In the latest Royals Beat newsletter, Anne Rogers looks ahead to what Bobby Witt, Jr. may have up his sleeve for 2024:
So what type of numbers can we expect from Witt in 2024?
“I feel like if you set a goal, then there’s no way you can keep going,” Witt said last season. “So whatever happens, happens. Just keep going.”
Witt may not want to put specific numbers out there, but that certainly won’t stop us from having some fun with it. Using the Steamer projection model on FanGraphs, Witt is forecast for 30 homers and 42 stolen bases in 2024. That would bring his career totals to 80 home runs and 121 stolen bases through three big league seasons.
Not only has no player had 80 homers and 120 stolen bases through three seasons, but nobody has ever reached each of those totals in even their first four seasons. In fact, only three players — Alfonso Soriano, Hanley Ramirez and Andrew McCutchen — have totaled 80 home runs and 120 steals in their first five MLB seasons.
David Lesky looks into what it would take for the Royals to win 90 games in 2024, including the need for a young(ish) starter to step up:
I think Lyles as the fifth starter is probably generally whatever for a team simply in need of innings. But, in this scenario, we’re trying to get the Royals to 90 wins. I think if Lyles makes 30 starts, that doesn’t happen. So someone needs to step up and take his spot sooner than later. Again, it doesn’t matter who does it, but there are no shortage of choices at this point, which is very nice. Whether it’s Daniel Lynch IV or Angel Zerpa or Veneziano or whoever, someone else needs to be the fifth starter by the end of May.
It’s nice that the depth in this rotation is them now rather than them being counted on as part of the initial rotation because you feel a lot better about hoping one figures things out than you do in counting on them to be good. And as an added bonus, it would be nice if whoever does figure it out does it well enough to maybe even be the third-best starter in the rotation instead of the fifth. And i don’t care who the second-best is either as long as someone legitimately is. It’s nice that you can make an argument for any of Singer, Michael Wacha and Seth Lugo to fill that role.
At Farm to Fountains, Trey Donovan checks in on the state of the organization in right field.
Speaking of our friends at Farm to Fountains, there’s a fun crossover with our Royals Rundown podcast with an early release of an episode if enough people join the Farm to Fountains Discord! I’m a member of the Discord and have enjoyed the lively conversation very much.
The Marlins hired 36-year-old Rachel Balkovec as director of player development. She’s the first woman to hold this role, after being the first woman to hold several other roles in affiliated baseball.
In the Dominican Republic, the crimes that shortstop Wander Franco is being accused of have been reduced from commercial and sexual exploitation and money laundering, to sexual and psychological abuse. All the same, Ken Rosenthal reported that it’s a possibility that Franco’s visa gets revoked.
White Sox GM Chris Getz spoke to assembled media, and one topic was the potential for a Dylan Cease trade, and not letting him go for less than the team wants. If you took out the names, this story could have been run on Royals Review during so much of the Datyon Moore era.
Al Yellon at Bleed Cubbie Blue has a reminder to be a bit skeptical about trade and free agent rumors, since so many of them are agent plants.
Kum & Go will not be called that anymore following a purchase from Utah-based Maverik.
If you’re a regular Jersey Mike’s eater, you may be eligible for a free sandwich by signing up for their rewards program. If...my friend...has never eaten there, should she give it a try?
That will be today’s OT discussion: what’s the best chain sandwich place? Define “best” however you want; whether that’s by value, flavor, bread, service, je ne sais quoi, whatever.
SOTD: Reba McEntire and Vince Gill - The Heart Won’t Lie