Before wrapping up a three game series with tonight’s 7:10 finale vs. the New York Yankees, Royals manager Ned Yost spoke with the media about his satisfaction with Royals 2011 first round pick Bubba Starling’s decision and the steady progress the Royals organization is making with their farm system as well as their talent at the big league level.
“It increases the talent in our organization, it increases the athleticism in our organization, it makes us a better organization quite frankly,” Yost said. “So we’re very excited that he’s [Starling] here and ready to start his career.”
Yost discussed yesterday’s starting pitcher Danny Duffy and his expectations for Duffy during the rest of the season. The Royals skipper is anticipating that the rookie left-hander completes a total of 150 innings pitched throughout the end of the season. So far Duffy has 125 innings under his belt (Triple-A and Majors) and Yost explained that the squad will wait to make a decision on Duffy’s performance once he reaches the 150 innings mark. Yost praised Duffy’s drive as an intense competitor and touched on balancing his emotions during the game.
“It’s very, very important because you come out of your game when you start to get overly excited, you start to let your emotions rage,” Yost said. “There’s a fine line there between being over emotional and under emotional and he [Duffy] is working on that line.”
Yost explained the importance of realizing that baseball, especially on the Major League level, is a production-based job and that players tend to have a sense of urgency when it comes to delivering offensively and defensively. The Royals manager praised the organization for its elite farm system but reiterated that his young squad needs time and patience to grow and develop.
Prior to Tuesday night’s game against the New York Yankees, Royals manager Ned Yost talked about the tough task Danny Duffy is up against in facing a powerful Yankees lineup.
“If you make mistakes, they are going to capitalize on them,” Yost said. “You’ve got to be on top of your game when you face an offense like this because there are no holes. There’s nobody you can pitch around.”
On the hill opposite Duffy will be Yankees right-hander Ivan Nova. The Royals roughed up Nova for eight runs in three innings when they last faced him on May 12 in New York, but since then Nova has pitched extremely well. He is undefeated in his last eight starts, going 7-0 with a 3.10 ERA. Yost thinks Nova just happened to have an off-night last time the Royals faced him, and expects a more difficult match this time around.
“We know he’s got really, really good stuff, and we know it was probably just one of those nights last time,” Yost said. “We’ve got our work cut out for us tonight.”
Off the field, the Royals had a great night last night when they signed their first round draft pick, Bubba Starling. Starling was the fifth overall selection in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft, and Yost was pleased with the addition of more talent to add to the Royals already-deep farm system.
“I know the importance of signing your top picks. You have to do it to maintain your system. It’s real important,” Yost said. He [Starling] is a tremendous, athletic kid. In a ballpark like this, athleticism is very, very important. Everybody was happy at the end of the night that we got it done and he can start his career as a Royal.”
Yost also had praise for the one of the men behind the signing of Starling, Royals General Manager Dayton Moore. Yost knows the work Moore has put in to stock the Royals organization full of talent.
“Dayton’s been doing this for a number of years. The results have shown this year with a number one farm system. When you start amassing that type of talent, your farm system is ranked number one for a reason,” Yost said. “It’s through his [Moore’s] leadership and guidance of this organization that that’s been able to happen.”
Kansas City hosts New York at 7:10 tonight. Let’s take a look at the lineup for game two of the series:
Gordon – LF
Cabrera – CF
Butler – DH
Hosmer – 1B
Francoeur – RF
Giavotella – 2B
Perez – C
Moustakas – 3B
Escobar – SS
Duffy – LHP
Here’s some exciting news from MLB!!!
Registration for the opportunity to purchase ticket strips and to volunteer for 2012 MLB All-Star events will begin Wednesday, August 17 for the general public at allstargame.com and royals.com/2012. Each strip includes one ticket to each All-Star Week event at the ballpark, two MLB All-Star FanFest tickets and one Official All-Star Game program. MLB All-Star Week at Kauffman Stadium includes the 83rd MLB All-Star Game (July 10), Gatorade All-Star Workout Day (July 9) featuring the State Farm Home Run Derby, and Taco Bell All-Star Sunday (July 8 ) featuring the XM All-Star Futures Game and the Taco Bell All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game. MLB All-Star FanFest (July 6–10) will be held at the Kansas City Convention Center.
Winners for ticket strips will be selected at random to ensure as many fans as possible have the chance to purchase strips. Date, time and instructions for purchase will be communicated via e-mail to each selected applicant by the end of February. Existing Kansas City Royals season ticket holders will receive ticket information by the end of February for their opportunity to purchase ticket strips.
