With the abbreviated season about to end and the KC Royals eliminated from playoffs, we start to look at who can step up in 2021. One intriguing option is Franchy Cordero.
The last two seasons have not seen consistent playing time for outfielder Franchy Cordero due to shuttling back and forth between the majors and minors plus an injury while playing for San Diego last year. That setback led to Cordero only playing in 24 professional games during 2019.
After attending Spring Training 1.0 with the Padres in 2020, he was traded to the Royals as part of the Tim Hill deal prior to the beginning of the regular season. Since then he has spent time both with Kansas City and at the alternate site. Cordero’s offensive numbers with the Royals have not been good and he has struggled in the outfield committing two errors in only eight games.
However, he does have two tools that make him worth Kansas City taking an extended look at next season – speed and power. He reached double digits in steals his first six minor league seasons and that includes his teenage years from 2012-2014.
At age 21, Cordero began to show his power game producing OPS of .794 and .972 in 2016 and 2017. He would blast 28 bombs, 43 doubles, 34 triples (!), and swipe 38 bags those two seasons. His stats in ’17 were higher all while playing AAA ball the entire year. Not coincidently those were the last two times he received more than 400 PAs in a season.
No more was the potential on display then on the last game against the St. Louis Cardinals last night. Cordero blasted his first two home runs as a KC Royal including one that traveled 424 feet despite it looking like the power was generated just from his hands and wrists.
One game does not make an All-Star but Kansas City has some choices to make this offseason and much of it affects the outfield. Will Alex Gordon comeback? Is Bubba Starling in the plans any longer? Was the Hunter Dozier experiment in the outfield the wrong move? The idea of giving young players like Cordero an extended look would make sense.
The club made good decisions in allowing Brady Singer, Tyler Zuber, and Kris Bubic to earn their spots on the team and stuck with them the entire year. Now it is time to see what some of the younger hitters can do in 2021 as they march towards turning the franchise around.