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dlphg9 02-16-2021 12:50 AM

Man spring training in 12 days

KChiefs1 02-16-2021 09:49 AM

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Mama Hip Rockets 02-16-2021 04:33 PM


Originally Posted by DJJasonp (Post 15550799)
I'm good with this - should keep us interested/in wild card hunt through August or so...

I think you meant October.

KChiefs1 02-16-2021 05:57 PM

Kiley McDaniel's top 100 MLB prospects for 2021

17. Bobby Witt Jr

For me, Witt fits next to Pache because their profiles are similar, with Witt having more offensive upside and a more desirable position, but he is years behind in development.

Witt draws Trevor Story comparisons. He is the type who could hit for enough contact and draw enough walks to get to his 25-30 homer power in games while also providing premium value on the basepaths and on defense.

Witt has been posting big exit velos in pro games, but he hasn't quite dialed everything in yet. When there are questions about his ability to make contact for a player in Rookie ball, that's a considerable risk regardless of the upside. A strong low-A performance that addresses these issues would move Witt up a good bit from his already lofty perch as the No. 2 overall pick in 2019.

49. Asa Lacy

Lacy was cross-checked in high school but his asking price pushed him to Texas A&M, where he popped on the scene with bigger stuff in his sophomore year.

Lacy was on the same staff as Meyer for Team USA the summer before his draft year and worked in the mid-90's with an easily plus slider, but his below average command and stiff delivery were both issues.

Leading up to the draft, scouts pointed to Lacy's track record of strike throwing, especially in his dominating effort in the biggest games, as signs that the starter traits are in there if you could iron out some delivery adjustments. The Royals took him No. 4 overall just behind Meyer and envision him as a potential frontline starter. He certainly has the fastball and slider to profile there, but they'll have some work to do in refining the rest.

65. Daniel Lynch

Lynch was a personal favorite of mine in the runup to the 2018 draft with his velocity spiking once he started pitching how he wanted(fewer sliders in the dirt) instead of how Virginia dictated he pitch. His velo has continued to rise, going from 88-92 early in his draft spring to touching the mid-90's pre-draft to finally reaching the upper 90's in pro ball.

His above-average command from his softer-tossing pitchability days is still around and his fastball and slider both play as 55 or 60 on the 20-80 scale depending on the day. His curveball and changeup are both around average, so he's got a real chance to be a mid-rotation starter with some small chance to be a frontline power lefty if it all comes together.

KChiefs1 02-17-2021 11:02 AM

The realist’s guide to how a perfect Royals season would play out in 2021
Alec Lewis


KANSAS CITY, Mo. — In spring 2015, then-Royals manager Ned Yost was talking about how, after 29 years, the club not only reached the wild-card game against the Oakland A’s but also won that game.

It was about one thing: belief.

“All of a sudden, after all those years, they came in in the eighth inning of that wild-card game, and they believed that they were invincible,” Yost told The Washington Post. “They believed that they were good. They believed that they were unbeatable. They believed they could beat anybody. They believed that they could stand up under the most intense scrutiny in the most intense pressure on the biggest stage in the world with the brightest lights. They believed.”

It’s an immeasurable characteristic, especially from the outside. The Royals, though, saw it as important. They still do, especially current manager Mike Matheny, who around this time last season in Surprise, Ariz., stood in front of the club and told them he believed in them. Maybe that started to swell within them then, or maybe the 12-6 finish in the 2020 season did the job, or maybe it was the offseason signings of players who have reached some of the brightest stages.

“I always say it this way,” Matheny said recently, “if you’re trying to get somewhere you’ve never been before, the best place to go is to somebody who has.”

The Royals want to win in 2021, but a World Series title looks improbable for a team coming off a 26-34 season. So on the day pitchers and catchers report, we thought it would be valuable to lay out what a perfectly realistic season would look like. Each of these scenarios requires a certain level of belief:

10. Adalberto Mondesi picks up where he left off from 2020 and proves he’s more that player than the early-season guy

Let’s go back to Sept. 4, 2020.

The Royals were 14-24 and preparing for a Friday night game against the Chicago White Sox. Mondesi, the 25-year-old shortstop, had gone 0-for-4 the night before. Here was his slash line at the time: .179/.209/.231. That’s a .440 OPS, hardly the expected mark from a player the club views as essential to its future.

But that Friday night was a turning point. Mondesi went 3-for-4 and drove in two runs. He proceeded to play 23 more games, and his 2.0 fWAR over that stretch led all major-league hitters. Indeed, Mondesi ranked above Freddie Freeman and José Ramirez and Ronald Acuña Jr. and any other player you’d like to mention. Mondesi hit six home runs over that period, with 20 RBIs and 16 stolen bases. He was a force.

