“Could Be” Outfield Options
The Royals added Michael Saunders at the beginning of Spring Training after being released from the Pittsburgh Pirates when they traded for Corey Dickerson. He was a long shot at finding a spot on the Royals 25-man roster, but due to recent events, he might have increased his odds of making the big league roster.
Saunders has actually had a nice Spring Training. He has hit .308 over his eight games and has shown that he can play both left field and right field. That type of versatility can help open up the outfield some.
Originally, I thought signing Saunders could have been for playing center field. However, with the signing of Jay that obviously is not the case. But his ability to play all three outfield positions is enticing. If Saunders continues to impress during Spring Training, I would not be surprised if he is the starting right fielder for the Royals.
The only catch is finding a spot on the 40-man roster for Saunders if he does end up “making” the team.
I must admit, I did not think Tyler Collins had much of a chance at being a starter or anything more than just depth for the Royals. I figured that the team had enough depth, that Collins would find himself being pushed into the background.
However, over 15 games he has done everything to not be pushed backward. He has hit .313 and showed that he is a solid defensive outfielder.
I know that Spring Training does not tell the whole story. When you look at his regular season numbers they show that he is far from a .300 hitter. For his career, he has a slash of .235/.299/.380 and last year had a .193/.278/.333 slash over 49 games in Detroit.
Same story as Soler though. In the minors last year he showed his upside. Over 74 games he posted a much more appealing .288/358/.462 slash.
The identity of Collins is still unknown. Based off of how things ended in Detroit, it seems like the environment he was in was not going to work well for him. Maybe being in an environment like the Royals clubhouse will do him some good, and help boost his productivity level.