The Kansas City Royals are in the thick of a playoff hunt. While the big league club tries to recreate some 2015 magic there are minor leaguers eager to be a part of the fun. It is never too early to see what the farm system is preparing for the big club. Thus say hello to the next installment of “A Look Ahead”.
Kansas City Royals first base prospect Ryan O’Hearn has a legitimate opportunity in 2018. Incumbent first baseman Eric Hosmer becomes a free agent at season’s end. While it would be great to see Hos re-up with Kansas City his agent Scott Boras is planning the biggest payday possible. That potential dollar amount is likely to take Hosmer elsewhere.
With that being the case O’Hearn should expect to get a long look next spring. He is currently playing for the Royals’ Triple A affiliate Omaha Storm Chasers. While O’Hearn’s season may have been a bit slow out of the gate, he has been able to get things rolling as of late.
Here is a rundown of where Ryan currently stands: .254/.321/.444 with 13 HR and 39 RBIs.
The Take from Royals Farm Report
Patrick Brennan over at Royals Farm Report had this to say about O’Hearn:
“One of the best power hitters in the organization, that wasn’t always the case for the slugger out of Sam Houston State. Slugging only .405 in college, the Royals thought he had power potential in his bat, taking him in the eighth round of the 2014 draft. And he hasn’t disappointed. He has torn his way through every level, hitting .282/.358/.492.
Now in Triple A, his offensive game has sputtered a bit. But there still are encouraging signs. He has shown more power in Triple A, while striking out less.
He is pretty average at first base. He isn’t the quickest player, but has a good enough arm to [potentially] play in the corner outfield.”
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Overall O’Hearn has shown the ability to adjust at each level. While he may never bring the same defensive prowess as Hos, he can still get the job done. Being able to produce at the plate is the key. For this writer it is not a stretch for O’Hearn to execute at a comparable rate with what the team could be losing in Hosmer.
If Ryan can indeed win the first base job next spring it will be huge for the Kansas City Royals. Being able to address a need internally allows teams to hold on to assets. Assets that can help in other areas where the team is less prepared for losing established players, cough*Center Field*cough. If there is one prospect that fans need to be pulling hard for it is Ryan O’Hearn.
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How does Royals Nation view Ryan O’Hearn? Do you expect him to be the team’s first baseman next season? Let me know what you think in the comments.