This optimism is nothing new. In 2019, this is what The Athletic’s Rustin Dodd wrote in his version of the Royals realist’s guide: “In the words of another great athlete, ‘The ceiling is the roof.’” Mondesi slash line the final week of that season: .615/.655/1.154.

A more sustained performance begins with health. Mondesi has struggled to avoid injuries throughout his career, and health works in tandem with development. The other big hurdle for Mondesi will be cutting down on his swing-and-miss. Mondesi has a career 29.7 percent strikeout percentage; the league average is 21.8 percent. Interestingly, though, over the final 23 games, Mondesi still struck out 28.7 percent of the time. It’ll be a balancing act. The strikeout numbers won’t disappear. Limiting them, in any way, will go a long way toward Mondesi reaching that ceiling.

9. One of the minor-league signees — Ervin Santana, Wade Davis or Hanser Alberto — becomes a capable piece

Signing players to minor-league contracts is custom. These are no-risk moves with strong potential. As an example, the Royals’ minor-league deals last season were with Trevor Rosenthal and Greg Holland. Another example came in 2019, when the Royals signed Homer Bailey to a minor-league deal, then traded him to Oakland for prospects.

The Royals would love to reap the rewards of at least one of their minor-league signings this season. Santana, Davis and Alberto all stand out. Each brings experience that could benefit the youngsters. And each could be sought after on the trade market in the event the Royals stumble out of the gate. Santana’s 15 seasons of experience give him a good chance to be desirable considering all MLB clubs are on the lookout for arms after the wonky 2020 season. Davis, of course, has been tested by the most heated of battles, an element missing from much of this Royals bullpen. Alberto, a right-handed-hitting second baseman, provides a bat against left-handed pitching.

All of these guys could clearly make a club that has 37 men on its 40-man roster. Contributions from any of them would be a welcome bonus.

8. Andrew Benintendi and Carlos Santana bounce back from down 2020 seasons

Here was Benintendi’s 2020 slash line: .103/.314/.128.

Benintendi’s career slash line: .273/.353/.435.

Here was Santana’s 2020 slash line: .199/.349/.350.

Santana’s career slash line: .248/.366/.446.

In the context of each player’s career, 2020 was a horrible season, even with the caveat of a sample size. The Royals paid prices for both players — for Benintendi, it was prospect Khalil Lee and outfielder Franchy Cordero; for Santana, it was $17.5 million — and they did it because they believed each guy would bounce back to their past production. Doing so would bolster a team that finished with a .309 on-base percentage, fourth worst in the majors last season.

7. Nicky Lopez settles into who he is and proves utility ability, at minimum

Some might roll their eyes at this one, but understanding the context is key.

Lopez has already surpassed what was likely expected this early from a fifth-round pick in the 2016 MLB Draft. Looking back at 2019, Lopez was posting a .957 OPS at Triple-A Omaha at the time of his big-league call-up. The Pacific Coast League is famously hitter-friendly, but this statistic had nothing to do with the ball. Lopez, at the time, was striking out only 3.6 percent of the time.

Lopez proved his plate awareness with a 7.1 strikeout percentage at High-A Wilmington and Double-A Northwest Arkansas. He showcased that skill at the big-league level in 2019, striking out only 12.7 percent of the time, which ranked in the top 6 percent in MLB. Things changed that offseason; Lopez naturally wanted to bulk up and add more power, but his numbers were affected — he struck out 21.4 percent of the time in 2020.

The context suggests that the total will drop back down in 2021, allowing Lopez to up his on-base percentage. Pairing a higher OBP with his fielding ability would be a welcome development, and Matheny is optimistic.

“I watched him hit a few days ago,” the manager said, “and it’s just a short stroke. He’s doing what Nicky can do. He can be one of those guys who works counts, moves guys over, has a low swing-and-miss. Not everybody has that. And he does.”

6. Bobby Witt Jr. showcases his star-studded ability

If you were understandably immersed in everything Chiefs, you may have missed what Royals folks said about Witt in 2020.

“I don’t even know how to explain what he can do,” director of hitting performance Alec Zumwalt said.

“There’s not a day that goes by that he doesn’t do something really good,” assistant general manager J.J. Picollo said.

“His ability to put the barrel on the ball is beyond special,” Zumwalt said.

Witt was facing future big-league pitching in 2020, but finally this season the shortstop will compete in the upper levels of the minor leagues. More than him making a debut, the “perfectly realistic” scenario would have him tearing up opposing competition — at whatever level that may be.

5. The hitting prospects who slumped in 2019 show strides

One of 2019’s biggest storylines was the struggles of the hitting prospects at High-A Wilmington: Nick Pratto, MJ Melendez and Seuly Matias.

