Yesterday, Dave outlined a few players the Royals may look to add to their big league club when rosters expand on September 1st, and most of the names have been discussed quite a bit. One other player I’d like to bring up here is a guy the Royals had in their major league camp this spring, and they were somewhat worried he wouldn’t clear waivers once he was designated for assignment. Luckily for the Royals, Carlos Peguero did clear waivers, and he’s been doing some serious damage in Omaha.
For the season, Peguero is batting .273/.352/.574 with 27 home runs, all while playing in only 92 games. An injury cost him about three weeks’ worth of games in June, but it’s possible that the time off was good for him, because since returning from the disabled list, Peguero has a 1.066 OPS and 19 home runs in 179 plate appearances. That’s basically a home run every three games.
Obviously those numbers are great, but in the last few weeks, Peguero has treated the entire Pacific Coast League as his own personal batting practice pitcher. In the month of August, he has 71 plate appearances. In those plate appearances, his batting line looks like this:
.292/.358/1.033, 8 2B, 1 3B, 12 HR
That’s a slugging percentage of 1.033. He’s averaging more than one base per at-bat. Those 12 home runs average out to a home run every 6 plate appearances. Peguero is averaging more than 1 home run every 2 games. That’s a lot of dingers.
So we see that Peguero has some serious power. If you don’t believe me, watch this video of him hitting a home run at Werner Park the other day. I don’t have an exact measurement, but considering the center field fence is 402 feet from home, the ball probably went around 440 feet, approximately. It was an absolute bomb.
Peguero’s power would fit in extremely well on the Royals’ bench next month, mostly because, well, they don’t really have any. As a late-inning pinch hitter, Peguero could step to the plate with the ability to add a run – or more – with a single swing. Not that he can add multiple runs for hitting incredibly impressive home runs, of course. There would need to be runners on the bases, or else the home run only counts for a single run. Although now that I mention it, maybe MLB should give bonus runs for overly amazing taters. I’ll have to send a note to Rob Manfred on that.
Anyway, expanded rosters give teams the opportunity to utilize specialists who possess a particular set of skills, and Peguero just so happens to have the skill of hitting baseballs a really long way from the left-handed batter’s box. Speaking of that last point: Peguero is really struggling against left-handed pitching, but against righties, he is absolutely mashing, hitting .298/.375/.657, with 24 of his home runs.
Peguero would be a perfect choice to pinch hit against a right-handed reliever in a tight game. He’s unlikely to bring any other value to the table, but in the final month of the season, every single run is so valuable, and it would be foolish to not turn over every rock. The Royals need to do whatever they can to maintain their edge over the Tigers, and having a dangerous bat on the bench to unleash in the 7th or 8th inning would be a huge weapon at Ned Yost‘s disposal.
He’s not on the 40-man roster at the moment, but there are several players who the Royals could designate for assignment without worrying about it too much. Considering how important this season is, the organization should have no problem finding a spot for the 6’5″, 250 pound slugger.
His recent stretch obviously isn’t sustainable, because players don’t have slugging percentages over 1.000 for extended periods of time. That’s not a thing that happens. But it does show what Peguero is capable of, and what he’s capable of is helping the Royals in September, even if it’s only in a handful of plate appearances.