The KC Royals have plenty of promising names rising through the minor league ranks, but are they enough to bring back winning in Kansas City?
Before the untimely cancellation of spring training for the entirety of the MLB, KC Royals fans were starting to see some interesting developments out of both veteran players, and those young players looking to make a name for themselves.
While it’s always interesting to see favorite players from years past, and what the reclamation projects the Royals pick up will be able to do, possibly the most important and interesting thing to watch might be the minor league prospects.
Spring training provides a unique look into how many of the young players will perform. There is typically some back and forth as far as production goes, but that is to be expected from young players. Even if they struggle, though, fans are getting a look at the players who will hopefully be a member of the future for the organization.
This year, there were plenty of players that were on the radar for both fans and Royal coaches as the future may be sooner rather than later for many. Position prospects like Nick Heath, Khalil Lee, Kyle Isbel, and Jeison Guzman were the center of many conversations, along with many others.
Pitching prospects may have taken the crown though, large in numbers and dominate in many cases. Watching a prospect like Brady Singer go through several established major league bats with little struggle provided a great amount of hope for the future Royals rotation.
Add in other prospects who may or may not have seen much spring training like Daniel Lynch, Kris Bubic, Jonathan Bowlan, Bobby Witt Jr., Jackson Kowar, Eric Pena, Nick Pratto and many many more, there is a lot for fans to be hopeful about.
Recently, MLB Trade Rumors started a poll, questioning when the Royals will return to contention. The article talks about some of the prospects the Royals have and the success, so far, of the pitching drafted by the Royals, though there is also some discussion on the Royal’s questionable offseason, and not wanting to trade players such as Whit Merrifield.
At the end of the article is a place for voting on the next contention date of the Royals. The dates listed are, singularly, 2020-2024, and then an option for beyond. 2020, to likely no surprise, received very few votes, 63 out of 4430 at the time of this writing.
2021 and 2024 were also fairly low. In line with what many Royals fans may feel, 2022 and 2023 each received over 1000 votes, likely banking that the pitching and position prospects starting to surge will continue to do so.
Taking the top spot with 1,295 votes (29.23%) though, was the beyond option. It seems as though the hope that might be felt by many may not carry as far as some would hope.
With the last few seasons consisting of continued decline and 100 loss seasons, a turn in the right direction would be a welcome sight. The current crop of prospects provides a good look at the future of the team and if they continue to progress as expected, the Royals may shock a few who think contention is still far out of reach.
It will not be an overnight turn around though. The team must continue to assess their situation and surround the prospects with the right veterans to provide guidance and growth while addressing the holes in the lineup.
While many may think contention is beyond the team’s reach, with continued movement in the right direction, the Royals prospects might just prove that they can bring winning back to Kansas City.
When do you think the Royals will be able to contend again? Is 2022 a good possibility, or much further down the line?