Depending on injuries or trades, filling a hole at second base could be necessary next season. A slugger from Puerto Rico could be the answer.
A seventh-round pick in 2015, Gabriel Cancel already has five seasons of professional ball under his belt. He was highlighted in former Royal Carlos Beltran’s Academy Class that year prior to Kansas City drafting him.
Since the 2016 season, he has moved up a level of minor league ball each year. Playing mostly second base for the Travelers in 2019, Cancel powered up with 30 doubles and 18 home runs. One of his highlights this past season is hitting a walk-off homer in a game that featured Danny Duffy making a rehab start.
As of now, it would seem that Nicky Lopez has the first chance at second base with Whit Merrifield roaming the outfield. Another slow start by Lopez, a trade of Merrifield, or another injury to Aldaberto Mondesi could create a spot to bring in another young bat.
He will need to cut down on his strikeouts but another gap power and occasional home run hitter in the middle infield would be a nice addition. A start back in Northwest Arkansas or even with Omaha would be the best fit for Cancel at this time, but the above scenarios could see him receive the call to come up to the big leagues.
Cancel would probably be a long shot to show his face in Kansas City this year, but as the season progresses the right opportunity could present itself. He was a MILB.com Organizational All-Star and Mid-Season All-Star in the Texas League so the talent is there.