With thousands of baseball fans from around the world planning to visit Kansas City during 2012 MLB All-Star Week, 2,000 community volunteers will be sought to assist with All-Star Week and All-Star FanFest. Qualified volunteers must be 18 years of age or older, enjoy baseball and volunteering, pass a background check and be available to work at least one five-hour shift for a minimum of three consecutive days during All-Star Week.
The 2012 All-Star Game will be the third ever held in Kansas City and the second to be hosted by the Royals. On July 11, 1960 at Municipal Stadium, Willie Mays led the game off with a triple to start a three-run first inning, and the National League jumped out to a 5-0 third inning lead en route to a 5-3 victory. Mays went 3-for-4 for an N.L. squad that included fellow Hall of Famers Hank Aaron, Roberto Clemente, Ernie Banks, Stan Musial and Eddie Mathews. Hall of Famer Al Kaline’s two-run shot in the eighth inning was not enough for the American League. On July 24, 1973 at what was then known as Royals Stadium, 21 future Hall of Famers – including 17 players, managers Sparky Anderson and Dick Williams, A.L. coach Whitey Herzog and umpire Nestor Chylak – took part in the Midsummer Classic. Bobby Bonds earned Most Valuable Player honors with a home run, a double and two RBI in the N.L.’s 7-1 win. Joe Morgan, Johnny Bench and Willie Davis helped overcome an A.L. pitching staff that included Catfish Hunter, Bert Blyleven, Nolan Ryan and Rollie Fingers.
Gatorade All-Star Workout Day features American League and National League batting practice followed by the State Farm Home Run Derby, where players from each League participate in a home run hitting contest. Recent winners include Robinson Cano (2011), David Ortiz (2010) and Prince Fielder (2009), who served as the first-ever captains at the 2011 State Farm Home Run Derby. Since 2007, State Farm and MLB have donated more than $2 million to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America through the “Gold Ball” program and other donations.
Taco Bell All-Star Sunday includes the XM All-Star Futures Game, which showcases many of the top Minor League prospects, has featured Kansas City’s Alex Gordon (2006), Eric Hosmer (2010) and Mike Moustakas (2010). Players who have competed in both the XM All-Star Futures Game and the MLB All-Star Game include Prince Fielder, Zack Greinke, Josh Hamilton, Felix Hernandez, Troy Tulowitzki and Justin Verlander. The 2012 Taco Bell All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game, also part of Taco Bell All-Star Sunday, will feature stars from film, music, television and entertainment teaming up with former Major Leaguers and former Royals stars immediately following the XM All-Star Futures Game. Past celebrity participants have included Whoopi Goldberg, Jon Hamm, Jimmy Kimmel, George Lopez, Marisa Miller, Chris Rock and Jordin Sparks. The game has also featured a collection of Hall of Famers including Ernie Banks, Gary Carter, Rollie Fingers, Goose Gossage, Rickey Henderson, Paul Molitor, Ozzie Smith and Dave Winfield.
Major League Baseball All-Star FanFest will be held at the Kansas City Convention Center. The five-day event, beginning on July 6, will serve as the launch for MLB All-Star Week, which will culminate with the 83rd Midsummer Classic on July 10 at Kauffman Stadium. MLB All-Star FanFest is the world’s largest interactive baseball fan event, providing an unrivaled experience for fans of all ages. Among its attractions are an exhibit from the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, batting cages, clinics from Major League legends, free autograph sessions with former Royals and MLB legends, memorabilia, and much more.
The Royals announced tonight that the club has signed third-round selection from the 2011 MLB First-Year Player Draft, right-handed pitcher Bryan Brickhouse, and 16th-round pick, Jack Lopez.
The 19-year-old Brickhouse is a 6-foot-2, 195-pound right-handed pitcher from The Woodlands High School in Texas. Brickhouse, who pitched in the 2010 Under Armour All-American Game, was 7-2 with a 1.08 ERA and 129 strikeouts in 72.0 innings for The Woodlands. He chose to sign with the Royals over a baseball scholarship to the University of North Carolina.
Lopez, 18, is a 6-foot, 175-pound shortstop from Deltona (Fla.) High School. The right-handed hitter batted .462 with 10 home runs and 34 RBI during his senior season. He is the son of current Cincinnati Reds bullpen coach Juan Lopez and the nephew of former Royals shortstop Onix Concepcion. Lopez has forgone a scholarship offer to play baseball at the University of Miami to sign with Kansas City.
