Projecting KC Royals prospects: No. 7 Kyle Isbel

KC Royals, Kyle Isbel (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
KC Royals, Kyle Isbel (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /

The KC Royals have a crowded outfield, and the prospects they have coming up through the minors only add to the crowd with stellar defense.

Welcome back to the Kings of Kauffman “Projecting the Prospects” series for 2020. We’ll be reviewing each of the KC Royals organization’s top 30 prospects and projecting the best, worst, and most likely scenarios for the upcoming season. Today, let’s take a look at outfielder Kyle Isbel.

Kyle Isbel came to the Royals during the 2018 draft from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and has shown multiple skill sets that keep the team wanting more. Listed as the number 7 prospect by MLB Pipeline, Isbel’s abilities to hit the ball to all fields, hit for both average and power, plus his speed and defense are just some of the reasons why he is valued by the organization.

Isbel has done well to start making his way through the minors, reaching A+ plus in 2019, but seeing a setback due to injuries that kept him of the field for some time. Luckily for Isbel, the Royals gave him his shot to prove himself in spring training this year.

Isbel appeared in 16 games with 30 plate appearances, slashing .241/.267/.586, smashing in 2 home runs, 2 doubles, 1 triple, and 6 RBI’s. While his on-base percentage does leave some to be desired, he is one that would likely benefit from an extended time against higher caliber pitching, giving him the chance to fully adjust.

Along with his decent showing of offense, Isbel also had a few spectacular defensive plays in the outfield, which could have been mistaken for Alex Gordon if one wasn’t paying very close attention. Isbel has done well to generate excitement and should continue to impress as he works his way up.

Best case scenario:

The best case for Isbel is that he continues to progress, show his power and hit’s the majors running. While it’s likely a bit of a stretch, there is a chance that Isbel impresses enough to see some time in Kansas City during the 2020 season.

With the possibility of an expanded roster, Isbel could be a choice for back up outfielder after his impressive spring training. There is always the option as well, that he spends some time killing it in the minors and sees a call up later in the season.

Worst case scenario:

The worst that could happen for Isbel is that he continues to struggle with injury, setting him back even further. While regression would be bad, an injury could seriously delay his move through the minors, and push back his date to hit Kauffman by a year or even more depending on the type of injury.

Most likely scenario:

Isbel will most likely see the majority of his season between both AA and AAA baseball. While there is a slight chance he sees Kansas City by the end of the season, there are plenty of outfielders on the roster that he would have to fight through first.

He will likely get back on track after missing a portion of last season and quickly make his way through the system, making his claim for a spot with the Royals for the 2021 season.

Next. KC Royals: Momentum shifts could hurt these 3 players. dark

Isbel is fun to watch and could be a future replacement for Alex Gordon once the Royals need to fill the left field hole. Continue to follow along as we keep working through the top 30 prospects.