The Kansas City Royals have already begun making trades this year. They seem to be ahead of the curve, trading two of their better trading chips before July even hit. So how are the newly acquired players doing?
After the Kansas City Royals traded Jon Jay to Arizona and Kelvin Herrera to Washington, the question of “how long until they make a difference” came to mind. In order to get a read on that, we have to keep an eye on them as they develop.
If you missed it, here is a recap as to who the Royals got for each trade.
- Jay was traded for RHP Gabe Speier and LHP Elvis Luciano.
- Herrera was traded for OF Blake Perkins, 3B Kelvin Gutierrez, and RHP Yohanse Morel.
I will tell you, if you are looking for instant success for the newly acquired Royals, this will upset you. They were acquired to potentially be apart of the Royals future plans. That most likely won’t happen until 2020/2021 though. Therefore, if the numbers don’t look great right now, be patient.
We will start with the first trade the Royals made this year.
When the Royals trade Jay, Luciano was the headline for the trade. Luciano is 18-years-old and has the ability to be a solid pitcher if he continues developing. After being acquired by the Royals, Luciano jumped into the teams Top-30 prospects, currently 27th.
So far, he has pitched in two games for the Burlington Royals. In his two games, he has gone 8.2 innings with a 4.15 ERA. However, in his last outing, he went 5.0 innings and allowed just one run, and struck out five compared to two walks. While he continues to develop, being 18-years-old and having the ability to be in the low-mid 90s with his fastball is encouraging. He will obviously need more time to develop and is currently projected to make his debut in 2021. He will be 21-years-old at that time.
The other part of the trade was for LHP Speier. He is a little bit more of a “groomed” pitcher. The 23-year-old has appeared in seven games for Double-A Northwest Arkansas but has only logged 4.2 innings and a 5.79 ERA. Which without saying, is not that great. Spiere is a player that has struggled since moving up to Double-A, but it is a bit too early to count him out. He is a perfect example of low-risk/high-reward, and for someone acquired in a trade that involved Jay, you can’t be to upset.
Which leads us to the second trade the Royals have made.
This one has a lot of layers to it. The Royals seemed to have traded Herrera a bit earlier than anticipated, but the players acquired fit the mold of what they like. Guys who can play defense at a high level, as well as above average speed, but need some grooming offensively.
So far, neither Perkins or Gutierrez have been having a large amount of success. But neither has played double-digit games too. Perkins is currently in Advance-A Wilmington while Gutierrez is in Double-A.
The 21-year-old, switch-hitting outfielder, Perkins, is sporting a .250/.400/.286 slash with two stolen bases, seven strikeouts to six walks, and one extra-base hits of his seven hits over eight games.
The 23-year-old third baseman, Gutierrez, is sporting a .143/.182/.286 slash with one stolen base, five strikeouts to one walk, and one extra-base hit that was a home run over five games.
Again, neither looks good right now, but due to the lack of playing time, one game can shift the numbers to looking completely different. The thing to keep in mind as well is both are in the Royals Top-30 prospects too. Perkins is currently 14th and Gutierrez is 7th. As time goes on, we can get a better idea of what each can do. However, again, Perkins isn’t projected to make his debut until 2020 and Gutierrez is projected to make the jump in 2019.
Which leaves us with the 17-year-old righty, Morel.
To make a judgment on what he has done so far is a bit extreme, simply because of his age. While he has struggled in the Dominican Summer League and the Arizona Summer League, he is still learning how to be a professional pitcher. What is impressive though is he seems to be a pitcher that attacks the strike zone. He currently has 13 strikeouts compared to just one walk over 10.0 innings. He’s also only made three appearances. If I had to guess, I think he would make his debut in 2021/2022, at best.
If you’re anything like me, and like keeping tabs on newly acquired players, this isn’t something to be overjoyed with. The newly acquired players seem to be struggling with their new teams, but I personally am not worried. Simply because neither player has played 10 games yet.
For the most part, they are all projected to make their debut in 2020 and beyond. If we get to that point and they still are struggling and have made little progress, then you can be worried. However, until then, just keep an eye on them.
What the Royals seem to be doing is getting players who are athletes. They are players who need a little work offensively, but defensively and once on bases, they are above average. If a couple can develop into what the Royals need, the trades will be worth it. It’s just a wait-and-see game now.