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Weekend Rumblings - News for August 12, 2023

Who is the #1 prospect in the Royals farm system?

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Syndication: The Corpus Christi Caller Times Angela Piazza/Caller-Times / USA TODAY NETWORK

Alec Marsh unveiled a new slider this week, writes Anne Rogers.

“It was literally as simple as just changing the grips around,” Marsh said. “And I threw one in the bullpen, and we were like, ‘OK, well, that’s a big difference.’ And then, I just stuck with it.”

Because of the new movement, Statcast had a hard time registering which pitches were sliders and which were curveballs against the Red Sox. But generally, Marsh’s slider is around 84-86 mph, while his curveball typically doesn’t get above 83 mph.

David Lesky at Inside the Crown looks at which hitters are part of the future.

Of those on the team right now, that’s five, and more likely six, regulars you feel good about. That’s better than I expected. And that doesn’t include MJ Melendez, who is sad to be leaving Boston but is hitting .280/.337/.538 since the break. I’m a broken record, but he made adjustments at the break, put in the work and has come out of the gates hitting like the guy we expected after his 2021 minor league breakout. Should he be in the above list? As of right now, I still say no, but if he keeps this up, absolutely.

I’m also feeling a lot more confident about Waters than I was a few weeks ago. He’s hit .257/.341/.600 over the last two weeks and .234/.302/.481 since the break. He can play a good center. I’m not sure how much you want him hitting in the top half of a lineup, but he has real power, can work a walk and switch hits, which is big for lineup construction (though he’s been way better from the left side). So I think if you wanted to write him above in pencil as more than a backup, that’s fine by me. I’m just not quite there yet.

Fangraphs re-ranked farm systems, but notes why the Royals didn’t move up that much.

Similar to the way one could argue the farm calculations didn’t properly capture the Phillies’ draft class, they don’t come close to capturing Kansas City’s deadline activity, for a few different reasons. For one, the Royals traded Aroldis Chapman before the window of time in which I’m capturing movement. They also acquired more complex-level players (either from the Florida or Arizona Complex Leagues, or the Dominican Summer League) than any other org during this year’s trade phase, and especially when those types of prospects are pitchers and corner hitters (like Jesus Rios and Derlin Figueroa), they are punished in my FV grades for lacking close proximity to the majors and/or a stable statistical track record, respectively. Finally, they got back some young, controllable big leaguers, like Cole Ragans, who are no longer “prospects” and therefore don’t impact the farm rankings. Ragans has had a four-tick velocity bump this year and will be a foundational piece of their rotation if he can sustain it.

MLB Pipeline also re-ranked top 30 Royals prospects and re-ranked their top 100 prospects (still with no Royals).

Does Matt Olson have a shot at reaching 60 home runs?

Brian Cashman’s job is reportedly safe with the Yankees.

Why the AL Central is the weakest division.

Andy McCullough and Zack Meisel at The Athletic look at why no one calls errors anymore.

Jose Bautista signs a one-day contract to retire with the Blue Jays.

The Padres could still make the playoffs.

How the Cubs rejuvenated their season.

The Orioles have stalled negotiations on a lease for Camden Yards.

How Fanatics is building a weird monopoly in the baseball card industry.

Tigers radio announcer and former catcher Jim Price died this week.

Eight teams are left in the women’s World Cup, who could win it all?

Phil Mickelson reportedly totaled $100 million in gambling losses.

Technology allows us to “speak” to dead relatives, but should we?

Microsoft kills Cortana, its virtual assistant app.

The movies that have the best jerks.

Your song of the day is Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers with Learning to Fly.