On January 4, the Kansas City Royals agreed to bring in Taylor Featherston on a minor league deal in a move that flew under the radar.
Taylor Featherston does not have a ton of experience in the majors, but he can play all around the field, offering some depth at every position for the Kansas City Royals. None of his numbers scream superstar; in fact he has accumulated a negative fWAR in 244 plate appearances. His value has always lied in his glove.
Before a bat has even been swung, it is a safe bet that Featherston will struggle to find his way out of the minors, barring several injuries to the team. However his versatility and experience will bode very well in a minor league mentor role. Though he will not be counting out a chance at the Royals.
Meet The Newest Royal
In 2011 the Colorado Rockies selected Featherston in the fifth round. Calling his career a journey since that point would be very polite. In 2014, he became a Rule 5 selection of the Cubs, and was almost immediately sold to the Angels. He would spend all of 2015 in Los Angeles, hitting .162 in 169 plate appearances.
In February of 2016 he was sold to the Phillies, who dropped him at the end of March, only to be signed again the next day on a lesser deal. This lasted just over two months, when on June 9, 2017, Featherston was purchased by the Rays. He did play in the majors with these two teams for a total of 75 plate appearances and a batting average well under .200.
At the end of the season he was granted free agency and signed with the Twins, who would eventually release him on June 18, 2018, allowing him to sign with the Reds on July 25, 2018. Between those two dates, he played for the Kansas City T-Bones of the American Association.
Even during a time of rebuilding, his bat would be moving the needle in the wrong direction. The Kansas City Royals got a guy who can play anywhere on the field defensively, and he will do that in the minors for as long as he is with the organization.
Now, this is baseball. There is no one saying there isn’t a chance he comes out of the gate hitting .350 and hits his stride as a baseball player. That would be hard to ignore. But don’t count on that.
This may not be the most exciting move the Kansas City Royals ever make, but it could be an important one. Having veterans in the minors, especially during a rebuild, is beneficial in helping the young talent continue to develop.