At the All-Star Break, the Kansas City Royals had a record of 27-68. Since the halfway point, the Royals are 24-28.
The second half of play has been a lot kinder to the Kansas City Royals than the first half was. The youth movement is coming, and fortunately for the Royals, they have a lot of exciting players that fit the bill. Here are five takeaways from the second half heading into the offseason.
1. Ryan O’Hearn is good.
Ryan O’Hearn has been stellar for the Kansas City Royals. Since his call up, the only hitters who have a better wRC+ than O’Hearn in as many plate appearances are listed in the tweet below. That’s an elite list of names to be behind.
He’s slashing .270/.378/.626. In the 35 games he has been up in the Major Leagues, he has hit 11 home runs and has knocked in 26 RBI’s. He’s making a case for the starting role at first base for the 2018 season. Granted, he’ll likely have some competition, but he has proven he is a legitimate option.
2. The Royals have outscored their opponents since the break.
This factoid combined with their record in the second half has shown that they have scored in bunches. The young players have already begun to help the cause, which bodes well. This has been done without the likes of Mike Moustakas, which is impressive. Plus, it means that maybe pitching is on the upswing.
3. The farm system isn’t as bleak as some may think.
The Lexington Legends won the South Atlantic League Championship. There is a host of young talent in the farm system just waiting to get their chance in the big leagues. Though this sort of overlaps with number four, their 2018 draft class should play a large role in the years to come.
4. They drafted phenomenally, bringing in a lot of good young talent, especially as far as pitching is concerned.
For the position players, perhaps the biggest name is Kyle Isbel, who fared well in his first taste of minor league ball.
5. The Royals should keep Whit Merrifield.
Whit Merrifield is an integral part of the Kansas City Royals. He is slashing .302/.366/.436 up to this point in the season, and he is only 29. Yes, there may be younger talent who could take his position if they traded him away to add more prospects to the farm system. But, keeping Merrifield around would likely benefit the Royals.
The 2018 season isn’t over quite yet, but their second half has been an improvement over the first half. The hope is that the momentum will shift into the 2019 season, and that the rebuild will move swiftly and quickly.