Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
The younger brother of utility player and speedster Emilio Bonifacio, Jorge is a much different player. Instead of being that slap hitting base stealer, this Bonifacio has displayed the potential to be a power hitter at the major league level.
Last season, in his second campaign with the Natural, Bonifacio truly tapped in to his power potential, setting a career high with 17 home runs. This power surge also coincided with a bit of an increase in Bonifacio’s strikeout rate. Last year, that increased from 22.4% in 2014 to 23.5%; not an extreme jump, but notable nonetheless.
The 2015 season was still an improvement over Bonifacio’s struggles at AA last year. Even if his .240/.305/.416 batting line is not stellar, Bonifacio still improved his OPS by 110 points over 2014. While this step forward is certainly welcome, Bonifacio is still not considered close to a finished project, as he is still thought to have some flaws in his swing, particularly as he does not seem to turn on pitches on the inner half of the plate well.
Jorge Bonifacio is an intriguing talent. If he can polish his swing, he could be a part of the future for the Kansas City Royals. Otherwise, he could end up as a player who never fully reached his potential.
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