The Kansas City Royals have had a lot of problems this year. However, this problem the Royals seem to be getting themselves into might not be all that bad. In fact, it could be the perfect situation for them.
Going into the season, the Kansas City Royals really didn’t have a whole lot of depth. No position really stood out as a strength, and the Royals really didn’t have a player to be overly excited about. As the year has progressed, players have been traded for, and with the MLB Draft, that narrative seems to be changing.
When the Royals traded and drafted an outfielder this year, they seemed to have one goal in mind. Find a player that is strong defensively and on the base paths, that has potential at the plate. Luckily for the Royals, the “having potential at the plate” has already started trending up for some of the future pieces.
When looking through the system, the potential future outfielders look scattered throughout the system.
Options in the outfield, but don’t have to be.
Double-A Northwest Arkansas:
- Khalil Lee (#2 prospect)
When you look at these players, you will see a dramatic difference between the levels. Most of the Royals future seems to be lower in the system, but that doesn’t mean some closer to the MLB level won’t make the jump or be included in the future.
Things to consider
When looking at these players, the thing to consider is contract length and when the Royals are potentially competitive again.
For example, Gordon will most likely play his last year in Kansas City after the 2019 season. Soler will be a free agent after the 2020 season, and as it stands unlikely to be extended. Both seem to be a part of the Royals present, but not the future.
Then when you look at their Triple-A level, guys like Orlando, Starling, and Dewees are falling down the depth chart. Dewees is the only one of the three that could be considered a future piece still. Orlando is showing inconsistencies at the plate and is 32-years-old. Starling is always going to be the “what if” player, but his inability to stay healthy is most likely going to prevent him from making the big league roster.
You also have players who aren’t considered top prospects but are quietly pushing their names into the conversation. Hernandez is 23-years-old and is hitting .295/.333/.391 in Double-A and .387/.433/.516 in Triple-A this year. Players like Nick Heath, Eric Cole and Kort Peterson are working on pushing themselves into the conversation, but are lost in the mix because of the other outfield prospects ahead of them.
I would assume that Gordon, Soler, Orlando, Starling, and maybe even Bonifacio are not a part of the Royals future. However, players like Matias, Lee, Phillips, and Isbel are firmly in place as future outfielders. Players like Hicklen, Perkins, Hernandez, and Gigliotti are in the conversation, but still have some work to do to firmly put themselves in the conversation.
Which all of this is a good thing. Having a potential surplus at a position can be beneficial in the future. That gives the Royals the ability to make trades to help speed up the rebuild or acquire the necessary players to help with a playoff run.
The recent acquisitions of Goodwin and Herrera have helped give the Royals a surplus. Merrifield does provide more depth, however, he might find himself in a different city before the Royals are competitive again.
At the end of the day, what the Royals are doing is good. Not all of these players will doon a Royals jersey and help them on the field, but some will help the Royals in a different way while wearing a different teams jersey.
What do you think Royals fans? Are you pleased with the outfield depth? Do you think another outfielder should be on the list? Let us know below!