3 KC Royals who have to come through next season

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KC Royals, Hunter Dozier
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The KC Royals have holes to fill and refinements to be made before Opening Day. Whether by addition or subtraction, or simply getting better, the rotation must improve. The bullpen, depleted at least in numbers by the departures of Kyle Zimmer, Jakob Junis, Scott Blewett, Jake Newberry and possibly others, and the retirement of Wade Davis, must be reinforced. Right field is open for the taking.

Fortunately, Kansas City is set almost everywhere else. But although their playing time is secure for now, and probably well into the 2022 campaign, three Royals need to have excellent seasons to secure their futures with the club.

The KC Royals’ top 2018 draft pick must have a breakthrough season.

In an ideal baseball world, Brady Singer wouldn’t have pitched for Kansas City in 2020. The 18th overall pick in the 2018 amateur draft, he didn’t see action until 2019 when he debuted at High-A, then worked at Double-A, and went a combined 12-5 with a 2.85 ERA.

After just a season in the low minors, Singer beginning 2020 in the big league rotation probably wasn’t part of the Royals’ master plan for him, but the pandemic changed things and forced the issue. Singer, looking good at times and woefully inexperienced at others, finished his rookie campaign 4-5, 4.06. He struggled constantly last season, going 5-10 with a 4.91 ERA.

Would things be different now had they been different in 2020? Possibly— Singer’s big league debut almost certainly wouldn’t have occurred so early, giving him more time to develop in the minors. He’ll need a much better 2022 to prove he’s ready to stick in the club’s rotation.

His command, an issue throughout last season, must get better. Concerning also, and well-chronicled, is the conspicuous absence of a third pitch from his repertoire, which likely accounts for much of Singer’s inconsistency. The Royals aren’t averse to sending regular players in their good graces to the minors for remedial work (think Mike Moustakas and Ryan O’Hearn), and that could happen to Singer if his apparent reluctance to use his changeup lingers.

Related Story. Should KC rethink Brady Singer?. light