2022 wasn’t fun in the standings for Kansas City fans, but in the long arc of time, 2022 was a good year for the organization. MJ Melendez, Vinnie Pasquantino and Brady Singer all emerged as first-division starters. Melendez even looks like a functional defensive outfielder. Bobby Witt Jr. is also here and good. Needs work on the approach but who doesn’t. Every season brings them closer to the post-Dozier era, which is only addition by subtraction because the team insists he’s an everyday player. New Manager Matt Quataro figures to come in like a kind wind after years with Mike Matheny. Might be some playing-time surprises in our near future. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

This week began with big news adjacent to the prospect realm: Kansas City fired its major league hitting coach, Terry Bradshaw, and replaced him with Senior director for player development and hitting performance, Alec Zumwalt, whose role will be bigger than that of a typical major league hitting coach. The Royals have seen big gains in the minor league hitters that haven’t carried over to the big league side, so this move makes a lot of sense from the outside looking in. 

Reading between the lines, the goal here includes creating synthesis throughout the system from the bottom up. One way the Giants and Dodgers have gotten ahead the past few seasons is having multiple voices saying similar things all the way up the development chain, so that when a young Dodger makes the majors, he’s not suddenly learning a new way to talk about the game at the same time as he’s adapting to the extreme leap in skill from AAA to MLB pitching. 

In short, this feels like good news for all Kansas City prospects but especially those with solid plate skills. In his press conference, team President Dayton Moore said, “We need to see nine players in our lineup that are committed to get on base any way possible. That means we cannot chase pitches out of the strike zone. When we do have pitches to hit in the strike zone, we can’t miss them.” Pretty good summation of baseball 101 there, but manager Mike Matheny seems due for a refresher every now and then, as he continues to run Ryan O’Hearn out there in the cleanup role for reasons that no human on the planet except Matheny can comprehend.

Please, blog, may I have some more?