Each is a different case. Matias was attempting to play through a broken hand. He’s since worked tirelessly, which paid off during his brief but effective Dominican Winter League season. Matias posted a 1.189 OPS in 18 plate appearances.

Melendez has spent time in Miami, working with Royals special assignment hitting coach Mike Tosar, who helped fuel Jorge Soler’s breakout in 2019. Melendez showed strides at spring training in 2020 and, later, at the alternate site. But competition tells all. The Athletic’s Keith Law recently said Melendez has an 80 arm on the scouting scale, so any improvement at the plate would supplement a promising skill set.

And Pratto, the former first-round pick, has revamped his swing with the help of Zumwalt, hitting coordinator Drew Saylor, assistant hitting coordinator Keoni De Renne and vaunted hitting coach Craig Wallenbrock.

4. The bullpen continues to improve

The Royals focused last offseason on improving the bullpen. They wanted to add experience and power arms and they did it not only with Rosenthal and Holland but also with the development of Josh Staumont, Tyler Zuber, Jesse Hahn and others. It used to be hard to find seven or eight arms for the bullpen; now it’s hard to pick only seven or eight.

Will Jakob Junis become a weapon out of the ‘pen? Will Jake Newberry continue his silently effective performance? Will others such as Daniel Tillo, Ronald Bolaños or Carlos Hernández join the fold?

The more bullpen arms that pitch well, the better off the Royals will be as they creep closer to sustained contention.

3. Brad Keller, Brady Singer and Kris Bubic progress

Fourteen pitchers 26 years old or younger have totaled more than 300 innings since 2018.

To name a few: German Márquez, Shane Bieber, Walker Buehler, Jack Flaherty … Brad Keller. And only Marquez, Bieber and Flaherty have higher career bWAR than Keller (8.3). That’s how good he’s been.

How has Keller, who throws a fastball, sinker and slider, been this good? It almost certainly delves into his knack for “seam-shifted wake” — in layman’s terms, that’s the turbulence that affects a baseball. Still, what would happen if Keller improved his change-up or added a curveball to his arsenal? He’s worked on both, and the Royals would benefit if Keller reports this week with better command of at least one of those pitches.

Similarly, Singer could take another step up with more reps of his change-up. Truth be told, he didn’t need the pitch often in 2020. The more hitters he faces, the more its integration will help. Bubic, too, has room for improvement, specifically with his control. He showed flashes in 2020 and is only 23, so any improvement would provide hope for the long term.

2. Daniel Lynch and Jackson Kowar make their debuts

This wouldn’t be so much about the actual milestone as it would be what it would signify. For Lynch, it would not only represent improved health but also progression with his change-up and repeatability. For Kowar, it’d also be about repeatability as well as the development of the breaking ball.

For the Royals, this would mean one of the most fruitful draft classes in the history of the sport, and that’s not hyperbole.

Only seven draft classes have produced four starters pitching in the same rotation for the team that drafted them, according to FiveThirtyEight. The Lynch and Kowar additions would tie that record, with Bubic and Singer already in the rotation. And get this: Austin Cox, Jonathan Bowlan, Jon Heasley and Zach Haake are also 2018 MLB Draft picks who could start.

1. The rest of the pitching prospects remain healthy and push closer to the big leagues

The rest? Oh, yeah.

Singer, Bubic, Lynch, Kowar, Cox, Bowlan, Heasley and Haake are some of the many pitchers on the rise.

Here are some others: Carlos Hernández, Asa Lacy, Alec Marsh, Noah Murdock, Angel Zerpa, Will Klein, Ben Hernandez, Grant Gambrell, Charlie Neuweiler … should I go on?

You’ve heard Royals general manager Dayton Moore mention how important pitching development is. The numbers are a testament to the scouting staff, led by Lonnie Goldberg, and the development staff, led by Paul Gibson.

Among all of the important elements in this 2021 season — beyond winning, of course — continued pitching prospect progression ranks No. 1.

Who will be their fifth starter?

The Royals had a solid offseason, adding offense with the acquisitions of first baseman Carlos Santana and outfielder Michael A. Taylor in free agency and left fielder Andrew Benintendi in a trade with the Red Sox. They improved their starting pitching by signing Mike Minor, and their bullpen by reuniting with Greg Holland and Wade Davis on free-agent deals.

That leaves the Royals with only one real question entering spring training: Who will be the fifth starter? The candidates include veteran Ervin Santana, left-hander Kris Bubic, right-hander Jakob Junis and the team’s top prospect, lefty Daniel Lynch.

