The KC Royals struggled offensively in 2020, and while being aggressive has its place, learning some patience could pay off as well.
Happy Holidays and welcome back to Kings of Kauffman’s “KC Royals Wish List” series. For the 12 days leading up to Christmas, our writers will share their holiday wishes for the Royals. Whether they’re more offseason improvements, success in 2021, or hope for the future, anything could be in store. Today, our wish is for patience at the plate.
Being aggressive in baseball is fun, there is no denying that. Watching a player strut up to the base, swing early in the count, and smash the ball into the stands incredibly entertaining. The same can be said for aggressive defense and all-around play.
Still, at times it can pay off to be patient. Waiting for the perfect time to swing, and a better opportunity is something that has not been seen as often from many Royals hitters in previous seasons. Strikeouts have been high, and the team on-base percentage could always be better.
The Royals helped this by signing Carlos Santana. Santana is considered to be one of the most patient players in the game, but one player isn’t going to change everything.
In 2015, the Royals struck out 973 as a team and slashed .269/.322/.412. In 2019 they struck out 1405 times and slashed .247.309/.401. And even in 2020, they struck out 527 times in only 60 games, slashing .244/.309/.402.
Jorge Soler, in 2020, accounted for 60 of those himself. He may be able to get away with it if he continues to smash 40 home runs a year, but a player like Adalberto Mondesi, who struck out 70 times, will not be able to come up with excuses much longer.
Learning to wait for a good opportunity and take the right pitches will push the Royals forward with on-base percentage and allow them to use their most coveted weapon, speed.
Kansas City has plenty of outstanding baserunners in both the majors and minors. The problem they have been having is that they aren’t on base enough to actually use any of these weapons. Getting players on base regularly will make the Royals more dangerous, and can help to get into the minds of their opponents.
So, for this wish, we are wishing for more patience at the plate. Hopefully, in 2021, Carlos Sanatana can rub off on his new teammates and teach some of them his tricks for being patient and always finding a way to get on base.
The Royals like to be aggressive at times, but learning to have a little patience may be just what they need to become dangerous.