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Pine Tar Podcast with Michael Engel of Kansas City Baseball Vault

Michael Engel talks about his joining the Pine Tar Press team, the Royals bullpen, Mike Moustakas and much more. Also David, Clint and Michael talk about some of the problems the Royals may be encountering in development with players and their advisors. Listen to the show or download it here or also at: RoyalsPodcast.com iTunes Soundcloud Stitcher ...

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Obstructed reView: 30 for 30–The Schedule Makers

"Grit" is an awful word when applied to sports. Superman III is an awful movie, when applied to eyes. I often conflate the word with the movie. Simply can't tell them apart, in a practical sense. Like Bills Pullman and Paxton, they're interchangeable concepts. "Onix Concepcion has Superman III coming out his ears" was neither a confusing nor untrue statement in 1983. Still, if I were tasked with making an e ...

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Observations From the First Two Idaho Falls Chukars Games

The Idaho Falls Chukars are the Pioneer League, a somewhat advanced short season league, affiliate of the Kansas City Royals. They broadcast their own home games (and it looks like the Orem Owls and Grand Junction Rockies do as well, though I am not sure if they did so last season) on MiLB.TV. This is where I got to get my first look at Raul Adalberto Mondesi (along with Bryan Brickhouse and others). This y ...

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Obstructed reView: Eliminating Expectation

"Okay, I wanna see what happens, next week. Go 'La La La', please." Then this happens while I sing the last minute of this with my eyes closed, fingers in ears. It's a little ritual that keeps our family running smoothly. A similar tradition (in tone if not practice) happens at movie theaters. After the Jodeci retreads have played and we've answered the trivia cards, the lights come down, the green rating s ...

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Obstructed reView: Jodie Freaking Foster

  I don't want to do it. The idea is ludicrous; the title is stupid; the whole premise is moronic and hilarious in equal parts. I avoid every situation where I might have to sit through two hours of torturous over-reach by steel-tipped egos and power-mad moguls determined to lower Hollywood's already disturbingly low future film aspirations. Enough of these terrible movies and we'll be working with a n ...

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Breaking Down Will Smith’s Outing

Left-hander Will Smith made what was basically a spot start in the 2nd game of a doubleheader against the Indians. He was sent back down immediately after the game. Smith threw 89.2 innings with the big league team last year and while he wasn't very effective, his peripherals were above replacement. Smith started 2013 in the PCL where was dominant over 4 starts. However, despite a 5/1 K/BB in his 4 innings ...

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Obstructed reView: Opening Day and 1985

It’s opening day in Royals Land and optimism couldn’t be higher, which means that I am personally pessimistic. That’s just how I roll. I’m a Royals fan, and kind of live by the motto “Fool me once, shame on you, fool me 27 times….” Which is not to say that I’m down on my team, I love all of the players, coaches, fans, Hudlers, even the umpires. I believe that Alex Gordon will get MVP votes. I know that Sal ...

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Grayson County College Scouting Reports

Grayson County was named the 2nd best junior college baseball team in the country by Perfect Game to start the season. I saw Grayson in the fall, and their hitters were a bunch of big masher types that didn't run well but had a good approach. The starting pitcher was Jacob Rhame, who pitched for Oklahoma last year, but he pitched in just 6 games. I saw one of those games last year, but he transferred to Gra ...

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High School Scouting: Arlington Bowie versus Arlington Lamar

Scouting high school games is a different, and a strange animal. Most scouts and scouting sites, do most of their scouting of high school players in showcases throughout the summer and fall. These games are full of prospects, while even some of the bigger high schools in the country can play in games where there are no serious prospects. Most games last just 7 innings, and for those used to going to college ...

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Pine Tar Podcast 24.0 w/ Lee Polikov of the Bob Gibson Heritage Project

David Lesky talks about his recent trip to spring training while Lee Polikov of the Bob Gibson Heritage Project discussed the unveiling of the new Bob Gibson statue at Werner Park and the upcoming dinner in Bob's honor. Also Aaron Bentley of Baseballinstinct.com discusses the Cleveland Indians minor league system. Listen and email the show at podcast@pinetarpress.com The show is available on Stitcher, iTune ...

