While there are Kansas City Royals players to fill the gap at first, they have to step up and show they can produce before the job is fully theirs.
While pitching seems to hold most of the issues the Kansas City Royals have, first base brought its share of issues during 2019 as well. For the Royals, the issue fell to the fact that the player who was supposed to take the reigns struggled offensively, and the players that were in line to fill in didn’t impress anyone either.
With a first base lineup for a majority of the year consisting of Ryan O’Hearn, Cheslor Cuthbert, and Lucas Duda, hopes weren’t very high for the position. Ryan O’Hearn had taken baseball by storm in his 2018 debut but seemed to fall off offensively in 2019. Defensively he is average, but with the offensive production he is capable of, it should be worth it. He started to turn things around towards the end of the season, but he will have to carry that over to 2020 if he wants to remain the frontrunner for first.
The Royals also brought in Ryan McBroom from the Yankee’s minor league system but he saw limited time at first, filling in as needed in the outfield. While most other positions have players locked down, first base is one of the only spots that are truly up in the air.
It’s likely Ryan O’Hearn will continue to lead the pack in the positional battle, but with new management, there is no telling what changes could come to the lineup. If the Royals want to continue to show progress and get one step closer to contention, locking down an everyday first baseman who can help both offensively and defensively will be key for 2020.