know I can do that with the Royals. They love their homegrown players and I just want to keep succeeding in the minors. Hopefully, I can get there (the majors) in a couple of years.”

Anne Rogers talks to director of scouting Danny Ontiveros about Mitchell.

Mitchell will have to work on his bat-to-ball skills as he faces tougher competition, but he has raw power to tap into as he makes adjustments.

“He’s very calm at the plate, he doesn’t really expand the zone,” Ontiveros said. “He knows the strike zone. He took his walks this year. He could have pressed; [there were] a lot of people there wanting to see him. He could have chased out of the zone, but he didn’t.

“He stole bases, found ways to help his team win. I think it’s a testament to his maturity level.”

She also recaps the day two Royals picks.

Anne also talks to Royals players about what it’s like to play for All-Star Salvador Perez.

David Lesky at Inside the Crown reacts to day one of the draft.

My concern actually has a lot less to do with him and more who was available and why they picked him. But still, I’m not entirely sure that he’s going to be able to catch in the big leagues and while many have noted that he absolutely has the arm for right field, I don’t think that’s quite as easy as it may seem. MJ Melendez, a high school catcher taken in the second round in 2017, is far more athletic than Mitchell and he’s very clearly struggled with a move to the outfield.

Similar to the high school catcher profile, different players and all that, but it’s an example of it’s not so easy to just move a guy. Now, if the Royals identified the bat as so good that they didn’t care to wait for him to catch and moved him early, you never know. They did that with Wil Myers and it worked out okay.

Craig Brown at Into the Fountains reacts to Amir Garrett being designated for assignment.

Say what you will about the Royals, but they’re not mind-numbingly stupid. They’re not DFA’ing a reliever with a nifty ERA and a 10.4 SO/9 if they hadn’t shopped him around previously and found no interest. Contenders need relievers. They don’t need relievers who throw first-pitch strikes 48 percent of the time and have a 27 percent CSW%.

That made him untradeable. It also means I would be very surprised if he was claimed while he was on the waiver wire. I imagine he’ll pass through and may catch on with a random club or as a depth option for a contending team that will put him behind glass only to be broken in case of an emergency.

Eric Longenhagen of Fangraphs gives his thoughts on the Royals’ draft.

Mitchell (likely under slot) and Wolters (maybe over) provide a much needed injection of upside into the Royals system, which is arguably the worst in the sport. Mitchell has a lot of work to do on defense, but he has rare power for a catcher. Wolters is the latest in a recent run of highly priced high school arms in Kansas City. The Royals may have saved on Roccaforte to make their bonus pool math work.

R.J. Anderson at CBS Sports gives his draft grades.

Mitchell has a strong arm (he also pitched) and above-average power potential from the left side. We’re docking this pick not because of his ability (or lack thereof), but because history has not been kind to first-round prep catchers. There hasn’t been one who 1) remained at the position and 2) accrued 10 or more WAR since Joe Mauer — the No. 1 pick in the 2001 draft. Grade: C

Kevin O’Brien at Royals Reporter writes about what to look for from Royals hitters in the second half.

Vlad Guerrero Jr. wins the Home Run Derby.

Gerrit Cole and Zac Gallen will start tonight’s All-Star Game.

Ronald Acuña Jr. has had the best-selling jersey in MLB this year.

The Yankees hire Sean Casey as their new hitting coach.

Shohei Ohtani really wants to play for a winner.

The era of tanking may be over.

Why is Seattle’s T-Mobile Park so tough on hitters?

The Marlins activate pitcher Johnny Cueto.

Marlins prospect Victor Victor Mesa leaves the team over a spat with coaches.

The Rangers and Diamondbacks could use some relievers, like Scott Barlow.

Wade Boggs is inducted into the Rays Hall of Fame.

Northwestern’s baseball program is now accused of having a toxic culture.

After a disappointing Summer League debut, Victor Wembanyama dominates in his second outing.

The FBI arrests superfan “Chiefsaholic” who was on the run after a string of bank robberies.

Many classic video games are becoming commercially unavailable.

The New York Times will close its sports department and rely on The Athletic.

The best sketch comedy shows of all-time.

Your song of the day is John Lennon with Instant Karma! (We All Shine On).