The Kansas City Royals have some well-known power hitters on their roster for 2020, but a couple of other players could add their names to that list.
It is likely strange for many to see Whit Merrifield on a list of Kansas City Royals players to hit a large number of home runs. Whit is definitely known for his ability to hit and put the ball in play, but typically, he is not much of a power hitter.
In 2019, though, Whit did see a bit of a rise in his slugging percentage and increased his 2018 numbers from 3 to 10 in triples and 12 to 16 in home runs. While Whit has not had a season in which he hit 20 home runs, he has come close with 19 in 2017.
Whit makes the list of wishful thinking players who could hit 20 home runs in 2020 because he simply has the athletic ability to do just about whatever he wants at the plate. Another, more justified reason, is that Whit has started to focus his abilities on certain aspects of the game.
In 2018 Whit the MLB in hits and stolen bases. In 2019 he led in hits and tied for the lead in triples, while he saw a sharp decrease in his stolen base numbers. Instead of focusing on a lot of different things, he has zeroed in on his hitting and scoring, which showed an increase in his extra-base hits.
While this is just wishful thinking, if there is a likeliest unlikely candidate to break 20 home runs in 2020, Whit Merrifield would be at the top of the list.
Ryan McBroom is a fairly new name to the Royals organization. He was acquired from the Yankees and made his major league debut with the Royals, appearing in 23 games at the end of 2019. While he didn’t have any home runs during his short stint with Kansas City, he did show up decently at the plate, slashing .293/.361/.360.
Where the argument comes for McBroom is in his ability to continue to succeed through the minor league system. McBroom has shown consistently good numbers as far as batting average and on-base percentage and has shown an ability to knock the ball out of the park during a few years.
McBroom stayed consistent as he rose through the minors and was able to produce, putting up his best numbers 2019 at AAA slashing .315/.402/.574 with 26 home runs over 117 games. While he didn’t have a home run in the 23 games he played with the Royals, McBroom shouldn’t be counted out too quickly.
McBroom needs time. The major league sample for him is very small and doesn’t provide enough information to really make a full opinion. This lands McBroom in the wishful thinking category. While he may not produce power numbers like Soler or Dozier, there is every possibility that once he is able to acclimate to the new level of baseball, McBroom will start to hit some balls out of the park.
It would be awesome to see McBroom and Whit blast 20 homers into the stands in 2020, but it is likely they will sit around the 15 range. Combine their hitting ability with the other power hitters listed previously, though, and the Royals just might have a chance to shake up the field in 2020.