KC Royals: Predicting the 2022 Opening Day lineup

(Mandatory Credit: Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports)
(Mandatory Credit: Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports) /
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KC Royals, Michael A. Taylor
(Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports) /

Batting eighth and playing center field for the KC Royals: Michael A. Taylor.

If there’s anything certain about the Royals’ relationship with Michael A. Taylor, it’s that they don’t pay him primarily for his hitting.

Instead, the two-year contract the club signed him to before last season even ended is a product far more of his glove than his bat.

Taylor, remember, was coming off a .196 season and sporting a career .237 average when he arrived in Kansas City from Washington for the 2021 campaign. He’d displayed occasional power and could steal bases before becoming a Royal, but his steady glove promised more than his offense.

Taylor didn’t disappoint in center field—he won his first Gold Glove and filled the void Lorenzo Cain created there when he returned to the Brewers after the 2017 season.

And he surprised a bit at the plate with the second most RBIs (54) and third best homer total (12) and average (.244) of his career.

Those numbers aren’t enough, however, to justify hitting Taylor higher in the lineup than eighth. But his speed so complements that of the two Royals he’ll bat between—Adalberto Mondesi and Nicky Lopez—that KC’s bottom third of the lineup will have the ability to cause trouble on the bases.