The KC Royals have plenty of areas to improve, but after losing one of their longtime outfielders, finding consistency will be even more important.
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 consistency in the outfield.
When it comes to teams like the KC Royals, players are often subject to a few rounds of musical chairs. With what seems like years and years of rebuilding, players are moved around the field to see if they might have a better fit, or new players are consistently interviewed, giving fans a look at different names throughout the season.
While it’s great to see prospects getting their shot and new fresh faces coming into Kansas City, it’s not typically a good thing when a team has to continue changing out their players to see if someone else can do better.
The Royals have seen their fair share of movement. There has been a constant rotation of new pitchers making appearances, and first base hasn’t really been the same since Eric Hosmer left. Most recently, though, the microscope has fallen to the outfield.
While there could be a number of reasons for this, it’s been a long time coming. Right field has been a question at times for years, new players getting a shot each year or splitting the season among a few outfielders. Since Lorenzo Cain left, center field has been the same. The one consistency was Alex Gordon, who of course has retired.
So, where does that leave the Royals? Whit Merrifield is still set to be in the outfield. He is a man of consistency, and while he may be better suited for second base, he can be great no matter where he plays.
The other two spots, though, may still see some round-robin in 2021. Michael Taylor, Franchy Cordero, Edward Olivares, Nick Heath, and Kahlil Lee are just a few of the names who might get a chance for a full-time spot. Jorge Soler will undoubtedly get some time in right field when he isn’t the designated hitter, and there are even more prospects, and one can’t forget to mention Bubba Starling who was brought back on a minor league deal.
If the Royals plan to move forward and put their rebuild behind them, they need to find consistency everywhere, especially in the outfield.
So, for today’s wish, this is exactly what we are hoping for. It’s understood that 2021 could still be a year of rotation in the outfield. There are too many unknowns and players to figure out. If the Royals really do want to win, though, the continuing experiments have to stop.
Whether it comes from another big bat outfield signing, or one of the young players stepping up, finding the players to bring consistency to the outfield will be one of the keys needed to bring winning back to Kansas City.
The outfield will be a different place with Alex Gordon gone. Hopefully, the Royals can find some consistency fast.