2) The Pipeline Is Alive And Well
Before the season began, most minor-league analysts considered the Kansas City Royals organization among the bottom third in major league baseball after trading off five lefty pitching prospects for Johnny Cueto and Ben Zobrist at the 2015 trade deadline. However, the 2016 Royals have enjoyed ample help from the farm so far this season.
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Third baseman Cheslor Cuthbert has taken over at the hot corner for Mike Moustakas, Whit Merrifield has displaced Christian Colon as the team’s primary utility man, and outfielder Brett Eibner made his major-league debut Friday.
All three players started, and all three made big contributions to the Royals 7-5 comeback victory. Eibner went 1-3 and his leadoff double got the Royals five-run rally started in the seventh. Merrifield went 2-4 and his two-RBI single in the seventh pulled Kansas City within one run at 5-4. Cuthbert chipped in with two hits and more nice defense at third.
These guys can play.
Eibner’s debut was particularly fun. The 27-year-old prospect had his friends and family in the stands for not only his first major-league game, but also his first extra base hit and his first run scored.
General manager Dayton Moore might decide to bring in outside help, or he could let the team ride for awhile to see how the young guys can fill in for the injured Alex Gordon and Mike Moustakas. As long as the KC Royals remain in contention, he can afford to remain patient.
Right now, we’re seeing the benefit’s of the Kansas City Royals home grown approach to building a team. Guys like Eibner, Cuthbert, and Merrifield have played in the minor leagues with many of the players on the big club and now find themselves surrounded by familiar faces in the KC Royals clubhouse.
Next: Royals Offense