Kansas City Royals: 3 players who need to take next step in 2020

(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) /
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Kansas City Royals, Hunter Dozier
(Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) /

Hunter Dozier was one player for the Kansas City Royals who took a leap forward in 2019. Let’s look at three guys who need to do the same in 2020.

2019 has been rather lackluster for the Kansas City Royals as the team is on pace to finish with 100 losses for the second consecutive season. Led by some really bad pitching, this team was never set up for success this season but saw the emergence of two offensive players. Jorge Soler looked like a bad acquisition to part with closer Wade Davis during the 2016 offseason, given his injury history.

Sure enough, that’s exactly how Soler’s first two seasons went in Kansas City, playing in just 96 games combined. The former Cuban defector has broken out in a big way this season, slashing 0.255/0.347/0.552 with 43 home runs and 106 RBI’s entering Thursday. His second half of the year has been a memorable one, breaking Mike Moustakas‘ single-season home run record and reducing his strikeout percentage significantly.

Not to mention that he’s been absolutely destroying baseballs lately. Seriously, when was the last time you saw one of his home runs barely clear the fence? They are all sent into orbit with extreme exit velocity.

Hunter Dozier has been another player that has stepped up this year. The 28-year old took a bit to develop but he’s seeing the benefits this season, slashing 0.289/0.362/0.546 with 9 triples, 25 bombs and 79 RBI’s. Dozier played in just 102 games last season but is on pace to finish with over 130 this season.

The third base job is likely his to lose with a struggling Cheslor Cuthbert, who is likely to not be retained beyond the season. Both Dozier and Soler are looking to become just the third set of Royals teammates to have 0.900 OPS seasons. Let’s take a look at three players who need to elevate their game in 2020.