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The Gonzo Lounge>***Official 2021 Royals Season Repository Thread***
ChiefsCountry 12:01 PM 01-07-2021
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
[Reply]
duncan_idaho 08:33 AM 03-22-2021
Originally Posted by Chris Meck:
the two weak spots in the line-up are CF and 2nd.

Start Witt and Isbell in AA and if they're raking in a few weeks/a month and either guy in KC is stinking it up, bring 'em up, with the saved year of control. Win/Win.

If that’s the plan, I’d like to see them face AAA pitching first.

You do get a lot of crafty vets who pitch backwards there, which is valuable experience.
[Reply]
Prison Bitch 08:58 AM 03-22-2021
Originally Posted by Chris Meck:
the two weak spots in the line-up are CF and 2nd.

Start Witt and Isbell in AA and if they're raking in a few weeks/a month and either guy in KC is stinking it up, bring 'em up, with the saved year of control. Win/Win.
They aren’t bringing Witt up in “a few weeks”
[Reply]
Chris Meck 09:02 AM 03-22-2021
Originally Posted by Prison Bitch:
They aren’t bringing Witt up in “a few weeks”
Isn't it only a few weeks to disqualify the year in service time?
[Reply]
dallaschiefsfan 09:05 AM 03-22-2021
I'm betting a combo of Alberto/Whit is the backup plan at 2B for now - not Witt Jr. As for Taylor, he's looked fine this Spring.
[Reply]
tk13 10:08 AM 03-22-2021
Originally Posted by dallaschiefsfan:
I'm betting a combo of Alberto/Whit is the backup plan at 2B for now - not Witt Jr. As for Taylor, he's looked fine this Spring.
Even if Taylor struggles at the plate, if he plays defense like he's capable of, he'll probably be out there. Lopez will get time because of his defense too but they can put Whit there and be fine. Dayton's always valued defense more than everyone else but with all these young pitchers coming up they'll put some solid defenders behind them.
[Reply]
ChiefsCountry 02:49 PM 03-22-2021
Salvy was the most popular athlete in Kansas City until Mahomes came along
[Reply]
Pitt Gorilla 11:06 PM 03-22-2021
Saw that Whitt will start in the minors. Makes sense to me.
[Reply]
Ocotillo 02:20 PM 03-23-2021

Twins announced that Alex Kirilloff has been optioned to the alternate camp.

— Aaron Gleeman (@AaronGleeman) March 23, 2021

[Reply]
cabletech94 04:07 PM 03-23-2021
Originally Posted by Ocotillo:
Whew!! We really dodged a bullet there! Wait? Wut? Whiittt?!?





/sarcasm
[Reply]
KChiefs1 10:07 AM 03-24-2021
Who is the 26th man? Is it a bat with O’Hearn or McBroom, or a reliever with Brach, Lovelady or Hernández?
-- @christiandr85, via Twitter


Great question. This is one of the more intriguing decisions the Royals have to make heading into Opening Day. There are a few factors involved, the biggest one being the Royals don’t need a fifth starter until April 16, which opens up a spot on the 26-man roster for an extra reliever or an extra position player. One might think because of the question of workload looming over clubs with their pitchers this year, the Royals would put another reliever on the roster to have arms at the ready. But with all the off-days baked into the schedule to start the season, Royals pitchers will be well rested, so they could choose to have an extra bat off the bench.

The names here are the most likely to break camp with the Royals as that 26th man. Ryan McBroom has fared better in Spring Training lately, hitting .306/.297/.639 with three home runs in 18 games. The strikeout rate is still high (11 strikeouts in 36 at-bats), but if he can come through in big spots like he did last year as a pinch-hitter, he’ll find a place on the roster. Ryan O’Hearn shot out of the gate this spring but has tailed off recently, so he’ll need to get back to being the hitter he was at the beginning of camp. But his left-handed bat gives him an advantage. Both players can play first base or the corner outfield, as well as serve as the designated hitter. Perhaps the Royals go with both if they decide to go with an extra position player to start the season.

Another position player name to think about: Bubba Starling. He’s a non-roster invitee, so the Royals would have to clear a spot for him. But his defense is something teams would love to have, especially as a late-inning replacement. If the Royals choose to go that route, he’d be an intriguing choice.

