KC Royals still need big outfield bat to compete

(Photo by Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports)
(Photo by Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports) /

While the KC Royals have spent money on larger contracts, they still need to land an outfielder who can plug a hole in the lineup.

This has been one of the more exciting offseasons in recent KC Royals history. While the signing of pitcher Mike Minor and first baseman Carlos Santana are not huge deals in the grand scheme of things, the team is finally being competitive in the free agent market.

As we look ahead to a potential Royals lineup for 2021, there is a lot to like. At the top of the order are Adalberto Mondesi and Whit Merrifield. Filling out the meat of the order will be Santana, Jorge Soler, Salvador Perez, and hopefully a rebounding Hunter Dozier.

Nicky Lopez should start the year at the bottom of the lineup until he proves he can handle big league pitching. What we are missing are two outfielders to go along with Merrifield. There are hopes that Franchy Cordero can fill in one of those gaps but that is not a given.

The team did sign Michael Taylor to a one-year deal to see if there was anything resembling his 2017 season left in his bat.  The other outfield options are all a crapshoot.

There are plenty of possibilities on the free-agent market to make one more signing. That is, of course, if it is in the budget of the KC Royals who have already doled out over $30 million for the next two years.

It could be a power hitter to put in the 5-7 hole to complement the other sluggers, or a viable option could be a speedster who has a high on-base percentage. Merrifield or Mondesi could be shuffled to make room for that type of player.

The team should have a pitching staff to keep them in the majority of games. What has been lacking is the ability to consistently reach base and drive in runs. Without the addition of at least one proven bat in the outfield, the bottom third of the lineup could prove to be a place where rallies go to die.

The Royals ranked 26th in on-base percentage and 25th in runs driven in. Those two numbers have to improve for a serious run at the playoffs.

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So far, John Sherman and Dayton Moore have brought hope back to Kansas City fans with this offseason—hopefully, they keep the momentum going and bring us one more offensive weapon.