KC Royals: 3 big midseason underperformers revisited

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KC Royals, Jorge Soler

(Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports)

Back in July, Kings of Kauffman named the three biggest underperformers for the KC Royals at the season’s midpoint. Now that the 2021 regular season is over, it’s time to look back to see if that trio improved.

Jorge Soler isn’t with the KC Royals anymore, but deserves a mention.

Jorge Soler topped our midseason list of underperformers. Although he’s not a Royal anymore after being dealt to the Atlanta Braves at the trade deadline, it’s worth mentioning how he’s faring with his new team.

Soler slashed an abysmal .192/.288/.370 with the Royals and had 97 strikeouts, seemingly overswinging to compensate for a lack of pop since his 48 home run season in 2019. But he’s improved vastly since becoming a Brave. In 55 regular season games, he slashed .269/.358/.524 with a great .882 OPS, 14 home runs and 33 RBIs, and cut his strikeouts by over half to 45.

His  26.9 K% decreased to 18.6% with Atlanta. He also notched more opposite field hits, with his percentage nearly doubling from 9.8% with KC to 18.3% with the Braves. Soler’s .229 BABIP with the Royals increased to .278 with the Braves, and his -1.4 WAR improved to 1.0 with Atlanta.

Overall, it seems what Soler clearly needed to get back on track was a change of scenery. As he looks to continue his upward trend in the postseason, let’s hope he has nothing but the best of luck in the National League Division Series. (Through Monday’s victory over Milwaukee, Soler was 1-for-11 with a double).

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