Will the Royals choose to go with a lefty and bring Richard Lovelady into the fold? He has impressed this spring, striking out eight in seven innings. So has Jake Brentz, a lefty who throws 100 mph, but he is a non-roster invitee who would have to have a 40-man spot cleared for him to make the roster. The Royals are preparing Carlos Hernández for a bullpen role, and the young right-hander has shown nasty stuff this spring. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him in a high-leverage role at some point this season. Veteran right-hander Brad Brach, another non-roster invitee, has struggled mightily with location in his past few outings, but he still offers a different look because of that funky delivery. The Royals value that, so if they think he can turn his location issues around, they could clear a spot for him as well.
[Reply]
KChiefs1 10:08 AM 03-24-2021
Are you as excited about Hunter Dozier's recent performance as I am?
-- @JacobCr32955868


I know the Royals are excited. Dozier’s situation this spring is one of those where you can say, “That’s what Spring Training is for.” It took a while for him to get his timing and rhythm down, but a ton of swings in the batting cage and a B game in which he batted second every time seemed to help.

Dozier’s swing is starting to look like it did in 2019 -- when he blasted a career-high 26 home runs -- and on Monday, he launched a three-run homer with an estimated distance of 445 feet. The Royals will take that.
[Reply]
Prison Bitch 12:09 PM 03-24-2021
Best shortstops: 18. Mondesi 2.5 fWAR proj


If steals are your thing, the Royals have you covered. Mondesi is the premier speed merchant in baseball; the only limit to his thievery is his inability to get on base. The .292 OBP projection you see up above would be an eight point improvement on his career line, and you can’t steal second if you don’t reach first, at least until Rob Manfred gets his hands on the major league rulebook.

Mondesi’s offensive problem is simple: he doesn’t make enough contact, so pitchers flood the zone to avoid putting him on base. That leads to huge swing rates — combine that with the aforementioned contact problems, and you get a career 19.6% swinging strike rate, second-worst in the majors behind only Jorge Alfaro.

When he does make contact, he’s totally fine. He has an average hard hit rate, average barrel rate, and hits enough opposite-field grounders to take advantage of his speed. But when you swing through one fifth of the pitches you see, average isn’t going to cut it.

He does enough on the defensive end that he’s an average player overall, but the whole package just feels like it should come out to more. And hey, if he makes more contact, it just might: you can’t teach speed, and no one has more of it than Mondesi
[Reply]
BWillie 02:33 PM 03-24-2021
Originally Posted by Prison Bitch:
Best shortstops: 18. Mondesi 2.5 fWAR proj


If steals are your thing, the Royals have you covered. Mondesi is the premier speed merchant in baseball; the only limit to his thievery is his inability to get on base. The .292 OBP projection you see up above would be an eight point improvement on his career line, and you can’t steal second if you don’t reach first, at least until Rob Manfred gets his hands on the major league rulebook.

Mondesi’s offensive problem is simple: he doesn’t make enough contact, so pitchers flood the zone to avoid putting him on base. That leads to huge swing rates — combine that with the aforementioned contact problems, and you get a career 19.6% swinging strike rate, second-worst in the majors behind only Jorge Alfaro.

When he does make contact, he’s totally fine. He has an average hard hit rate, average barrel rate, and hits enough opposite-field grounders to take advantage of his speed. But when you swing through one fifth of the pitches you see, average isn’t going to cut it.

He does enough on the defensive end that he’s an average player overall, but the whole package just feels like it should come out to more. And hey, if he makes more contact, it just might: you can’t teach speed, and no one has more of it than Mondesi
This is quite depressing read. Sounds like Mondesi needs to learn plate discipline and just swing at what he knows he can hit...
[Reply]
KChiefs1 02:39 PM 03-24-2021
https://theathletic.com/2472542/2021...bullpen-spots/

Royals Opening Day roster projection: The infield makeup and final bullpen spots
by
Alec Lewis


Originally Posted by :
It’s crunch time for the Royals. They head north in eight days. By then, the 26-man roster will be set. For now, decisions remain.

There’s the infield. What will the Royals do at second base? Throughout the offseason, it had seemed as if Nicky Lopez would be slotting into that role. But how about now? Then there’s the bullpen, which has been thick in competition since the players arrived in Surprise, Ariz. Royals manager Mike Matheny has said he’s not afraid to roll without a lefty, but is that the route the Royals will go?

To break it all down, here’s another roster projection for Opening Day, featuring ZiPS projections for each player.

Spring training statistics are tough to assess. If a player is performing, it’s often because they’re “just feeling good.” If they’re not, it’s often “just spring training.” And yet right here, because the catchers who will make the Royals’ Opening Day roster are obvious, we are going to highlight what Salvador Perez has done at the plate. He’s batting .400/.471/.733 with three home runs and eight RBIs.

(Only six qualified hitters have better than Perez’s 1.204 OPS this spring.)

Perez has also looked exceptional behind the plate, too, back-picking runners at first base and throwing others out at second. He’s ready to go. Behind him, Cam Gallagher will be ready as well.

