ZiPS projects Kansas City to finish last in the AL Central with a 70-92 record:
The Royals have basically fire sale’d — a minimal one given the team’s talent level — coming off the 2023 season. There are interesting players such as Vinnie Pasquantino to watch on offense, but I’m still not sure if the Royals really have a solid plan beyond hoping some of these young hitters work out very well and everything else just takes care of itself.
Keith Law has his top 20 Royals prospects ($):
2. Nick Loftin, OF/2B (Just-missed list)
Age: 24 | 6-1 | 180 pounds
Bats: Right | Throws: Right
Drafted: No. 32 in 2020
Loftin does a little of everything, making contact, hitting with sneaky pop (17 homers last year), running plus (29 steals in 35 attempts), playing center field and second and third and still a little shortstop, but maybe not enough of any one thing to be a top-100 prospect. He also struggled in Triple A to end last season, a function of his wearing down over the course of the season, so he lost some bat speed and some power. He’s normally a selective hitter with good pitch recognition, and could be a 15-20 homer guy in the big leagues with speed and the versatility to play pretty much anywhere but behind the plate. He’s supposed to have worked to add some muscle this winter so he can hold up for the entire season, and if he does, he could really help this Royals team as a super-utility guy who gets 500 at-bats or even their starter at second base.
Alex Duvall at Royals Farm Report picks ten breakout candidates in the minors:
#7: Chandler Champlain, RHP
Preseason ranking: 35
Prediction: Champlain is a consensus top-30 prospect in the Royals system by midseason.
I love the aggressiveness with which Champlain throws the baseball. Dude is in attack mode at all times and his curveball benefits with a sharp plane and plenty of depth. The Champlain we got on national television last summer at the Field of Dreams is already a top-25 prospect in the system, but he’s been far too inconsistent to warrant that kind of ranking just yet. If he can put it all together at AA this year, he’ll still be a 23-year old with a bright future ahead of him. He’s the exact kind of pitcher that could benefit greatly from a new development team. I’m really excited for this kid.
Mike Gillespie at Kings of Kauffman revisits last summer’s Whit Merrifield trade.
Recently DFA’d Anthony Misciewicz is headed across the state.
Bally Sports regional networks, including Bally Sports Kansas City, are being added to fuboTV.
On this date 52 years ago, Satchel Paige became the first Negro League player elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Paige was initially to be the first player in the Negro wing of the Hall, but the idea of a separate wing was scrapped after widespread media backlash.
Sam McDowell tracked down the six guys that intercepted Patrick Mahomes in his high school senior season. Now track down the three batters and two pitchers he faced in his very limited baseball playing time at Texas Tech.
The Phoenix metro area will host both this Sunday’s Super Bowl and the Waste Management Phoenix Open, which tees off today. This tournament is a far cry from the typically buttoned-up nature of professional golf.
We don’t often cover golf, but when we do, it’s the Waste Management Open.— Sickos Committee (@SickosCommittee) February 6, 2023
If you’ve never watched, it’s “what if Arizona State tailgated a major pro golf tournament.” https://t.co/tEN6m20f5x pic.twitter.com/pz4MiduKvT
Go behind the scenes of LeBron James breaking the all-time NBA scoring record.
This week’s rental opportunity allows you to sleep directly next to your oven and also features a bathroom that’s nearly impossible to use.
The James Webb Space Telescope may be able to spot much smaller objects than previously anticipated.
In other space news, 12 new moons have been discovered orbiting Jupiter, leapfrogging the red gas giant over Saturn for the title of most moons in the solar system.
Americans are obsessed with vehicles that can barely fit in parking spaces. This should lead to smaller vehicles, but it will more likely lead to larger parking spaces.
Your song of the day is Good Life by Crystal Skies ft. Kellin Quinn.