KC Royals: Breaking down the 2020 stat projections
By Jordan Foote
Usual suspect: Salvador Perez
After missing the entire 2019 season with a torn UCL, Perez is slated to rejoin the team at full strength ahead of 2020. In his last healthy season, he posted a .235 batting average and clobbered a career-high 27 home runs. FanGraphs projects those numbers to be .252 and 27 in 2020. Baseball-Reference’s figures: .250 and 13.
Pleasant surprises: Ryan O’Hearn (kind of), Nicky Lopez
O’Hearn burst onto the scene his rookie year, clobbering ball after ball and putting together one of the most impressive displays of raw power KC Royals fans had seen in recent memory. After struggling immensely in 2019, both projection systems predict a mini-bounceback this year. Not to even an average level, but still a lot more playable than last season.
Lopez’s rookie season was hard to watch. At the plate, he resembled O’Hearn. Putting things together a bit in the final weeks of the season, he flashed his potential as an on-base machine and speedy utility player. Much like O’Hearn, both are in for improvement this year by projection standards.
Disappointing finding: Adalberto Mondesi
Maybe it’s just me, but it feels like Mondesi has yet to even sniff his ceiling as a player. Still just 24 years old, the young star shortstop has had a very hard time staying on the field. He also took a step back at the plate in 2019. Contrary to popular belief, only minor improvement is expected by FG and B-Ref for this season.