This is where things get interesting. Truth be told, there are only two obvious player-position pairings, health-permitting: Carlos Santana will start at first base; Mondesi will start at shortstop. Second base and third base are wild cards, especially after the performances this spring.

Though the Royals spoke often this offseason about Merrifield playing right field, and about Dozier playing third base, it doesn’t feel as if that’s how this will go. Lopez, who had been slotted as the second baseman, has a .388 OPS in 38 plate appearances this spring. That’s not going to work for a club that wants to put together a lineup that’s going to give pitchers headaches. Instead, the Royals’ best option appears to be moving Merrifield into second, Dozier to right field and having Alberto, who has a .980 OPS this spring in 25 plate appearances, play third base.

That leaves Lopez as the odd man out, though any setback for Mondesi would mean he’d see time at shortstop.

Two bench spots seemingly remain in that scenario. Matheny likes using all of his weapons, so why not add O’Hearn and McBroom for left-handed and right-handed pinch-hitters off of the bench? The only other player who deserves a mention in this space is Emmanuel Rivera. The right-handed-hitting 24-year-old third baseman from Puerto Rico has raked this spring, posted a .922 OPS. This is coming on the back of a winter league season in Puerto Rico, where he posted an .866 OPS. He’s another potential option down the road if the Royals need assistance at the hot corner.

Here we go again with the spring training statistics: Taylor has quietly tallied one of the more impressive Royals spring training performances. In 34 plate appearances, he has a 1.357 OPS. He’s also walked five times, which is a positive sign. He’ll start in center field. Benintendi will start in left field. And, sticking with the theme of moving Merrifield into second base, Dozier then fits in right field. Dyson, who will keep the clubhouse light through the grind of 162 games, will back them all up.

Kansas City native Bubba Starling deserves a mention here given what he provides from a defensive perspective. But he’s not on the 40-man roster, so the Royals would have to clear space to make that happen. He’s also struggled at the plate this spring, striking out 10 times in 29 plate appearances.

One of the more interesting effects of Perez’s extension is what it means for Soler. He’s slated to become a free agent at season’s end. It’s hard to imagine the Royals having enough in the payroll to pay the hefty price Soler will covet. So although Soler, who is healthy, will start the season with the Royals, here’s a valid question: Will he finish the season with the Royals?

If they’re competing the way they want to maybe they’ll ride it out. If not, the Royals could pull the ripcord and make a trade at some point.

The Royals don’t need a fifth starter until April 14, so they’ll only have four set starters out of the gate. Keller, whom the Royals want to shoulder nearly 200 innings in 2021, will take the ball on Opening Day. Minor, who also appears in line for 200 innings, will follow him up. Singer and Duffy will round things out, paving the way for a question we’ll all soon be asking: Then who?

Young left-hander Kris Bubic started 10 games in 2020 and posted a 4.32 ERA in 50 innings. That’ll do, but the problem is, Bubic’s command this spring didn’t look like it had a year ago. He’ll spend the next few weeks refining his mechanics and approach. In the meantime, the Royals will assess how much of a stride Jakob Junis has truly taken, adding the cutter this offseason and working on a changeup.

If Junis is dominant, he could make sense in the fifth starter role. Then there’s another prospect: Daniel Lynch. His time is coming, especially with how good his changeup looked recently in a game against the Chicago White Sox. Any scout will tell you he has top-of-the-rotation stuff. If his repeatability and command prove right, he could make sense as an option if the Royals think he’s ready.

Before the bullpen selections, there were 17 players on the Opening Day roster. That left nine remaining spots, some of which were obvious. Holland, Barlow, Hahn, Junis and Staumont seem like shoe-ins, considering their performances a season ago and again in spring training. Four spots remain in this scenario, and although Santana has long been a starter, the Royals have used him in short stints in recent weeks.

He’s been effective. Davis, a Royals fan favorite, hasn’t given up a run this spring. His experience could come in handy, so his spot feels secure. That leaves two.

Zimmer pitched well in 2020. He’s had an up-and-down spring, but his presence seems likely unless the Royals chose a pitcher such as Jake Newberry, who does deserve a spot. Then lastly, there’s a lefty in Brentz, who throws 100 mph. He’s posted a 4.05 ERA in 6 2/3 innings this spring and struck out 10 hitters. His stuff will play, but then again, Matheny has mentioned his openness to not carrying a lefty. So the final spots still feel up for grabs.

[Reply]
KChiefs1 02:45 PM 03-24-2021
Originally Posted by Ocotillo:
15. Bobby Witt Jr. of the Kansas City Royals wins the AL Rookie of the Year Award in one of the best races in league history.
Witt barely beats out Kelenic, Andrew Vaughn of the Chicago White Sox and Alex Kirilloff of the Minnesota Twins.

[Reply]
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