3 mistakes the KC Royals must avoid this offseason

(Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) /
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KC Royals, Ryan O'Hearn
(Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images) /

There isn’t room for this player on the KC Royals’ Opening Day roster.

His career .215 career average and .294 OBP are woefully inadequate. He strikes out too much and doesn’t walk enough. And Kansas City really doesn’t have a position for him.

That’s why it would be a mistake to include Ryan O’Hearn in the Royals’ 2022 plans.

O’Hearn was, of course, well on his way to becoming a bona fide big league ballplayer in 2018, when he made his major league debut Aug. 1 and clubbed 12 homers, drove in 30 runs, and slashed .262/.353/.597 with a 153 wRC+ the rest of the way. He played 105 games the next year with 14 homers, but plunged to .195, an average he repeated in 2020’s short season.

Not much improved this season. O’Hearn homered nine times and hit .225 in 84 games. Manager Mike Matheny tried him in right field 25 times, but O’Hearn couldn’t stick there. (He also DH’d in 29 games, and played first base 20 times and left field once, but those aren’t positions he’d be considered for full time).

O’Hearn is no longer the promising prospect he once was and nothing suggests he’ll ever approach his rookie season performance. The KC Royals’ roster is too crowded to save a spot for him, an unfortunate fact Picollo and the club need to accept.