The Royals tonight announced they have reached a last-minute agreement with first round draft choice Bubba Starling, the fifth overall selection in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft. Consistent with team policy, terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
“We are ecstatic and relieved to have this process behind us and have Bubba in the fold,” said Dayton Moore, Royals’ Senior Vice President of Baseball Operations and General Manager. “I am extremely proud of J.J. Picollo, Lonnie Goldberg and the entire staff for the work they’ve done during these negotiations, not just in the Bubba Starling case, but all of the athletes we were able to sign on this very busy day. I’m also thrilled that we were able to come to an agreement with a fine young man from this area who put being a Royal among his priorities in this process. It’s now time to get his professional playing career underway.”
From nearby Gardner (Kan.) Edgerton High School, the 18-year-old Starling, a 6-foot-5, 195-pound centerfielder, was ranked by Baseball America as the number one high school prospect and the best high school athlete in the draft. The right-handed hitter and thrower batted .481 this spring for the Trailblazers, averaging a home run every six at bats, according the ESPN.com. In his junior and senior seasons combined, he hit better than .500 with 17 home runs. Starling played for Team USA (under 18) in the summer of 2010, hitting .339 with three home runs with 12 RBI, 20 runs scored, a .474 on-base pct. and .532 slugging pct. In addition to his time on Team USA, he also competed at the 2010 Tournament of Stars and the Under Armour All-American Game.
The Kansas City Royals announced today that the club has signed four selections from the 2011 MLB First-Year Player Draft. The Royals inked right-handed pitcher and fourth-rounder Kyle Smith, third baseman and fifth-rounder Patrick Leonard, right-handed pitcher and 29th-rounder Jake Junis and right-handed pitcher and 30th-pick Christian Binford.
Smith, 18, is a 6-foot, 180-pound pitcher from Santaluces High School in Lantana, Fla. Smith, who signed with the Royals in lieu of pitching for the University of Florida, was 9-1 with a 0.40 ERA and 116 strikeouts in 69.1 innings for the Santaluces Chiefs.
The 18-year-old Leonard is a right-handed hitting third baseman from St. Thomas High School in Houston, Texas. The 6-foot-2, 190-pounder led his high school to the Texas state 5-A private school title in the spring and was headed to play baseball at the University of Georgia before signing with Kansas City.
Junis, 18, is a 6-foot-5, 210-pound right-handed pitcher from Rock Falls (Ill.) High School. The two-way standout posted a 1.10 ERA and 93 strikeouts in 51.0 innings pitched while batting .485 with 10 home runs and 54 RBI. Also a first-team All-State basketball player, Junis has forgone a baseball scholarship from North Carolina State University to sign with the Royals.
The 18-year-old Binford is a 6-foot-7, 215-pound right-handed pitcher from Mercersburg (Pa.) Academy. A native of Hagerstown, Md., Binford was 8-1 with a 0.40 ERA and 74 strikeouts against just four walks in 52.0 innings and was signed away from a commitment to the University of Virginia.
The Royals host New York tonight at 7:10. Let’s take a look at the lineup:
Gordon – LF
Cabrera – CF
Butler – DH
Hosmer – 1B
Francoeur – RF
Giavotella – 2B
Perez – C
Moustakas – 3B
Escobar – SS
Paulino – P
Here’s something cool from ESPN:
The ESPN Sports Science Play-of-the-Week is the Kansas City Royals Jeff Francoeur tossing out Detroit’s Jhonny Peralta at third base with a stunning throw from right field. This piece will run within various ESPN Major League Baseball and SportsCenter programming.
“From his 20-foot lead off first, Peralta motors roughly 170 feet to third in 6.3 seconds, averaging more than 18 miles per hour,” says ESPN Sports Science host John Brenkus. “In most circumstances this would ensure him safe at third. But Francoeur doesn’t hit the cut-off man or bounce the ball in, instead throwing a perfect strike to Mike Moustakas.”
Brenkus notes, “The ball leaves Francoeur’s hand at almost 95 miles per hour, more than four miles an hour faster than the average Major League fastball. And while most pitches travel roughly 55 feet from the pitcher’s release point to the batter, Francoeur’s strike flies 242 feet – about four-and-a-half times farther.”
The ESPN Sport Science lab puts the throw’s accuracy into this perspective: “If a pitcher’s release angle is off by a single degree, his pitch will be less than a foot off target, and possibly still be in the strike zone. If Francoeur’s throw had been off by just one degree, the ball would have been more than four feet off target.”