One other big competition for a backup spot is at catcher since the Royals get Salvador Perez back from Tommy John surgery. The two players fighting for the spot are Cam Gallagher and Meibrys Viloria.
I expect Viloria to win this outright, even though his stats last year were not very appealing, he had a line of .211/.259/.286 with an OPS of .544. FanGraphs doesn’t think Viloria will do much better with a .225/.284/.322, which is better but still below league average.
Viloria is in a tough spot since Salvador Perez is the feature backstop and MJ Melendez is right behind him as the Royals top catching prospect in the system. So Viloria needs to prove to the Royals that he can be an impact bat while providing his defense.
Gallagher poses a pretty good threat to Viloria, mainly because Gallagher has been the backup for a couple of seasons and has proven to be serviceable during that time. Viloria still has a great chance to make the roster due to his potential as a good hitter and great defender.
This year is a big one for Viloria since he has to show why he was regarded as a top prospect and to show that he can be the starter if “Sal” moves to first base full time. The other reason this year is a big year for Viloria is that MJ Melendez is right behind him and he is rated higher as a prospect.