The Kansas City Royals have lost more than 100 games once again in 2019. Therefore, it as important as ever to look for the positives.
Way back in 1970 President Richard Nixon and his Vice President, Spiro Agnew, coined a term for the perpetual naysayers and their constant critics: the nattering nabobs of negativism. After two seasons of more than 100 losses, I often feel as if this is what I have become. I have allowed myself to become a nabob of negativism. I am a gray cloud bringing rain whenever any topic comes up concerning my beloved Kansas City Royals.
But I can do better. I aim to become a more positive person, a more positive fan of the Royals. And, just like Tricky Dick and his loyal sidekick I, too, would prefer to be a voice of righteous optimism standing against the sea of pessimism. And I shall begin my transformation by detailing some of the bright spots we have seen from our Kansas City Royals in 2019. Believe it or not, there are several.
Adalberto Mondesi is the real deal. He has had some injury issues through the first few years of his career. But he has also shown he can play shortstop at a very high level. He may always have an allergy to taking a walk, but he can hit, and he has some real pop for a shortstop. Even while missing significant time this year, he is still a threat to lead the league in both triples and stolen bases. And he will only be 24 at the start of next season.
Jorge Soler is a monster. The noises his bat makes when it contacts a baseball would make Pedro Cerrano flinch. Jorge has always been a hitter that murdered pitchers’ mistakes. But he has become much more this season. He is going to hit .260. He also walks enough and launches more than enough moonshots to be a top tier Designated Hitter. He is going to hit more than 80 extra-base hits this season. Pitchers are beginning to fear throwing anything to Soler that he may hit. And I do not blame them. He stands up there in the batter’s box like a man who is hungry, and he swings his bat like a man who is ready to eat.
Brad Keller is some of Dayton Moore’s finest work. We got him for nothing, and he is already a solidified above-average starting pitcher in this league. Next season he will only be 24. He has shown the fortitude and wherewithal to pitch through trouble and has been one of the few consistent bright spots in our rotation. I am not convinced that he will ever be an ace, but if Brad Keller is your #2 or #3 starter, you have yourself a decent rotation. The most endearing quality of Keller thus far is that he continues to improve.
This was Hunter Dozier’s age 27 season. And, a lot like Soler, he has finally figured out how to handle big-league pitching. As he enters his prime, he does it with an on base-plus-slugging percentage right around .900. He has had some struggles defensively playing third base this season. But, now that I am a positive thinker, I have decided to see that as an asset. Being able to play multiple positions just makes it all that much easier to find a free agent bat we can plug in somewhere for next season. And his willingness to play either corner infield or outfield spot just shows he has leadership qualities.
I see now that, as bad as the record will ultimately be for the 2019 Kansas City Royals, we have some viable building blocks. And I am committed to doing my best from here on out to continue looking at the bright side of Royals baseball. To be a voice of positivity standing up against those nattering nabobs of negativism. Actually…now that I think about it, that strategy did not ultimately work out all that well for Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew.