Its early, but some Kansas City Royals are shining while others are starting slow.
Spring Training is always a ray of sunshine. After a long winter, players are full of hope for the start of a new season. All of their hard work and preparations throughout winter are over, and now it’s time to see if that work translates to production on the field for the Kansas City Royals.
Not everybody starts out hot. Veterans look at these games as a way to work on new things and parts of their game that are weak without the fear of worrying about their spot on the roster. They can look terrible, but hit the ground running once the season starts.
Young players are wanting to impress and are playing hard trying to stand out. They want their name floating around for any roster spot that may become available now or in season. The same for players brought in during the offseason. Jobs are on the line and competition is stiff. Eleven games in, where does everybody stand?
Well, when it comes to hitting, the young bucks from the farm are showing their stuff. I couldn’t be more delighted to see Bubba Starling leading the pack. He has gotten off to a torrid start. His video game type slash line of .471/.591/.941, is just what he needed. He is getting walks, scoring runs, and playing a decent center field. He couldn’t ask for a better start.
The next few with a good start, and who have over five games of play, are also dominated by players from the farm. Frank Schwindel is again opening eyes. His .438/.526/.688 slash line is a great start. Erick Mejia is hitting the ball well and making plays in the outfield. Humberto Arteaga is also having a good start this spring. Last year he greatly improved at the plate and is continuing to show some skill this spring. Like Jorge Lopez, he doesn’t have much pop in his bat though.
Of the known regulars, Adalberto Mondesi‘s bat seems to be continuing where he left off last fall. Whit Merrifield, Jorge Soler and Hunter Dozier are all putting up decent numbers. Rating their spring this early doesn’t mean much. The numbers they show the last two weeks of spring will be a bigger indicator of how they will start the season.
On the pitching side of things its a little harder to see how well they are doing. Nobody has more than six innings pitched yet. The first couple of games they play are mainly about just going through the motions and getting some practice on each pitch they throw. It’s not unusual for pitchers to throw five or more of the same pitch in a row just to get comfortable with it.
That said, Kyle Zimmer is looking great. In almost five innings he has only given up 3 hits, no runs and struck out two. Zach Lovvorn, and Michael Ynoa also have yet to give up a run. Richard Lovelady and Josh Staumont are also putting in some good innings.
On the other side of the coin, some players are having a difficult start. Brian Goodwin, Brett Phillips, and Cam Gallagher are finding it hard to get a hit. Chris Owings has a couple of homers but otherwise is having a hard time making contact. He has seven strikeouts in 20 at bats and only two walks. With them getting only a couple of at bats a game, its hard to get a rhythm going. They should start seeing more from here on out as projected regulars and contenders stay in games longer.
On the pitching side of things, Brian Flynn and Rule Five draftee Chris Ellis have been throwing batting practice for opponents. Between the two of them they have given up 20 runs in 7 innings. They are the only ones who stand out so far with bad innings. Otherwise its a typical spring for the rest.
The Kansas City Royals themselves are hot with a 7 and 4 record. Granted, winning in the spring doesn’t mean much. However with a fairly young and inexperienced team, its nice to see them get a good start. We have got a little more than three weeks left of play before the regular season starts. Plenty of time for players to get things turned around.