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The Class of 2013: Bret Boswell Guest Post by Clint Hulsey

Bret Boswell is a left-handed hitting shortstop for Rockwall-Heath High School in Texas. The senior, eligible for the 2013 MLB draft, has committed to the University of Texas. I saw Boswell last year when watching Rockwall-Heath, but seeing a left-handed hitting shortstop committed to a major program was worth the drive through traffic and the price of admission. Perfect Game lists Boswell at 6-0 175, but h ...

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Obstructed reView: Spring Training

As real baseball comes ever closer to reality (some might argue we haven’t seen that in Kansas City for decades), I find myself getting my fix any way I can. Books, music, every blog known to me, even forcing the 11-yr-old to play catch with me (oh, man, he couldn’t care less, but we’re making headway) or the 14-yr-old to play MLB 2012 (she kicks my butt). The best and most satisfying distraction for me, as ...

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Pine Tar Podcast 22.0 w/ Kevin Seitzer

Former Royals hitting coach Kevin Seitzer had plenty of interesting things to say about hitting approach, Eric Hosmer's tough 2012 and Ned Yost on the latest PTPodcast. We also had Aaron Bentley of Baseballinstinct.com talking about the Chicago White Sox farm system. @aaron_bentley Listen and email the show at podcast@pinetarpress.com Also available at iTunes, RSS feed as well as our new site RoyalsPodcast. ...

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The Process: Most Valuable Royals Under 25

On the surface an exercise like this can look rather easy, grab all the players under 25, rate them dependent on talent and toss in but it isn't in my DNA to not weigh risk along with ceiling to make such a list.  When you toss in a player's current level, possibility of not reaching their ceiling and then add in positional scarcity, in the majors and the org, my list turns out much different than that of J ...

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*Insert Bad Pun* – The Will Smith Report

Five runs, three homers, six hits, 3 1/3 innings and 2,499,621 bad puns later, the big league debut for Royals prospect Will Smith is in the rear view mirror. After retiring his first batter, Derek Jeter, on a grounder to short, things got out of hand for Smith rather quickly. For someone who has a hard time seeing past the immediate results on the field, it will be difficult to sell that Smith is anything ...

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Marks sharp, but Naturals fall to Cardinals

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Less than 24 hours after the Springfield Cardinals snapped a 10-game losing streak by defeating the Northwest Arkansas Naturals, the Cardinals made it two wins in a row by dropping the Naturals 2-1 at Hammons Field. With the game going scoreless until each team traded a home run in the seventh inning, the Cardinals pushed across what turned out to be the winning run on a passed ball in t ...

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Naturals Avert Disaster, Down Travelers

SPRINGDALE, Ark. -- There were some scary moments in Saturday night’s Northwest Arkansas Naturals vs. Arkansas Travelers game at Arvest Ballpark. But once the dust cleared and the Naturals came away with a 4-3 victory, it seems those scary moments left nothing more than a few bumps and bruises on a pair of the Royals’ top prospects. Wil Myers started in center for the Naturals, and had a very solid, albeit ...

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My Report: Talent Display At Kane County

Well folks, the party is over. Now before you start getting all uptight on me, the party I’m referring to is the unforgettable, four-day baseball trip I just returned from with some buddies and NOT the Kansas City Royals season. Though, let’s face it, some of you already feel that’s over as well. Let’s talk about happy times, shall we? I could not make this trip without squeezing in some Royals coverage. So ...

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Diamonds in the Rough 4.13

A split of the four games thanks to big bats for Kane County and poor defense by the Wilmington opponent.  The Storm Chasers lost their six game win streak and NW Arkansas continued to struggle.  HR ROLL CALL Tim Ferguson (1) Pine Tar Press Pitcher of the Day  Jason Adam 5 IP 4 H 0 R 0 ER 0 BB 7 K 6-1 GO/FO Pine Tar Press Hitter of the Day Tim Ferguson 2-4 HR GS, 2R, BB     Albuquerque Isotopes 7 ...

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Pitching To Contact: Explaining My Side of the Debate

I would like to preface this post by saying that I do not in any way expect to change anyone’s mind regarding pitching philosophy. I’m not looking to reinvent the wheel or anything major here. Many of you will likely finish reading this article with the same feelings as you came into it with -- that I’m an idiot. That’s fine, and I respect everyone’s opinions. Remember this: no two pitching philosophies are ...

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