Catching is a position the KC Royals need to continue to feed into the pipeline in case the current mix of minor leaguers do not pan out but the outfield prospects have question marks as well.
One college player who jumps out is the University of Arkansas standout Heston Kjerstad. He raked at the plate his freshman and sophomore seasons and was off to an even better start in 2020 before the shutdown. All this while playing in the very competitive SEC.
In his two full years, he batted .332 and .331 respectively and in 16 games this spring Kjerstad was hitting a ridiculous .448. He also reached base at greater than a .400 clip in 2018 and 2019 while clobbering 14 and 15 home runs. He already had six bombs in 2020 including two multi-homer games.
At 6’3″ and 205 pounds, the left-handed-hitting Kjerstad is solidly built and would be a great corner outfielder. With Alex Gordon soon to be departed from the team, another bat from the left side of the plate with the potential to hit the gaps and over the fence will be needed. The majority of outfielders in the top 30 prospects for Kansas City are speed and average guys but limited pop in their bat.
Just a few of his honors coming into this college season were being named a First Team Preseason All-American, Preseason All-SEC First Team Outfielder, and the Collegiate Baseball National Player of the Week on February 18th. D1 Baseball also awarded him the best hitter in the SEC in the abbreviated season.
While not mentioned as someone who the Royals would grab at #4, a player who could be MLB ready in just a couple years and the lack of a long term outfield solution for Kansas City should make Kjerstad an attractive option.