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Royals Rumblings - News for February 8, 2024

Blake Mitchell mentioned.

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Kauffman Stadium Photo by Kirby Lee/Getty Images

Dan Szymborski at FanGraphs evaluates Bobby Witt Jr.’s new contract in the context of his ZiPS projections:

How good is this projection? ZiPS would happily throw another $100 million Witt’s way, meaning the Royals still have a lot of room for this deal to be absolutely fabulous from their point of view. Note that ZiPS isn’t even assuming Witt is a +10 defensive shortstop; 2023 was only enough for it to believe that he’s league average. If I tell ZiPS to assume he’s a -10 shortstop with the glove right now, it still thinks $240 million would be a fair deal. In other words, liking this contract from Kansas City’s perspective does not require you to abandon all skepticism about his defense.

Noted sports outlet Forbes also assesses the deal:

I searched for two-year veteran, age 23 and younger MLB shortstops from this century who recorded comparable or better production, and came up with a pretty solid set of names: Fernando Tatis Jr., Corey Seager, Carlos Correa, Hanley Ramirez, Francisco Lindor, Gleyber Torres and Wander Franco. All of them remained potent bats. Franco is a case all unto his own that will be discussed on another day, but talent-wise he belongs. Tatis, Ramirez and Torres were not long for the shortstop position. Seager and Correa are still shortstops, though its arguable that either will be there for many more years. Lindor remains a long-term shortstop fixture. Witt is in the league of all of these guys with the bat, and only Lindor is his peer with the glove.

Keith Law includes Blake Mitchell among his ten prospects that just missed his Top 100 ($):

Mitchell was the first catcher taken in the 2023 draft, as the Royals selected him eighth overall and gave him a below-slot bonus to allow them to sign three guys for above-slot later on in the draft. He’s a power-hitting catcher with a plus arm who shows the skills to be an above-average defender behind the plate, touching 94 mph as a pitcher while in high school. He begins his setup at the plate with a very wide stance and then strides forward from there, so he’s had trouble with better offspeed stuff in high school and in a brief stint last summer in the ACL.

Mitchell is going to need time, as all catchers do, but particularly to work on developing his approach and ability to pick up spin and changing speeds. It’s 25-homer upside with above-average defense if he hits enough to get to the power.

The semifinals of the Caribbean Series play today with Dominican Republic and Panama squaring off at 2pm CST and Curaçao and Venezuela playing at 6pm CST. A third-place game between the losers and a championship game between the winners will be played at the same respective times tomorrow.

Venezuela’s Ángel Padrón no-hit Nicaragua last night, the first no-hitter in the Caribbean Series since 1952.

A teachers’ union is suing the state of Nevada to stop tax money from funding a new stadium for the Oakland A’s.

It’s World Series or bust for the Los Angeles Dodgers after a very busy offseason.

MLB players may be permitted to compete in the 2028 Olympics. ($)

Catcher Gary Sánchez is signing a one-year deal with Milwaukee.

In a seismic ruling, the NLRB declared Dartmouth basketball players are school employees that can unionize.

Breaking down the schemes and adjustments that will be key in this weekend’s Superb Owl.

Tiger Woods will play the Genesis Invitational next week for his first official PGA Tour start since last year’s Masters.

Australian cricket legend Ricky Ponting will coach Washington Freedom in this summer’s Major League Cricket.

Rotten Tomatoes is cracking down on paid film reviews, but these reviews remain an important avenue for independent projects to gain recognition.

Taylor Swift is following in Elon Musk’s footsteps by threatening legal action against a student that tracks private jets used by public figures. Reminder that this information is publicly available through the FAA.

A study using AI models to run wartime simulations showed that the models were prone to abrupt nuclear escalation.

Your song of the day is Lay Me Down by Avicii.