KC Royals News: Nick Pratto, games lost, a signing

(Photo by Rob Leiter/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
(Photo by Rob Leiter/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /

Checking in on some KC Royals news while wondering how interested in trades and free agents the club will be when the MLB lockout ends.

The signs surfaced last spring that if Nick Pratto wasn’t back, he was close to it. The promising first baseman suffered a miserable, almost inexplicably bad 2019 season at High-A Wilmington, where his .191 average and nine home runs probably made some wonder if his 14-homer, .280/.343./.443 Low-A numbers the season before were just a fluke.

But Pratto reestablished his bona fides last spring; although the Royals reassigned him to their minor league camp in mid-March, the move meant little other than on paper—he played 12 more times for the big club and finished with four home runs and a .345/.406/.862 22-game line.

Pratto removed any doubts about his bat when, splitting the regular 2021 season between Double-A Northwest Arkansas and Triple-A Omaha, he slugged 36 homers, drove in 98 runs and hit .265 with a .385 OBP.

So it’s been that Pratto, MLB Pipeline’s No. 2 KC prospect, is known more for his bat than anything else. But that shouldn’t be the case. Pratto gained well-deserved recognition for his glove earlier this week when Pipeline named him to its 2022 All-Defense Team and then deemed him KC’s top defensive prospect. (Kansas City second baseman Michael Massey earned second-team recognition on the All-Defense unit).

How good is Pratto’s defense? His .990 four-season career fielding percentage isn’t spectacular, but it’s still good and dragged down by the .978 and .987 marks he posted in his first two professional campaigns. He improved to .992 in 2019 and, following a summer spent at the Royals’ Alternate Training Site in 2020, committed just two errors in 879 chances (.998) last year.

That kind of defense gives Kansas City fans even more to look forward to when Pratto makes his way to Kauffman Stadium.

The MLB lockout once again costs the KC Royals spring training games.

Just a week after causing cancellation of the first week of spring training contests, baseball’s work stoppage cut into the Cactus and Grapefruit Leagues’ exhibition schedules again Friday when MLB announced all games scheduled for March 5, 6, and 7 won’t be played.

The move brings to 11 the number of spring contests the Royals have lost; 19 remain scheduled.

Wealth of talented infielders doesn’t deter KC Royals from signing another.

Kansas City’s stock of slick hitting and fielding infielders has to be the envy of the major leagues. The Royals have Nicky Lopez, Adalberto Mondesi and Whit Merrifield, hot prospects Bobby Witt Jr. and Nick Pratto are banging on Kauffman Stadium’s doors, and Michael Massey, Nick Loftin and others are moving up through the minor league system.

But that packed inventory didn’t keep the club from adding to it this week—the Royals brought Robbie Glendinning, a four-season veteran of the Australian Baseball League and former Pittsburgh prospect, aboard this week on what The Athletic’s Alec Lewis reports is a two-year minor league contract (Twitter link).

The Pirates picked Glendinning, 26, in the 21st round of the 2017 draft and he hit .274 with 15 homers and 92 RBIs across three seasons in their system. In 109 Australian Baseball League campaigns, he’s slashed .343/.428/.532 with 16 homers and 94 RBIs.

Glendinning throws and bats right-handed and can play second base, third and shortstop. He missed the 2021 season rehabilitating from Tommy John Surgery.

This may not be the first Royals fans have heard of Glendinning. He played college ball at Missouri.

Next. Should this starter move to the pen?. dark

There’s still no major league baseball, but the Royals continue to make news.