Some random notes as the search for Ian Kennedy ended this morning. (Discussion on his contract and payroll implications coming soon.)
— Baseball Prospectus released their top 10 Royals prospects. Not surprising Raul Mondesi, Jr. was the first choice here. The prospect mavens at BP hang a 60 grade on the shortstop who made his debut in the 2015 World Series, which rates as a “first division regular.”
Second is Kyle Zimmer. He projects as a 2/3 starter according to BP. That gives the Royals a strong consensus within their organization as their top two prospects, given that was the rank assigned by Baseball America and Minor League Ball.
The takeaway from this writeup seems to be the system has thinned out since the deadline trades last summer. Hey, flags fly forever, but there was a price that was paid. There’s no way I would change a thing, but facts are facts. So as you travel down beyond the top two, there’s not a lot in the way of impact. It seems like we’ve been beating this drum all winter, but this is why it was so essential they bring back Alex Gordon and sign a mid-rotation starter. There feels like little hope to keep this core together, so it’s essential the team maximizes their current window of opportunity.
Enjoy today, everyone.
— It’s nice that Bubba Starling has reentered the prospecting consciousness. While last summer was unexpected, yet incredibly enjoyable, it’s smart to continue to temper expectations. His name makes the BP list at number five with the usual raves about his defense (which has been major league ready since the draft) combined with some encouraging marks about his approach at the plate and pitch recognition.
That’s encouraging to be sure, but to me, this summer is the key. He needs to prove he can take those adjustments at the plate to another level. Literally and figuratively. Let’s see how well he does in Omaha before we start penciling him into the Royals 2018 outfield.
— Royals FanFest is this weekend at Bartle Hall downtown.
FanFest is a fun experience, albeit overrated. It sounds like things will be a little different this year, with timed entry and a World Series trophy to view and all that, so we’ll see how it goes. I’m not an autograph hound, and I’m fairly sure my restraining order against noted felon Sluggerrrr is still in place, so I’m not going to be visiting any of the games they’ll have for the younger fans.
What FanFest is good for; it’s an opportunity to get a baseball fix during January. You’re with fellow fans and surrounded by baseball. For the winter, that’s pretty good.
— If you’re interested in putting Royals fandom on your car, you can now obtain a Royal-centric license plate from the state of Missouri (That’s where the Royals play. This seems like a relevant point after those clever “Oz” signs we’ve seen the last two Octobers.) It takes a $35 donation to Royals Charities, which seems simple enough.
It really would have been cool if they had incorporated the World Series trophy into the design. Or the tagline “2015 World Champions.” Because when you’re driving around eastern Missouri, having that on your plate would be kind of fun. Could you imagine the reaction? I can. It’s fun.
Those of us from “Oz” will have to go with the old fashioned way of showing our Royals pride on our cars: Bumper stickers and window clings.
— I know you’ve been missing them, but I figure the player profiles will return soon. Kendrys Morales is in the works. Promise.
— Ian Kennedy is not currently on the list of Royals scheduled to attend FanFest.