Kansas City Royals: Evaluating the Kelvin Herrera trade return

KANSAS CITY, MO - JUNE 12: Kelvin Herrera #40 of the Kansas City Royals walks off the field after throwing in the ninth inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Kauffman Stadium on June 12, 2018 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MO - JUNE 12: Kelvin Herrera #40 of the Kansas City Royals walks off the field after throwing in the ninth inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Kauffman Stadium on June 12, 2018 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) /
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For those of you who don’t know a whole lot about the new additions, here is a short look into what they are/the potential hope for them.

Kelvin Gutierrez

Gutierrez is an interesting player. He is currently listed as a third baseman, but he lacks the power one would hope for that position. The 23-year-old does have an active bat, with some success though.

At the lower levels of A-Ball, his numbers are pretty decent.

  • A(Short) over 71 games: hit .307/.359/.415 with 24 doubles. He struck out just 57 times compared to 19 walks.
  • A(Full) over 96 games: hit .300/.349/.406 with 19 doubles and six triples. He struck out 65 times compared to 29 walks.
  • A(Adv) over 68 games: hit .281/.344/.404 with 11 doubles and six triples. He struck out 64 times compared to 22 walks.

This year he was promoted to Double-A and his numbers dropped a little, but nothing eye-popping. He is currently hitting .274/.321/.391 over 58 games. What is encouraging though are his wRC+ numbers. He’s only had 10 games where he has scored below 100, which 100 is for an average offensive player.

So far this year he has a 100 wRC+ and last year he had a wRC+ of 116. So when taking into consideration where he is playing and the situations he is in offensively, he is either average or just above. Combine that with his defense and he could turn into a solid all-around player.

Like mentioned earlier, and as you can see, his power numbers really aren’t there. Which makes playing at third base seem unlikely. But the perk is that he can play around the infield. He has spent time at first base, shortstop, and third base.

It will be interesting to see if the Royals continue utilizing him at third base or shortstop, or if they move him to second base any.

Blake Perkins

Another interesting player. He looks to be someone who has solidified himself as a great defender with great speed. However, his bat needs a little bit of work, similar to Gutierrez.

The 21-year-old outfielder has spent most of his time in center field but can play the corner spots as well.

The former 2nd-round pick in 2015 has struggled to find consistency at the plate, as he has hit just .239/.332/.322 over his first four years and 306 games in A-Ball. Also, similar to Guitierrez, the power isn’t really there. He has 48 career doubles, seven career triples, and just 11 career home runs.

However, his wRC+ this year sits at an 87 and last year he had a 115 wRC+. For someone who has made just nine errors over nearly 300 games and 2,484.0 innings in the outfield, the fact that his offensive numbers can improve is promising.

He also walks a ton and steals as many bases as he can. He has 266 career strikeouts compared to 160 walks/intentional walks (1.66:1 K/BB ratio). Then you look at his swiped bags and you’re looking at 57 stolen bases on 79 attempts (72% success rate).

Defense, speed, base path knowledge. Sound oddly familiar, right?

Yohanse Morel

Lastly, we reach the most unknown of them all. Morel is a 17-year-old pitcher who has major upside. However, he is just so young and inexperienced right now it is hard to fully know what he is going to be.

Here is a small piece of what Kyle Glasser of Baseball America had to say about Morel.

"Morel threw 88-91 mph when he signed but since then his fastball has jumped to 95 mph. With his fast arm speed and room to fill out his 6-foot-1, 180-pound frame, Morel has a chance to throw even harder in the future. He shows feel for a power slider and has the athleticism that should bode well for his ability to repeat his delivery and make adjustments."

Considering how young he is, having those types of intangibles is an easy way to build optimism. Morel fits the mold that the Royals have been running with, which is signing/trading for very young pitchers with lots of upsides. They have recently signed/traded for pitches like Yefri del Rosario (18), Elvis Luciano (18), and now Morel (17).

The thing to keep in mind is that the Royals seem to have drafted well and made significant trades that have helped bolster the team as they rebuild.

With this last trade, the Royals have added two new members to their Top-30 Prospects. While Gutierrez and Perkins were 10th and 11th with the Nationals, Gutierrez is now 7th and Perkins is 14th within the Royals organization.

According to MLB.com and their Prospect Watch, Gutierrez is projected to make his debut in 2019 and Perkins in 2020. If you’ve been keeping up with the Royals “youth movement” this year, 2020 and 2021 is the time all the young offensive players should be making their move to the big league roster. This lines up perfectly with what the Royals have been planning all along.

No matter the trade, nay-sayers are always going to be there. People are going to make decisions about trades now, rather than wait and see how they develop.

If you don’t believe me, just google how people felt about the Royals trade when they moved Zack Greinke to Milwaukee and move Wil Myers to Tampa Bay.

To me, this smells a lot like the Greinke trade when Lorenzo Cain and Alcides Escobar came to Kansas City. No, they aren’t the same players, I know. However, the Royals had traded for fielders that were above average in the field and on the base paths and worked to develop the bats in-house. If the Royals were able to re-create this, the rebuild has been helped significantly.

In my opinion, we have to trust that Dayton Moore made the right choice. He has proven once already that his team of scouts can identify great young talent and use them to anchor in a rebuild. And yes, he has had some blunders, but this is also a game where we praise people for failing nearly 70% of the time.

Next: Don't lose hope in Mondesi yet!

As far as I am concerned, the Royals have traded two players this month. Within those two trades, they have acquired five new prospects. Of those five new prospects, three are now in the Royals Top-30 prospects. And the Royals have significantly helped themselves with the 2018 Draft.

What Moore is doing, seems to be working. You can disapprove of the trade, but until we see them more we can’t say the Royals gave Herrera away for nothing. Especially in this era of baseball trades.

So what do you think Royals fans? Did this help provide any more information for you about the new Royals? Will you give them a chance to show success? Or have you deemed this a failed trade already? Let us know below!