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Old 01-07-2021, 12:01 PM  
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***Official 2021 Royals Season Repository Thread***

For all things Royals for the new year.

Free Agent Signings:
Carlos Santana
Mike Minor
Michael Taylor
Ervin Santana

Top 10 Prospects:
1 Bobby Witt Jr., SS
2 Asa Lacy, LHP
3 Daniel Lynch, LHP
4 Jackson Kowar, RHP
5 Erick Pena, OF
6 Nick Loftin, SS
7 Kyle Isbel, OF
8 Khali Lee, OF
9 Jonathan Bowlan, RHP
10 Carlos Hernedez, RHP
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Old 09-23-2021, 02:53 PM   #6076
Prison Bitch Prison Bitch is offline
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Originally Posted by PunkinDrublic View Post
I came across PTI today and they were talking about Salvys home run record. Of course they were dismissive of it because some of them came as a DH. If he played in a big city on one of the coasts they wouldn’t be spewing that bullshit.
They’re retards. Statcast tells us how many HR a player *should* have based on batted ball data. Since Salvy plays in a cavernous park, he should have 49.4 instead of 46. In fact, here’s the leaderboard in most screwjobs of HR.


Notice a pattern?


3. Soler -7.1
5. Beni -6.3
8. Santana -4.9
14. Dozier -4.2
18. Salvy -3.4
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Old 09-23-2021, 03:32 PM   #6077
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Originally Posted by siberian khatru View Post
He probably wanted to watch a porno...
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Old Yesterday, 06:38 PM   #6078
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Hernandez pitching tonight, 2 hits thru 4 IP. 1-0 Rs
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Old Yesterday, 07:31 PM   #6079
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Old Today, 12:05 AM   #6080
dlphg9 dlphg9 is online now
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God damn what a cannon. Just wish he could hit at all.
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Old Today, 02:46 AM   #6081
KChiefs1 KChiefs1 is offline
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The rise of under-the-radar Royals prospect Vinnie Pasquantino: ‘He could run for mayor’

https://theathletic.com/2845106/2021...run-for-mayor/

Quote:
You’re curious how this player stacks up historically, so you head to FanGraphs.

You plug in qualifications: at least 230 plate appearances from a season in the upper levels of the minors (a big enough sample), a strikeout rate at 11 percent or below (impressive plate discipline) and isolated power at .250 or above (raw power).

The spreadsheet takes time to spit out names. When it does, there’s a full list of players who have met those qualifications since 2006:

• Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (2018, Triple A)
• Alex Bregman (2016, Triple A)
• Vinnie Pasquantino (2021, Double A)

You know about those first two. Guerrero paces Major League Baseball with 46 home runs for the Blue Jays this season; Bregman is a two-time All-Star for the Astros with more career WAR at age 27 (26.3) than all but seven players in Royals history.

Your eyebrows, though, might rise at the third name on that list. Vinnie Pasquantino, 23, is currently playing at Double-A Northwest Arkansas in the Royals system and isn’t listed on any top prospect rankings. Huh? Who? How?

But it’s probably good that you’re asking those questions now — before the baseball world notices a man of whom one scout said: “He could run for mayor.”

To understand how Vinnie Pasquantino found himself on that tiny list, to understand how he became the imposing 6-foot-4, 235-pound first baseman who has 24 homers and 84 RBIs this season, you must first hear the advice he gives kids.

“As soon as you find out what you’re actually passionate about,” he tells them, “go after it. It doesn’t have to be baseball or sports.”

Growing up, he actually loved theater.

“Oh, I loved it,” he said. “I loved it.”

And he went after it.

In sixth grade, he not only led the school play as Bilbo Baggins from “The Hobbit,” but he was also cast in the esteemed role of the flying monkey in “The Wizard of Oz.”

“Then, in high school, I was the love interest in ‘Dracula,’” Pasquantino said. “And I had the greatest time.”

Baseball, though, became his foremost love, and he’s gone after it to the point that scouts have started to take note. They’re impressed by his walk-to-strikeout ratio (he has 64 walks and 64 strikeouts). They’re wowed by his makeup, which had Northwest Arkansas manager Scott Thorman saying: “He’s a magnetic personality. He has the ability and the personality to run a clubhouse. And he can back it up with his play on the field.”

Royals general manager J.J. Picollo even said recently: “This guy is a winner, first of all. Has energy. Plays his ass off every night. So that is what gets your attention.”

Vinnie Pasquantino, of course, grew up a huge New York Yankees fan. Derek Jeter debuted in 1995. Pasquantino was born in 1997.

