The KC Royals have always coveted speed, especially during their World Series runs. Now, it’s time to turn up the heat again to stay in games.
Many KC Royals fans, and baseball fans in general, have likely seen the baseball classic, Major League. In this movie, there is a scene where Willie Mays Hayes wants to be on the team so bad that he jumps up from his bunk, which has been put outside the practice field fence and manages to blow everyone away in a footrace with both a late start and while wearing his pajamas with no shoes.
This is how I like to imagine the Royal’s own speeding bullet, Nick Heath. While Heath has some other accolades that keep him from being placed outside the spring training fence, such as a consistent on-base percentage and decent batting average, it is his speed that has allowed him to garner even more attention.
Now, fans should get to see that speed in action as the Royals announced on Tuesday that Heath was being called up to the majors. Heath says he received the call while playing Call of Duty, and soon after called his mom and started to get packing.
Now, it’s time for Heath to get to work doing what he does best, taking some bases.
Heath has been with the Royals since 2016 when the team picked him in the 16th round of the draft out of Northwestern State University of Louisiana. Heath quickly showed his speed, stealing 36 bases over 62 games in the 2016 rookie league.
Following the 2016 season, Heath quickly advanced his way through the Royals minor league system, reaching AA by 2018 and AAA during the 2019 season. It was during these seasons that the Royals really got to see the weapon that is Nick Heath.
In 2018, over 90 games between AA and A+, heath swiped 39 bases and slashed .274/.376/.358. To make things even more interesting on the basepath in 2019, while slashing .255/.345/.387, Heath managed to swipe 60 bases in 105 games.
For some fans, a bit more may be desired when it comes to hitting, but Heath has proven that he can handle the pitching through each level of the minor leagues and is ready for his shot in the big leagues.
Manager Mike Matheny seems ready to see what Heath can do as well. Lynn Worthy wrote about Matheny’s thoughts in a recent article at kansascity.com.
"“I hate ending a game, especially a one-run game, and having weapons still and bullets still in the gun,” Matheny said of his thought process Tuesday night.“I was really looking forward to getting Nick in there. He’s going to be a force once he gets on base. It’s going to be fun to watch him. Just having that ability, there’s just not many pure base stealers in the game right now, and he’s one of them.”"
With a few of the Royal’s losses this season being close in score, it seems it’s time for the team to get back to what they do best, run the bases. If Nick Heath is on the basepath, don’t blink, because you might just miss him.
Nick Heath has been called up to the big leagues and it’s time for the speedy outfielder to show what he is made of.