Kansas City Royals: Three Bold Offseason Predictions
By Cody Leonard
3. Alcides Escobar Returns, Raul Mondesi Moves to Center Field
Esky Magic is not dead yet. Kansas City Royals fans everywhere will let out a collective groan when Alcides Escobar is brought back on a two-year contract. Fans will call Moore crazy, among other adjectives. But there is a method to his madness here.
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The Kansas City Royals are short on center field prospects. They do have another shortstop prospect — Nicky Lopez — who is a few years off from being major league ready. The front office is very high on Lopez and sees him as a potential top-of-the-order bat with a fantastic glove at short.
The solution here is to transition Raul Mondesi to the outfield, where he will have a few seasons to adjust. His athleticism translates to center field and new roving instructor Rusty Kuntz could help Mondesi’s transition. Kuntz has had success converting infielders into Platinum Glove outfielders (see: Alex Gordon). He is more than capable of doing the same with Mondesi.
This clears a path for Lopez to eventually join the team. In the meantime, Escobar will play 324 more games in a Royals uniform. He won’t be very good, but he won’t have to be. Esky is just here to keep the seat warm for Lopez. So whenever Escobar gets up to bat, just go watch the video of his inside-the-park home run to start off Game 1 of the 2015 World Series.
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So what do you think? Do you consider these predictions more boneheaded than bold? Do you have any hot takes of your own? Let us know in the comments.