“I was lucky enough to watch Derek Jeter play basically my entire life,” he said. “How could you not fall in love with the game that guy played?”

Pasquantino has been told two things about his youth. The first is that his first word was “ball.” The second is that when a player on TV would hit a ball, then dog it up the first-base line, he’d be steaming.

How could you not hustle? Is the game not important enough to you?

“I guess I was kind of a narc when it came to watching baseball,” he said, laughing.

That attitude translated to his own game, which started to impress coaches by the time he entered high school at James River in Midlothian, Va., a town west of Richmond. When he was in 10th grade, he traveled to Old Dominion University for a camp. Old Dominion coach Chris Finwood remembered, in his words, “a skinny runt of a kid” standing around the batting cage.

But Old Dominion loved Pasquantino’s attitude enough to offer him an opportunity to play for the Monarchs. Originally, Pasquantino thought Old Dominion wanted him more for his pitching ability. But he won coaches over with his bat. Pasquantino arrived on campus, began shifting his approach from strictly pull-side power and as a freshman supplanted an older first baseman.

That year, he posted a .397 on-base percentage with 29 walks and 28 strikeouts. Former Old Dominion coach Karl Nonemaker, who now coaches at Auburn, recalled daily 9 a.m. hitting sessions with Pasquantino, who couldn’t get enough of the game. His enthusiasm then and even now brought to mind a conversation they’d had when Pasquantino was in high school.

“Baseball had just ended,” Nonemaker said, “and I remember saying to him, ‘You had a good year. Are you happy to get to the offseason?’ And I remember him clear as day saying, ‘Not really. Because baseball is kind of what I do. And what I really like to do. So, no, I’m not happy that the season is over.’ And some people say that, but obviously, Vinnie embodied that.”

Sometimes you don’t realize how much you love something until it’s taken away.

Pasquantino discovered this during his sophomore year of college. During a game against Florida International University, his back locked up.

“It hit me like a brick wall,” Pasquantino said. “I was done.”

An MRI informed him that his season was finished. Pasquantino was devastated. Months of rehab allowed him to play in the summer Cape Cod League. Three games in, though, his back locked up because of an unspecified problem again. Pasquantino said he recalled thinking: “I’m probably not going to play professional baseball anymore because teams are going to shy away because of the back.”

He might have marinated in that thought. But that’s not the way Pasquantino operates.

“He’s so, so mentally strong,” said Abraham Nuñez, Northwest Arkansas’ hitting coach.

“This guy’s mental makeup is off the charts,” said Mike Tosar, the Royals’ special assignment hitting coach.

Speaking about the back injury recently, Pasquantino said: “To me, that’s one of the most important things that’s ever happened in my life. Around that time, I started dating my girlfriend, who I will eventually marry. If that doesn’t happen, I don’t know if that relationship begins. I just don’t know. And now I know better how to take care of my body.”

He made a healthy return for his junior year but stumbled out of the gate. Handfuls of scouts crossed him off their lists — in part because Old Dominion lies in the southeastern tip of the Mid-Atlantic scouting region. It’s not an easy school to get to, given the tunnels and the traffic. Jim Farr, the Royals’ area scout in the region, though, enjoys going to the school.

So he continued to show up.

And …

“He got hot coming down the stretch,” Farr said.

That season, Pasquantino hit 16 home runs, drove in 55, posted a .402 on-base percentage, walked 32 times and struck out only 29 times. Somehow, he fell to the 11th round, where the Royals scooped him up.

“Obviously,” Farr said recently, laughing about the Royals’ good fortune, “it was a great pick.”

Pasquantino showed the Royals what they had early, posting a .963 OPS in 57 games at short-season Burlington.

On their end, the Royals showed him the system in which he would develop.

One morning, after a game in Burlington, Pasquantino sat in the clubhouse playing cards. A night earlier, an umpire had called him out on a ball way outside. He didn’t swing. Pasquantino knew the Royals would see it as a strikeout, and he believed that mattered. Then Alec Zumwalt, the Royals’ director of hitting performance, walked up to him in the clubhouse.

“That pitch last night,” Zumwalt said, “where was it?”

“I haven’t gone back and looked,’ he said, “but I’m pretty sure it was on the chalk outside.”

“You’re exactly right,” Zumwalt said. “Don’t swing at that pitch.”

Pasquantino, remembering the moment, said, “For me, it was just like, ‘Oh my god. They actually pay attention to that.’ They’re looking to see we’re not chasing bad pitches. It’s not just about hitting .260 with 10 home runs. They’re watching at-bats, seeing what’s happening, which to me is so important.”

