Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports
Pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training in just two weeks, and James Shields still doesn’t know where he’s supposed to report. The Royals’ former ace appears to be ready to sign by the end of the week, but the team he signs with is anyone’s guess. The Cardinals, Padres, Cubs, and Marlins all seem to be interested, with the Diamondbacks also in the mix. I just want him to find a nice home where he can be happy, you know? That means not St. Louis. Let’s get to some links.
– Craig Brown continued his player profile series at Royals Authority, this time covering Eric Hosmer. 2014 was yet another inconsistent season for the inconsistent first baseman, so it’s difficult to say exactly what to expect this season. A monster performance in October has some projecting a breakthrough, but we’ve seen streaks of awesomeness from him before. He’ll need to put it together for a full year to become the player the Royals want.
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– For fantasy baseball purposes, Alex Rios may not be a terrible investment, as Fantasy Alarm’s Ray Flowers notes, since many of his skills didn’t show enough of a decline to support his steep dropoff in performance. The Royals are surely hoping his power returns with a fully healthy season, and if he’s spraying line drives to the gaps in Kauffman, Rios will be a sound investment in Kansas City as well.
– Darin Watson of Pine Tar Press explains why the Royals need Omar Infante to bounce back next season, while also presenting some reasons for optimism. If he’s healthy, Infante’s BABIP should normalize, which should push his production closer to his career numbers, which are acceptable for a second baseman.
– Roscoe Crosby was once a Royals 2nd round draft pick and two-sport phenom, but it all fell apart. Jon Solomon interviewed Crosby to tell his story for CBS Sports. The South Carolina native endured a ton of hardships, some admittedly of his own doing, but it’s a tale of how unprepared young players can be when they don’t have a strong support system around them.
– On FOX Sports’ Just a Bit Outside blog, Dave Cameron suggests a way for MLB to avoid all the headaches associated with their draft systems: get rid of the draft altogether. In light of the news that Cuban phenom Yoan Moncada is free to sign with an MLB team now, it’s certainly a fascinating idea, although I’m not sure I’m fully on board with Cameron’s proposed system.