The outfield could be very wide open for the KC Royals in 2020 and a player with four years of professional experience might be an answer.
When it comes to the outfield, there are a couple of minor league players in the Kansas City organization that immediately come to mind when thinking about what additions to make to the Royals’ 40-man roster heading into the 2021 season. Kyle Isbel and Seuly Matias definitely come to mind.
One other good player has Double-A experience and could very well be ready to make the jump sooner, and that is Khalil Lee. The combination of the 22-year old, 5-foot-10, 170-pound outfielder’s speed and mid-level power makes Lee a player definitely worth taking a look at some time during next season.
The strikeouts are concerning, but despite those he still reached base at a .363 clip during the 2019 season playing for the club’s Northwest Arkansas Double-A affiliate. The left-handed swinging and throwing Lee also stole an incredible 53 bases that season, and these two key attributes will be coveted in Kansas City.
Lee, selected by the KC Royals with the 26th pick in the third round of baseball’s 2016 amateur draft out of Flint Hill School in Oakton, Virginia (he was the 103rd overall selection), can probably benefit from getting a bit more seasoning on the farm to start the 2021 season, but with so many questions to be answered in Kansas City’s outfield, he could play his way onto the team with a good spring training. Either way, the Royals need to add him to the 40-man roster so they have the option to easily use him if he’s needed.
Next season is viewed by many as a time the KC Royals pull themselves out of the bottom of the standings and become competitive deep into the year even if they do not make the playoffs. Winning with the future of the franchise—the near future—makes more sense than granting playing time to those players whose time has passed.