The power bat. At this point, it has become the Royals version of Bigfoot or space aliens, something that people swear they have seen, but only exists in grainy footage. Allegedly, these beings existed in Kansas City before the turn of the century, but that seems doubtful based on recent history. Are we positive that ‘Steve Balboni‘ does not translate into ‘figment of the imagination’?
However, some of these specimens have been found in other locales, and several have become available on the open market. For the right price, the Royals could come away with the power bat of Mark Trumbo, but he offers absolutely nothing other than an ability to hit home runs. So, what about trying to find a player that can actually provide more than just one skill? That player may be available as the Philadelphia Phillies have reportedly made Domonic Brown available, asking for young pitching in return.
After two seasons of part time duty and the Phillies seemingly unable to fit him in the lineup, Brown broke through last season, hitting 27 home run while compiling a .272/.324/.494 batting line. Brown even displayed a bit of speed, stealing eight bases in eleven attempts while hitting four triples. Although his walk rate dropped last season, that may have been partly by design as Brown was aggressive early in the count, looking for pitches that were out over the plate and, more often than not, driving them with authority.
Defensively, while Domonic Brown has split his time between left and right field, he is not exactly proficient at either. In fact, he is a decidedly below average defensive player. Yet, he has a solid arm, having ranked third in the National League with nine assists from left. With Alex Gordon holding down left and Norichika Aoki able to play center, Brown could slot in right, giving the Royals one of the best fourth outfielders in the game with Lorenzo Cain.
At age 26 heading into the 2014 season, Brown may be just hitting his prime. He is also under team control until 2018, with another season before being eligible for arbitration. With the Phillies looking for controllable young pitchers, and the Royals having an excess of relievers as well as possible starters, there could be a trade to be made.
Domonic Brown could be that elusive power bat that would slot nicely in the midst of the Royals order. If the Royals are able to trade for him, maybe, just maybe, there will be actual evidence of a power hitter within the confines of Kauffman Stadium in modern times.