Jarrod Dyson‘s injury has created an opening in the KC Royals outfield. Reymond Fuentes is doing his best to stake a claim to that spot on the roster.
The KC Royals have a specific type of player that they like based on their offensive philosophy. A player with a bit of pop in his bat, with superior contact skills and speed. Throw in an excellent glove and the ability to make the plays expected of him on defense, and you have the prototypical Royals player.
That profile also happens to fit Reymond Fuentes quite well. A career .281/.349/.386 hitter in the minors, Fuentes has hit 109 doubles and stolen 216 bases. Fuentes has also produced an excellent 19.5% strikeout rate in the minor leagues, showcasing that ability to make contact. Add in his ability to play all three positions in the outfield, and he would certainly appear to be the type of player that the Royals would covet.
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With Dyson’s injury, the Royals now have an open spot in their outfield. While Paulo Orlando is expected to be the primary right fielder until Dyson returns, Fuentes has certainly done his part to make his case. Entering yesterday’s slate of action, Fuentes has posted a .429/.529/.714 batting line with a double and a home run. In his 17 plate appearances, Fuentes has stuck out only twice. That type of performance will certainly attract notice.
Not only has Fuentes performed well, but his competition to make the Royals roster has not taken advantage of the opportunity that has presented itself. Terrance Gore, Travis Snider, Brett Eibner and Bubba Starling have a gone a combined 7-48, with Starling’s inside the park home run as the only extra base hit. In those 48 at bats, that group has struck out 14 times. While Eibner has drawn six walks, that would not be enough to warrant a roster spot.
At this point, unless the Royals decide to only carry four outfielders, Fuentes may have a spot on the team already set. Otherwise, the competition between he and Jose Martinez could be quite fascinating to watch over the next few weeks.
We may be early in Spring Training, but Reymond Fuentes has made quite the impression thus far in camp. If he continues to produce at this rate, he may well find himself on the KC Royals Opening Day roster.