The productive communication continues. The Royals have shifted his stance; Pasquantino now stands a bit more open. They’ve refined his approach; he now steps into the batter’s box with a distinct plan on how to attack each pitcher.

Even with those adjustments, though, they’ve allowed him to be himself. He may look like a first baseman who should always sell out for power, but that’s not who he wants to be. He hates striking out. He chokes up with two strikes. And the Royals are OK with all of it because that’s what makes him successful.

“I personally think of myself as an old-school baseball guy, which might not be cool in today’s world,” Pasquantino said. “My goal when I get to the field every day is to win a ballgame. If I strike out, I’m giving myself no chance. I shorten up with two strikes, choke up, dig my feet in and battle, but it doesn’t really change what I’m doing because I’m still trying to hit the ball as hard as I possibly can. Yeah, you try to fight one off and you’re not able to get your full ‘A’ hack off.

“But for the most part, I can still be short and quick to the ball still have power to it as long as I get the barrel to the ball. For me, that’s the thing. I just want to be a tough out every time, and if I can foul off pitches, make a guy work and single up the middle, that helps the team tremendously. And it kind of wears down the pitcher, which helps everybody.”

Hearing Pasquantino outline his thought process, Zumwalt can’t help but return to a conversation he had with George Brett when the Royals first shifted him into his role as director of hitting performance in 2019.

“I was asking him a million questions and one of them was, ‘What’s your thought on the strikeouts?’” Zumwalt said. “There were several expletives about how much he hated striking out. He felt like, not only was he embarrassed but he let the team down. And I think Vinnie has some of that in him. He takes it seriously.”

That competitiveness can sometimes send a hitter spiraling. It could have sent Pasquantino on a downturn earlier this season, when he was batting .211 through 29 games. But it didn’t.

“He knows right away, ‘I missed this pitch in that at-bat. That’s the pitch I struck out on. It might be the actual pitch I struck out for strike No. 3, but it might’ve been the foul ball I missed that led to the strikeout,’” Zumwalt said. “That’s where Vinnie is special in how he breaks down his at-bats.”

The Royals have continued to see that even recently. During the final week of the Northwest Arkansas season, with the club vying for a playoff spot, Pasquantino stepped into the box against a 6-foot-9 pitcher, Johan Quezada, who throws 102 mph with a slider. Pasquantino stepped up looking for the fastball. The pitcher started him off with three sliders. He didn’t panic. He timed the pitcher up. Quezada hung a slider, and Pasquantino hammered it for a go-ahead homer.

Northwest Arkansas won the game, made the playoffs and is in prime position for a Double-A Central title.

Farr, who scouted Pasquantino, has wondered how close Pasquantino might be to the big leagues had he not missed the entire 2020 season amid the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s a fair question, even if his name isn’t listed on any top prospect rankings.

“I’m not one bit surprised at what he’s done this year,” Zumwalt said.

There are obviously questions. About how he’ll fare against left-handers (he has a .752 OPS against lefties and .997 OPS against righties). About how his defense will play (Picollo recently raved about it). About what his timeline might be in the context of Nick Pratto, a first-base prospect who is nearing big-league readiness at Triple-A Omaha.

Pasquantino, though, doesn’t worry about it all. He talks about the future in the context of how much he just loves the game.

“In baseball, you can’t control everything,” he said. “Like, I can control if I hit. But I can’t control if a team says, ‘Hey, we want you on our major-league team.’ What I can control is how I treat the game, and if that’s giving back one day as a coach, I’m just as successful as if I had a 20-year career. The pinnacle is the majors for a long time, but whether you get to the pinnacle or not, that’s not what makes a successful person.”

In that vein, he’s recently decided to play in the Dominican Winter League for the Tigres Del Licey. Essentially, the Yankees of the Dominican Republic. When the news became official, he tweeted about it in Spanish.

“I think I doubled my followers,” he said, “and none speak English. People were like shit-talking me in Spanish. Some of them were like, ‘I hope you strike out with the bases loaded.’ I’m just laughing because it’s a month away, and it’s funny.”

And that’s Vinnie. He jokes. He pokes fun.

But this is Vinnie, too, speaking further about the opportunity with Licey: “I would love to learn how our Latin American guys grew up. I’m going to go meet some of the younger guys at the academy. I think that could be important for a clubhouse if I could go down there and learn their life. I would love to be the guy that could relate to them and learn their way of life. I think it could make everybody better off.”

Maybe that scout is right. Maybe he could run for mayor.

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