Kansas City Royals: What to make of Ryan O’Hearn’s 2019 season

(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /
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Kansas City Royals first baseman Ryan O’Hearn delivered a walk-off home run on Tuesday but has been up and down this season.

Have the Kansas City Royals given first baseman, Ryan O’Hearn a long enough look to know what they have in him? The former 8th round pick in the 2014 MLB Draft did not exactly put up eye-popping numbers at Sam Houston State, slashing 0.292/0.348/0.451 with 8 home runs and 44 RBI’s in his final season.

The 26-year old has taken quite a while to make it to the big leagues, going up and down from Triple-A and even working on his game in the Dominican Winter League this past offseason. O’Hearn began the season with the big league roster but was sent down to Triple-A Omaha in mid-June after struggling mightily while batting 0.188.

He’s pretty much been the everyday first baseman since the beginning of August and it’s been more of the same for O’Hearn, batting just 0.181 in the second half this season. O’Hearn has recently discovered a bit of a power stroke with his most recent coming on Tuesday night in epic fashion.

In a pinch-hit scenario, O’Hearn launched a ball into the left-field seats to give the Royals a walk-off victory on a night in which Jorge Soler broke the franchise single-season home run record.

The Royals recently acquired Ryan McBroom from the Yankees and he’s gone 3-for-7 in his first two games with the team. It’s obviously a small sample size, but the point is that the Royals are obviously trying to get a look at other potential options.

We’ll see how the rest of this month plays out, but right now, the Royals may be in the market for a new first baseman in the offseason if new owner John Sherman is willing to explore that avenue. O’Hearn’s -1.5 WAR this season should be all the story that needs to be told.

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He might very well find himself fighting for a roster spot again next Spring Training or released at the end of this year. It will be interesting to see how aggressive John Sherman wants to be this offseason in improving the roster, knowing full well they are at least a couple of years away from fielding a respectable team again.