Santana, 38, didn’t pitch in 2020 and has made only eight starts since 2017 as he’s dealt with injuries and underperformance. In those eight starts, he pitched a total of 38 innings, allowing 50 hits and posting an 8.53 ERA. However, the Royals liked what they saw in the Dominican Winter League this offseason, when he had a 2.61 ERA in 20 2/3 innings with 25 strikeouts. They remind everyone how good Santana was with the Twins in 2017, when he went 16-8 with a 3.28 ERA and led the league with five complete games and three shutouts. It seems like a long shot to me, but that’s what’s great about baseball — sometimes the long shots hit.

Bubic, 23, debuted last season and made 10 starts, going 1-6 with a 4.32 ERA (106 ERA+) in 50 innings while allowing 52 hits and generating 49 strikeouts. In 2019, he went 11-5 in A-ball with a 2.23 ERA over 26 starts. Making the jump from A-ball to the majors is not easy, but he certainly held his own last season and should be in the mix again, though his development might benefit if he gets some starts at Triple A to begin the year. Junis, 28, has made 83 starts and six relief appearances in four years with the Royals, and posted nine wins in 2017, 2018 and 2019. However, with a 4.78 career ERA and 4.77 FIP, how many more opportunities should he receive?

The final candidate is Lynch, but the front office seems resigned to the fact that he needs to start the year in the minors for further development. Make no mistake, though, he’s the most talented of this group of four. Lynch, 24, has made 32 starts in the minors and dominated while going 11-3 with a 2.50 ERA in 147 2/3 innings, striking out 157 hitters and walking just 37. He’s a future star. If general manager Dayton Moore and manager Mike Matheny have an open mind, don’t be surprised if he’s the fifth starter on Opening Day or soon after.

KChiefs1 02-17-2021 03:29 PM

2021 KC Royals: Number Changes, National TV Game
Nick Whyman


2021 KC Royals: Changing Numbers

With new faces joining the roster in Carlos Santana and Andrew Benintendi, some players have changed numbers for the 2021 season. Carlos Santana wore #41 during his time with the Cleveland Indians and will continue to wear that number on the back of his uniform in KC. Danny Duffy will now be wearing #21 for this season.

Andrew Benintendi, who was traded to Kansas City in a three-team trade, will be wearing the same number he wore in Boston in #16. This means that Kelvin Gutierrez will be changing numbers and will be wearing #19.

Jakob Junis, who may be making a transition into the bullpen, seems to be wearing #24. Wade Davis, who wore #17 when he spent time with Kansas City a couple of years ago, will now be wearing #71. This means Hunter Dozier will continue to wear #17.

Royals on ESPN This Spring

The Kansas City Royals will also be apart of ESPN’s coverage of select spring training games this year. ESPN usually shows a few games on their network throughout the weekdays during the spring. The Royals will host the Los Angeles Dodgers on March 5th at 2 pm and ESPN will be carrying the game.

Fox Sports Kansas City usually shows a handful of games on their network during the spring, however, they have not announced any games they will broadcast at this time.

Great Expectations 02-17-2021 03:57 PM

Will the Royals games be on Dish? Their website says they will, but it tells you the actual channel on every satellite/cable system being used except for Dish.

louie aguiar 02-17-2021 05:19 PM

Can’t wait to go to a baseball game when its warm out.

ChiefsCountry 02-17-2021 05:37 PM


Originally Posted by Great Expectations (Post 15554367)
Will the Royals games be on Dish? Their website says they will, but it tells you the actual channel on every satellite/cable system being used except for Dish.

<iframe src="" width="480" height="318" frameBorder="0" class="giphy-embed" allowFullScreen></iframe><p><a href="">via GIPHY</a></p>

louie aguiar 02-17-2021 06:08 PM

According to this, at&t tv choice will carry fox sports kc but not hulu or youtube tv. This is from the sinclair POV.

tk13 02-17-2021 06:41 PM

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">With the blessing of Yordano&#39;s mother, Marisol, plus former and current teammates, Duffman will wear No. 30 to honor his friend. <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Kansas City Royals (@Royals) <a href="">February 18, 2021</a></blockquote> <script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script>

Prison Bitch 02-17-2021 08:09 PM

Tatis 14/340?

I’d have waited if I was him.

Chiefspants 02-17-2021 08:11 PM


Originally Posted by Prison Bitch (Post 15554812)
Tatis 14/340?

I’d have waited if I was him.

That lower back herniated disc may have been incentive for him to sign.

Mecca 02-17-2021 08:16 PM

Tatis gets the largest contract ever given to a SS, San Diego keeps the new young star for 14 years, good deal for both sides.

duncan_idaho 02-17-2021 08:21 PM

That’s an AWFUL lot of security. Man.

Tatis is amazing. Does anyone recall WHO Fernandito was traded for?

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