The KC Royals need to fill the first base void and a late-season acquisition from 2019 might just be the player to take that spot full time.
Welcome back to the Kings of Kauffman 2020 KC Royals season previews. Working our way up to spring training, we are breaking down 30 different Royals than fans will likely see in 2020. We will include accomplishments from the previous season, what can be expected during the next season, and any other pertinent information. Today we are looking at Ryan McBroom.
What did he offer last season?
McBroom did not see a lot of major league time in 2019 and the 23 games he did see were the first of his major league career. The Royals acquired McBroom late in the season from the Yankees organization. He had proven himself well in the minors, and the Royals need any prospect help they can get.
It was assumed that McBroom would find a bulk of his time at first base as he played most of his minor league career at the position, but instead he saw a mixture, spending a good deal of time in the outfield.
Whether this move was to see if he could fit the mold of a Royals outfielder or if it was just to get him some at-bats is unknown, but McBroom seemed to impress wherever he was. Defensively, the major league sample is small, but he recorded no errors at any position.
In the minors during 2019, he held a .995 fielding percentage over 467.0 AAA innings at first with only two errors. He spent some time in the outfield as well, with an overall fielding percentage of .986. While it’s still not terrible and could get better with time, his numbers lean towards first base being a better fit.
Offensively, McBroom garnered some excitement. In AAA over 117 games, he slashed .315/.408/.574 with 26 home runs, 66 RBIs and 87 runs. His power didn’t translate as well to the majors, but in the few innings he saw, he slashed .293/.361/.360 with 6 RBIs and 8 runs.
He will have to prove that he can bring the power and consistency from AAA to the majors, but so far he is looking like a decent pickup by the Royals. The issue currently with McBroom is that his major league sample size is just too small. Spring training will hopefully shed some light on his potential and answer some questions about where he might fit in during the 2020 season.
What should we expect in 2020?
B-Ref: .264/.336/.426 line, 12 2B, 1 3B, 7 HR, 27 RBI, .762 OPS
FG: .254/.315/.408 line, 9 2B, 0 3B, 6 HR, 22 RBI, .723 OPS
Both predictions have McBroom’s numbers decreasing, which is not a surprise. He will be working on his first full major league season. It’s likely that his numbers will take a dip from those he saw in the minors. Baseball-Reference’s prediction would not be a terrible line to see from McBroom, though the question would remain if he would ever have the same power he showed in the minors.
Along with these numbers, neither prediction has McBroom going much over 200 plate appearances, suggesting they think he will likely fill in as a backup. This wouldn’t be a big surprise as he has shown versatility in both the infield and outfield.
McBroom will be one of the more interesting players to watch during spring training. He is a front runner for the first base position but will be fighting with Ryan O’Hearn for the spot. In his short time in the minors though, McBroom has impressed though he leaves something to be desired.
McBroom has shown his power and ability to hit in the minors, now its time for him to translate that to the majors. If McBroom can provide the Royals with the number he put up in the minors, there is no doubt he will find room on the team.
With McBroom, there are just too many unknowns to have a clear idea of how his 2020 season may play out. He could see some time in the minors, but if he continues to produce, the Royals likely won’t want to leave him down there very long.
What do you think? Would you like to see the McBroom in the majors to start 2020, or do you think he needs some more time in the minors? Let us know!