The Kansas City Royals of 2019 were a team that struggled all season. But there were some surprising bright spots as well.
Surprises are not always good. Face planting after a trip and fall is a surprise. And even though the face-planting may seem like an apt analogy for the 2019 Kansas City Royals I am going to focus this story on the Royals surprises that made us feel good this season.
I wish I would have been more surprised by the performance of the Royals in 2019. Sadly, signing Lucas Duda as a third option at first base for no discernible reason is no longer surprising at all. Chris Owings being a waste of a free agent signing was also not surprising, even if it was somewhat amazing that he only achieved 18 more hits for the Royals last year than I did.
In fairness, there were also some good performances last season that I was not surprised by. I think it is reasonable to be a little caught off guard by how well Jorge Soler played in 2019, but the tools were always there. Considering how well he looked over 61 games in 2018 I think many of us were of the belief that he was due for a breakout season.
Alex Gordon putting together a bounce-back season was also something I did not see coming. He looked great, especially early in the season. But most of the surprise with Alex was because his last few seasons had been so hard to watch. Alex still has not had a Slugging Percentage over .400 since 2015. I also have a hard time being too pleasantly surprised when a left fielder making 20 million dollars finishes a season hitting league average.
The following players are the three that pleasantly surprised me the most in 2019. All three of them should also still contribute just as much, if not more, in 2020.