1.) Cheslor Cuthbert
The Kansas City Royals are fairly deep at the third base position with potential replacements for Moustakas. The one that stands out the most—and is the most capable replacement on this list—is the always-happy Cheslor Cuthbert.
The Nicaraguan-born Cuthbert had an outstanding rookie season for the Royals in 2016 that was somewhat obscured by a tough September that saw him tire down the stretch. That is to be expected for a rookie, and this comparison, which shows Cuthbert’s peak on July 23, should really put his season into perspective:
- Eric Hosmer: .293/.334/.465
- Mike Moustakas: .263/.309/.367
- Billy Butler: .292/.347/.447
- Cheslor Cuthbert: .302/.336/.472
He didn’t finish with that line (actually hit at .274/.318/.413) and does not have the pedigree or upside of those players. But Cuthbert was keeping pace with three future Kansas City Royals Hall of Famers as a mid-season injury sub. It also isn’t like the man is a non-prospect, as Cuthbert was Baseball America’s #84 prospect in 2011 and played in the Futures Game in 2015 for the World team.
It wouldn’t be unrealistic to see Cheslor Cuthbert hit 20 home runs with an average north of .270 in 2018. As players such as Gordon, Moustakas and Whit Merrifield have shown, there is always room to grow and improve your game. If he can work on his throws to first base and mature at the plate at the rate that he has, Cuthbert will be a highly productive player for the Kansas City Royals for years to come.
Verdict: Ready to be part of the new core
So which of the in-house replacements are you most excited to see take the next step? What others players do you see stepping up in the coming seasons? Let us know in the comments or on social media.