The KC Royals have a miserable offense that must get better in Seattle.
For now, the failure of rookie Bobby Witt Jr. to hit like he did in the minor leagues last season, and in spring training this year, can be written off to inexperience and the adjustments he has yet to make against big league pitching. Witt is too good to remain anywhere near his current .146 average, a rate attributable to having only six hits in 41 at-bats. He’ll break out eventually and his offense will prove to be as good as his glove.
Unfortunately, inexperience doesn’t account for the Royals’ collective .206 average, the third worst in the American League behind Houston (.199) and Minnesota (.202). Nor does it explain why first baseman Carlos Santana is hitting .069, the lowest in the majors among qualified batters, and has an awful .206 OBP; why Adalberto Mondesi is, despite maintaining his health, slashing .135/.179/.135; or why Salvador Perez’s average is .220, although he has clubbed four homers. Michael A. Taylor is at a not surprising .226, a number his Gold Glove defense outweighs.
The good news is that Andrew Benintendi has a .359 average, .419 OBP and .906 OPS, that at .324 Lopez shows no signs of regressing from last season’s .300, and Hunter Dozier is hitting a solid .270.
But three batters hitting well out of the nine it takes to make a lineup won’t cut it. Not if the Royals want to improve on the 74-88 2021 record they managed last season despite their maddening lack of timely hitting, an ill that haven’t cured yet—they’re scoring less than three runs a game (2.818 to be precise) and hitting .234 with runners in scoring position.
Seattle would be the perfect place for this club to break out at the plate.
Kansas City opens their three-game series in Seattle tonight at 8:40 p.m. CDT with Brad Keller (0-1) facing Chris Flexen (0-2).