Grading the 2021 KC Royals, Part 2: The outfielders
A pair of KC Royals outfielders were disappointments for the KC Royals.
Two Kansas City outfielders had miserable seasons for Kansas City. The Royals kept one at the trade deadline but dealt away the other, who looked nothing like he did two years ago.
That Hunter Dozier was the July trading frenzy survivor is due far more to the $25 million contract he signed during spring training than his performance. Although his power might have tempted a team or two despite the poor season he was having at the plate, the cost of assuming responsibility for his new deal was too steep a price to pay.
Dozier’s line alone tells the tale of his awful season—.216/.285/.394 isn’t big league stuff, much less the kind of slash worthy of a $6.25 million AAV contract. And his glove, while passable (.985 fielding percentage in the outfield), isn’t quite what the Royals need.
Give Dozier a D.
Jorge Soler bore no real resemblance to the player who shattered Mike Moustakas’ club home run record with 48 in 2019. He had 13 homers and a .192 average when the Royals traded him to Atlanta just minutes before the trade deadline expired; forced by the domino effect of Adalberto Mondesi’s injuries to play more in the field than KC probably preferred (Whit Merrifield had to play second base instead of right field), he managed a .985 fielding percentage.
Soler, of course, exploded when he hit Atlanta, slugging 14 homers and hitting .269 with a .358 OBP in 55 games. And after leading off the World Series with a home run, breaking a 2-2 tie with a pinch-hit homer that proved to be the difference in Game 4, and blasting a mammoth three-run, third inning homer that gave the Braves all the runs they needed in Game 7, he was named the Series MVP.
But his heroics for the Braves can’t boost his Kansas City grade. Like Dozier, Soler gets a D for his KC season.