The Kansas City Royals seem to have found a potential diamond in the rough. The Royals situation just might be the perfect one for Rosell Herrera to shine.
Due to the Kansas City Royals rebuild, they are taking anyone they can to try and help improve the team for the future. That means going to teams that waive players and taking them. Luckily for the Royals, the Cincinnati Reds waived Rosell Herrera and the Royals decided to take a chance on him.
The 25-year-old, switch-hitting, utility player fits the mold the Royals are building for themselves. When you look at the current roster, nearly every player on their team can play multiple positions if asked, and many already have this season.
Cincinnati waived Herrera after he struggled to sustain consistency at the MLB level. Over 11 games with the Reds, Herrera hit .154/.154/.154 with a .308 OPS. In his 13 at-bats, he recorded just two hits, both singles.
Trying to get Herrera back to their minor league system, Kansas City jumped in and acquired Herrera away from the Reds. And so far the Royals have scored big.
While in Triple-A Omaha, Herrera hit .278/.333/.516 with a .849 OPS over 10 games. He also recorded three doubles, two triples, and a home run during that time. But what is impressive is his ability to be productive defensively. He played all 10 games in the outfield but spending time at each outfield position.
Once he was called up, Herrera seemed to pick up where he left off in Omaha. After five games at the big league level in Kansas City, Herrera is hitting .278/.278/.556 with a .833 OPS. Of his five hits, two are triples and one is a double.
The Royals are currently in the perfect situation for Herrera.
Since the Royals are rebuilding, they can be more lenient on playing time for struggling players. This isn’t exactly anything different than Cincinnati, but the Royals are trying to see what players fit the mold of the future. And Herrera seems to be pushing himself to become one of those players.
Herrera is capable of playing quality defense at multiple positions. This year alone he has played at second base, center field, left field, and right field. His speed and athleticism have been major pieces that make him an intriguing player. Friday night is a great example of that.
So far in his five games with the Royals, Herrera has played center field and right field. There is a strong chance that Herrera stays in the outfield with little time at second base though. Currently, Adalberto Mondesi is being moved back to his natural position as they start pushing Alcides Escobar out of the everyday shortstop role, meaning Whit Merrifield could go back to his natural position of second base.
How the Royals continue using Herrera is up for debate, though. Especially when you still have to wait and see what they do trading wise.
When I look at what Herrera can do, the first thing that comes to mind is he might be “Merrifield 2.0”. Herrera could become the teams next second baseman if the Royals do in fact decide to trade Merrifield, and seeing is how Herrera can play the outfield, he looks similar to Merrifield defensively.
When they claimed Herrera off waivers a small part of me believed that this move insured Merrifield is being traded. I hope that’s not the case and that Herrera can find a home in the outfield while Merrifield and Mondesi partner up in the infield.
I can say that everything I have seen thus far with Herrera is promising. Since coming to Kansas City, counting Omaha, he has nine extra-base hits over 15 games. He may not power the ball over the outfield walls, but having the ability to get doubles and triples are also crucial.
I know it has only been five games. I’m also aware that players go on hot streaks and cold streaks. However, going from hitting .154 to .278 is a nice improvement. The true test will be if his recent success continues in some capacity and if he falls back to being a mediocre .150 hitter.
The Royals really seem to be going for players that can play multiple positions and are defensively sound, with speed. They have done that in the last few trades, and the system is getting full of these types of players. The task at hand now is to try and get some of these players to develop into viable big league players.
So what do you think Royals fans? Should we temper the excitement for Herrera? Is he finally living up to his potential? Are you excited for what Herrera is/could be? Let us know below!