Kansas City Royals Brett Eibner Has Become Complete Player
By David Hill
A minor league player who shows solid power potential is always intriguing, even if they are not a top prospect. That is definitely the case for Kansas City Royals fans, as their franchise has generally been devoid of a true slugger for most of the team’s history. After all, the Royals are the only team that is yet to have a forty home run hitter in franchise history, with Steve Balboni still holding the record for most home runs in a single season.
Perhaps this is what has made Brett Eibner so interesting during his minor league career. While Eibner has never been a top prospect, nor has he hit twenty home runs in a minor league campaign, he has flashed enough power potential to make one wonder if he could produce at a major league level. He had traditionally produced a low batting average and struck out quite a bit, but that power potential allowed Eibner to rise through the ranks.
This season, everything appears to have come together. Eibner has tied his career best with 19 home runs, and has produced a stellar .309/.368/.524 batting line, far outpacing his career .241/.331/.433 rate. With this increased production, Eibner has also reduced his strikeouts, striking out only 73 times in 378 at bats. Over the course of the season, Eibner has transformed into a completely different player.
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Brett Eibner is not the only member of the Kansas City Royals farm system to suddenly break through this season. Jose Martinez and Balbino Fuenmayor have gone from minor league free agents to suddenly transforming into players that have far exceeded their minor league track record. Eibner, without the cult following that Fuenmayor had developed or the assault on the Pacific Coast League single season batting record, has slipped a bit under the radar.
However, Eibner’s resurgence should not be an afterthought. Even though he is not on the Royals 40 man roster this season, Eibner’s performance could be enough to get a long look in Spring Training next year. With his ability to play all three outfield positions and an offensive profile that is starting to come together, Eibner could be playing his way towards a potential spot on the Royals next season.
There was a time in the not so distant past when a player like Brett Eibner would be in the majors and likely starting for the Royals. Players like Emil Brown and Mitch Maier received quite a bit of playing time, and had Eibner come through the Royals system a few years earlier, he may have had that chance as well. Now, the fact that he is still in AAA speaks volumes to the depth that the Royals have on the major league level.
Brett Eibner may get a chance with the Kansas City Royals at some point, and that may even happen next year. This season, Eibner has become a more complete player than he had been before, which will make a difference for his chances next year.