Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports
Heading into next season, the Kansas City Royals should have four spots in the rotation set. Yordano Ventura, Edinson Volquez, Kris Medlen and Danny Duffy are all likely to be a part of the rotation when the Royals begin to play games in earnest come 2016. However, that fifth spot in the rotation, depending on what happens in free agency, could be up for grabs.
If that is the case, Miguel Almonte may have the first shot at clinching that place in the rotation. He moved rapidly through the Royals system this year, starting the 2015 campaign at Northwest Arkansas before reaching the majors this year. His overall minor league numbers are certainly not impressive, as Almonte posted a 4.51 ERA and a 1.350 WHiP, but he did strike out 96 batters in 103.2 innings between the Naturals and the Storm Chasers.
Almonte has also struggled a bit in his first taste of major league action. In his 8.2 innings in Kansas City, Almonte has allowed six runs on seven hits and seven walks. He has struck out ten batters, but Almonte’s command, as well as his offerings, are a work in progress. However, if Almonte can command his fastball and refine his curve, his already devastating changeup could be a truly lethal pitch at the major league level.
Chances are, Miguel Almonte will open the 2016 campaign in the minor leagues. Although, if he does refine his pitches and improve his command, with a strong showing in Spring Training, Almonte could earn that fifth starter spot in the Kansas City Royals Opening Day rotation.
Next: What will his future role be?