The KC Royals may not have had a playoff-bound season like some teams, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have any players worth watching.
The KC Royals have had a season much like many others. There was a decent buildup to the season, plenty of great storylines to watch, excitement surrounding some possible MLB debuts and new acquisitions, and then a quick understanding that this might not be the year for contention just yet.
It’s always a nice thought, and it’s likely the Royals are getting closer, but the chances at a playoff slot are declining each day and are likely gone for the season, even if they do manage to continue their winning streak.
Still, the Royals have plenty going for them. Their bats are starting to come alive, and this will hopefully carry over for many into the 2021 season. Young pitchers have started to adapt to major league hitting and look to be on the right track. And, just as important, the Royals have had a good chance to figure out which players are going to be able to stick around, and which might need some more work, or should see their days in Kansas City come to an end.
Even in a season that will not likely end with postseason play, there are plenty of storylines to follow, and players to watch as they provide some good innings and provide excitement for the future.
Recently, ESPN published their list of MLB’s 100 most entertaining players. Players like Fernando Tatis Jr. and Mike Trout made the list easily, but this likely comes as no surprise to any who follow baseball.
While the Royals haven’t had the best season in baseball, it could have been expected that a few players would be eligible to make this list. Only one found themselves worthy, though. Adalberto Mondesi came in at number 30.
Admittedly, Mondesi is an entertaining player to watch, but 2020 has been more difficult than entertaining for the shortstop. His recent stretch of good hitting has been fun and his defense always seems to shine through, but for him to find a spot in the higher portion of the list as the lone Royal is a bit surprising. At least the Royals have some representation, though.
There are plenty of players in the MLB who are fun to watch, but who are the most entertaining Royals for the 2020 season? There are plenty of choices, but if picking one position player and one pitcher, the options could easily fall to Salvador Perez and Josh Staumont.
Of course for ESPN’s list, Josh Staumont would not be eligible as the list only contains position players. If picking the most entertaining Royals players, though, Josh Staumont warrants some attention.
Starting with Perez, just looking at his stats show why he is great to watch. Perez came into 2020 with many wondering how he would bounce back from injury. Luckily, he put any concerns to rest early on.
Salvy has slashed .333/.349/.559 so far over 25 games and has 5 home runs and 8 doubles with 15 RBIs. Along with that, his defense continues to impress with no errors so far and no passed balls. His caught stealing percentage has dipped a bit, though there could be some hesitation after surgery.
While Perez may have sat out plenty of games due to an eye issue, for comparison, Cleveland’s Roberto Perez made ESPN’s list at number 80 with only 22 games under him for the season.
Working across from the catcher, if any Royals player is worthy to be at the top of a list of the Royal’s most entertaining players, Josh Staumont might be the one. Staumont’s ability has been talked about since he was in the minors, but in his 2019 call up, the velocity just wasn’t what many expected. In 2020, though, he has shown what he can really do.
Staumont has put together a great season so far, pitching 20.0 innings with an ERA of 1.80, FIP of 3.86, striking out 32, and terrifying batters with intense speed. Staumont makes 100 mph look easy, and has touched 102 multiple times.
Staumont needs to work on his control a bit more as he struggles with walks, but it could be argued that putting a runner on and working to get out of the inning provides a level of entertainment for many.
Both Staumont and Perez provide plenty of fan entertainment, but the Royal’s interest factor doesn’t end there. Other picks could be the extra-base hitter Maikel Franco, Kyle Zimmer, Scott Barlow, Whit Merrifield, Brad Keller, or even one of the prospect arms Brady Singer or Kris Bubic.
While it’s likely biased to think some more Royals (position) players could have found themselves on ESPN’s list, it’s easy to see that the entertainment in Kansas City has been decent, even if the season has not. Luckily, many of these players will be around for the future, building the excitement for seasons to come.
Only Adalberto Mondesi was picked to be on ESPN’s 100 most entertaining players list, but there could be some argument that other Royals, such as Salvador Perez, could have made the list.