Brett Eibner has been an intriguing player in the Kansas City Royals system. His chance may be coming.
In the past couple of years, the Kansas City Royals have had a few deficiencies on their major league roster. Outfield depth had been a question mark, even with Jarrod Dyson emerging. Power, especially in the 2014 season, was also sorely lacking. With that being the case, any player who could hit for power and fill an outfield need became an interesting cause celebre.
That brought Brett Eibner to the forefront for Royals fans after the 2013 season. While Eibner’s .243/.330/.451 batting line may not have looked great, he did hit 19 home runs with 17 doubles and nine triples. Even though Eibner struggled in 2014, with the Royals hitting a mere 95 home runs that season, it was thought that he may be able to help that power output.
Last season, Eibner truly came into his own. He produced a stellar .303/.364/.514 batting line, slugging 19 home runs while stealing ten bases. A player whose power and speed package had tantalized previously, Eibner improved his contact rates as he became less passive in the batter’s box. That new found aggression, coming closer to the major league philosophy of the Royals, worked wonders for Eibner’s production.
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Yet, even with that excellent performance, Brett Eibner was not brought up to the Kansas City Royals when rosters expanded this past September. The raw numbers certainly indicated that he deserved it, yet there was the issue that Eibner was not on the 40 man roster last year. Since he did not need to be at that point, the Royals left him in the minors to continue with Omaha. Judging by the end results, it is difficult to argue with that plan.
Now that Eibner would be eligible for the Rule V Draft, he has been added to that 40 man roster. While this helps make certain that he will remain in the Royals system, this also gives him an advantage when it comes to making his major league debut. As he is now on the 40 man roster, the Royals would no longer need to risk putting a player through waivers to bring Eibner on board.
As the Royals are currently constructed, there are a few openings in the outfield. Even though that is likely to change as free agency progresses and with various trades that will be made throughout baseball, the Royals may still find themselves looking for an option on the bench, especially if Jarrod Dyson and/or Paulo Orlando are pushed into a more prominent role. Eibner, now that he is on the 40 man roster, would seemingly be a frontrunner for the spot.
After a couple of years of wondering, we may get to see what Brett Eibner looks like in a Kansas City Royals uniform. It seems as though his opportunity is finally here.