3.) Paulo Orlando
The hole that will be the hardest to fill in 2018 will be the one left in center field by Cain. The Kansas City Royals are stacked with capable corner outfielders with Alex Gordon, Jorge Bonifacio, Jorge Soler, Hunter Dozier and even Brandon Moss. Outside of the wild card that would be Bubba Starling, there doesn’t appear to be any young center fielders on the immediate horizon.
That is where Paulo Orlando comes into play.
The former Brazilian track star debuted with the Kansas City Royals during the 2015 season. He hit triples like they were going out of style and generally became a serviceable backup outfielder. In 2016, Orlando landed a semi-regular job as the right fielder. He put up what likely will be his career year with a .734 OPS in 128 games.
He also held his own defensively and has taken on Jarrod Dyson’s former role as a late-inning defensive replacement. His 2017 season didn’t start off great. Then he spent most of the year out with a broken leg before returning in September and getting a little hot at the very end of the season.
While Paulo Orlando is no long-term fix in center at age 32, he can man the position effectively and do so at a low price. Orlando has also shown that he can produce at the major league level, which is more than any other in-house replacement could say. Odds are, this job is his to lose. He will be perfectly decent for the Kansas City Royals next season.
Verdict: Ready; capable supporting player