The KC Royals new guys are making a world of difference. If you can call them new guys. Paulo Orlando played more than 1,000 minor league games before making his current impact with the Kansas City Royals. Whit Merrifield played in nearly 700 minor league games before making the leap to the bigs.
Both are bright stars in a season that could have been darkened by injuries to KC Royals regulars.
No one from Brazil makes it to the majors. Well, almost no one. Prior to Orlando’s major-league debut with the Kansas City Royals last season, only two Brazilians had ever played in the big leagues. Before baseball, Orlando did not exactly settle for his country’s primary sport of soccer, either. Instead, he earned a spot on the Brazilian Junior Olympic team.
By now, we have all seen Orlando’s speed. How fast was he on the track? He ran the 200m dash in 21 seconds. Last week, University of Arkansas senior Jarrion Lawson won the outdoor track title with a time of 20.19. The collegiate record is 19.69. Jamaican Usain Bolt holds the world record, set in 2009, at 19.19.
The best high school time in Kansas history is 20.70. (Note: Orlando’s quoted time is 21 seconds. In short sprints, hundredths of a second can separate the entire field of runners. For example, the No. 7 runner in last week’s NCAA championships finished in 20.93. Two runners crossed in 20.55).
Orlando ran the 400m dash in 46.36. That would be the fastest time in Kansas high school history. Orlando would have placed seventh at last week’s NCAA championships. University of Florida senior Arman Hall won in 44.82, missing a collegiate record by less than a second. American Michael Johnson set the world record of 43.18 in 1999. No wonder Orlando excels going home to third.
Next: Paulo Orlando In The Royals System