The Kansas City Royals have been messing around with the promotion of one of its own players. He has been up and sent down, with inconsistent playing time, off and on since 2016. With little success. That seems to be changing now though.
The Kansas City Royals seemed to struggle with the idea of giving Adalberto Mondesi consistent playing time. I wrote an article earlier this year about the playing time Mondesi has actually had over his MLB playing career. Or lack thereof.
The idea should be to just give Mondesi consistent playing time and at-bats. Doing that, they could figure out what he was capable of doing. The only problem has been Alcides Escobar. With Escobar on the roster, Mondesi hasn’t been able to play his natural position. Also, Whit Merrifield has been the team’s second baseman for the last three years. Granted he can play every position, but he has primarily played second.
That all seems to be changing though. With the organization finally embracing the rebuild mentality and giving Mondesi more time to play, they might have sparked the confidence Mondesi needs to succeed.
The rise of Mondesi
We all know that Escobar is struggling this year. What made it incredibly hard to watch though was knowing Mondesi was in Triple-A, not getting a chance. While Mondesi was having his worst span of time in Omaha, it was still worth giving him a chance at the big league level. On June 17th, the Royals finally decided to make the move.
As expected, it took the 22-year-old a little bit of time to get acclimated to the new level of talent. Throughout the month of June, Mondesi didn’t start two games and hit a lousy .200/.222/.371 over 11 games. Considering is career slashes were similar to that, it was easy to assume the worst.
However, July has produced a different feel. He sat out one game, but over his next 10 games, he has a .297/.316/.514 slash with four extra-base hits. In fact, over his last nine games, he is hitting .324/.343/.559 with four extra-base hits.
His wRC+ over his first 21 games this year is 90, which puts him close to an average MLB hitter (100). His UZR at shortstop is a 0.4 and his UZR at second base is a 1.4, meaning he is average, but just above the average player defensively.
We have all seen some of his amazing defensive plays he has made this year. Now with his bat coming to life, the Royals might finally be getting the player they hoped for.
I’m not expecting Mondesi to compete for MVP awards, make the All-Star Game every year, or even win a Gold Glove every year. Mondesi still has a lot to prove, and a lot to be desired. But he is 22-years-old, will be 23 at the end of July.
The fact that he is giving the Royals this amount of hope at the MLB level, that is something to be excited about. The naysayers who have been chanting “he can’t hit MLB level pitching” seem to be proven wrong as of late. More playing time will tell the full story, but that chant doesn’t seem applicable anymore.
I understand sample size. 21 games is not a lot to look at. At the same time, the fact that with consistent playing time he is producing this type of production is encouraging.
If the Royals really hold true to the statement they made about giving Mondesi consistent at-bats, we could be watching the franchise shortstop they had been hoping for developing right before our eyes.
So what do you think Royals fans? Should we be encouraged with what we are seeing from Mondesi? Is he turning the corner? Are you still doubting him? Let us know below!