3 KC Royals young players near the end of the line

KC Royals (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
KC Royals (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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KC Royals
(Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) /

Whether due to lack of performance, injuries, or wrong place at the wrong time, the KC Royals management has to decide at some point whether to fish or cut bait.

As fans we like to fall in love with the player recently drafted, those we see in person at a minor league park or on television and follow their career.  Bragging rights to your buddies saying you knew three years ago so-and-so was going to be a star helps us feel smarter.

Often though, the young studs from high school or a Power 5 Division I conference for a variety of reasons never make a splash in the big leagues.  Maybe there was a success in the minors but a roadblock ahead of them or perhaps their performance never materialized in pro ball.  Either way, you find many more of those stories than you do the “can’t miss” player who blossomed all the way to the majors.

Think of some of the Royals first-round picks selected tenth or higher overall and who never played in the majors or only for a small, unsuccessful stint.  Jeff Austin (1998), Mike Stodolka (2000), Chris Lubanski (2003), Kyle Snyder (1999), and Jeff Granger (1993) fit that condition.  They were stud players and would have been gobbled up by other teams shortly after Kansas City’s spot in the draft but had trouble fulfilling the destiny that was imagined.

The hard part is knowing when it is time to let a player go.  Just as fans get attached to certain players I am sure management and staff who get to know these players, many who are great people, have a difficult time telling them they are not going anywhere with the organization.

We will take a look at three young players who have a ton of potential but have not been able to put it together at the major league level yet.  This season may be the last opportunity to prove they deserve a locker spot at Kauffman Stadium as the next core of young prospects is knocking on the door to the majors.