KC Royals Projections: What do you do with Ryan McBroom?

OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 16: Ryan McBroom #9 of the Kansas City Royals at bat against the Oakland Athletics during the fifth inning at the RingCentral Coliseum on September 16, 2019 in Oakland, California. The Kansas City Royals defeated the Oakland Athletics 6-5. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 16: Ryan McBroom #9 of the Kansas City Royals at bat against the Oakland Athletics during the fifth inning at the RingCentral Coliseum on September 16, 2019 in Oakland, California. The Kansas City Royals defeated the Oakland Athletics 6-5. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images) /
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There has been some hope for the KC Royals young first baseman, but now, his future may be unknown.

Welcome back to Kings of Kauffman’s KC Royals Projections series for 2021. Between now and Opening Day, our writers are analyzing how various Royals performed last season and predicting how they might fare this year. Up today is first baseman and outfielder Ryan McBroom.

Ryan McBroom’s future in Kansas City has always had some question marks surrounding it. McBroom spent the first portion of his career climbing his way through the Blue Jays and Yankees organizations, eventually reaching Triple A in New York during the 2018 season.

In 2019, he again topped out at the Yankees Triple A team, but in August was brought to Kansas City when the Royals purchased him from New York.

It was an interesting move by the Royals, but one that could have some payoff. McBroom was a first baseman who could also roam the outfield, a versatility that is coveted in Kansas city.

He also saw decent production at the plate in many of his minor league seasons, seeing decent power and a good on base percentage, another area where the Royals needed improvement.

His coming to Kansas City was curious, though, as the Royals still seemed set on Ryan O’Hearn at first base, even with his struggles. Plus, the organization wasn’t hurting for outfielders.

McBroom saw his first major league games in 2019, though, and put on a decent showing for the Royals. While he didn’t hit any home runs, he slashed .293/.361/.360, promising numbers for a player who had never seen major league innings.

2020 saw a different role for McBroom though. In about the same sample size (plate appearances) McBroom slashed .247/.282/.506. His slugging saw a great jump, but his average and on-base percentage took concerning hits.

McBroom saw his share of games in 2020 but also often took on the role of pinch hitter, a role he obviously took seriously.

But now, for 2021, the question remains about what’s next for Ryan McBroom? The outfield seems to be more solidified, and first base will be covered with Carlos Santana coming to town. McBroom will likely see some innings, but he may have to fight for a bigger role in Kansas City.

Baseball Reference and FanGraphs projections for Ryan McBroom’s 2021 season

While Baseball Reference and FanGraphs often have similar projections for a player, when it comes to McBroom, there are some big differences as far as playing time goes. Baseball Reference sees McBroom with 323 plate appearances, slashing .251/.320/.430 with 12 home runs and 36 RBIs.

FanGraphs depth charts see McBroom with only 19 games and 84 plate appearances, slashing .244/.303/.410 with 3 home runs and 9 RBIs, a fairly big difference from Baseball Reference.

How will Ryan McBroom’s 2021 look with the KC Royals?

McBroom may see more than the 19 games FanGraphs suggests, but his chances of being an everyday player are low. With first base and the outfield both fairly well covered, McBroom will likely continue the utility type role he has played.

His versatility is something the Royals like in a player and while he has no experience at the position, it wouldn’t be unlike the Royals to plug him in at third in a pinch if needed, expanding his utility even more.

What may save McBroom, though, is his pinch-hitting. He showed in 2020 that he can be effective in a pinch-hit situation. That is a difficult role for anyone to play and having a player that can be trusted to come off the bench in late innings and be successful at the plate will be important for the Royals who have a win now mentality going into 2021.

So, for Ryan McBroom, it’s unlikely that he will see much time as a starter in 2021 though his Baseball Reference projected stat line might not be too far off. A decent on-base percentage and some power off the bench when needed could be what keeps McBroom in Kansas City.

Next. Why the KC Royals came out ahead on Trevor Rosenthal. dark

Ryan McBroom will have to fight for his spot in 2021. His ability to pinch-hit and play around the field, though, may keep him in the majors over others.

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