Royals Links: Zimmer, Moustakas, Santana’s Market, & More

Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Later this week, the Royals are going to play a baseball game. It’s just a spring training game, of course, but it will be the first time this year’s version of the Royals will be competing (kind of) against another team. This is exciting stuff, people. I won’t even be able to watch or listen to the games this week, but I’m still giddy with anticipation. Going more than five months without Royals’ baseball is bad for my health. Then again, six (hopefully seven) straight months of Royals’ baseball is probably also bad for my health, but that’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make. Let’s get to some links.

- The Kansas City Star’s Andy McCullough talked about the Royals’ top prospect, Kyle Zimmer, from the time he was a high school recruit, to how he became a pitcher in college, to how the Royals are doing whatever they can to keep him healthy after the young righty has dealt with several minor injuries in recent years. Zimmer is vital the the team’s future success, so the Royals are making sure to take every precaution. As an aside, McCullough is putting out a ton of excellent content while he’s covering spring training (including this piece on Lorenzo Cain‘s workout and stretching regimen he’s using to try and stay off the disabled list this year).

- Jeffrey Flanagan of FOX Sports Kansas City discussed Mike Moustakas and his need for more patience at the plate in 2014. Ignoring Ned Yost‘s false assertion that Prince Fielder didn’t walk much early in his career (9.1% BB% in his 1st full season), the point is a good one. Moustakas has never been a guy who draws a ton of walks, but he can certainly cut down on his swings out of the strike zone.

- According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, Ervin Santana and the remaining qualifying offer free agents (Stephen Drew & Kendrys Morales) may opt to not sign with a team until after the June draft, when the draft pick is no longer weighing down their value. Santana reportedly has interest from a few teams, but he doesn’t seem willing to accept an offer like that of Nelson Cruz, who signed a 1 year, $8 million deal with the Orioles over the weekend. Also, if Santana waits to sign until after Opening Day, he could sign a 1 year deal without having to worry about being extended a qualifying offer next winter.

- At Fangraphs, Dave Cameron wrote about the 10 best and the 10 worst transactions of the offseason. None of Dayton Moore’s moves made either list, although he did mention the Omar Infante signing as a move that just missed the cut among the best transactions.

- One story that made some waves around the league last week was the Phillies’ involvement in the NCAA’s suspension of Oregon State pitcher Ben Wetzler. The Phillies drafted Wetzler in the fifth round of the draft, but were unable to sign him, so Wetzler returned to school. However, the Phillies reportedly told the NCAA that Wetzler dealt with an agent, and now he is missing 20% of his senior season. Dayn Perry of CBS Sports gives a good breakdown of everything here, and I’ve got to say, this move by the Phillies is patently ridiculous. I won’t get into this too much, but it’s shameful that they would burn this young man simply because he decided not to sign with them. The Phillies have done a lot of things worthy of criticism recently, but this one absolutely tops the list.

Topics: Kansas City Royals

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  • moretrouble

    Hunter, you made a fantastic observation about the Phillies’ actions regarding the drafting of Wetzler. Their actions in the matter are reprehensible. It’s a fine line college kids walk between an agent being an “advisor” and actually representing him. What may seem like one thing to a pro team may actually, in fact, be another to a college player.

    Regarding Yost’s assertion with respect to Prince Fielder, you neglected to mention that Fielder’s walk rate increased dramatically after his first full season. Yost was expressing an opinion — which is not right or wrong — but merely an observation.

    • Hunter Samuels

      The NCAA rule is silly to begin with, in my opinion. These kids are supposed to negotiate million dollar bonuses on their own? Regardless, agents are always involved in the process, and no team has ever done what the Phillies did. I’ll be curious to see how future negotiations with them will go, because no one is happy with how that team handled the ordeal.

      As for Fielder, you are correct that he got better at drawing walks, but Yost said he didn’t walk much early in his career, despite his above average BB% in that first year. Unless one wants to consider drawing walks at an above average rate as “not walking much,” his statement is false. It’s not a big deal in the scheme of things, since I understand the point he’s making, I just ask for more accuracy.

      • moretrouble

        With regards to baseball managers, nearly all their discussions with press are impromptu. That’s a tradition in baseball — and something that probably should be changed. Today, even stopping someone on the sidewalk can result in millions of hits on a social media site. Teams must do a better job of protecting their employees from the destructive power of the 24/7 news cycle.

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