While the KC Royals further distanced themselves from a recent and successful 5-4, two-series-win road trip by losing their fourth game in five tries since returning home, their Triple-A farm club pounded St. Paul 11-2 Tuesday night. (For the record, the Royals lost 8-3).
Playing no small part in the Storm Chasers’ victorious first game since losing Vinnie Pasquantino to Kansas City Monday was Michael Massey, an ultra-talented infielder who MLB Pipeline ranks 19th among the Royals’ top prospects, a rating that may soon prove to be a bit low.
Massey’s 2-for-5 performance against St. Paul included his 12th home run of the season, two RBIs, two runs scored and a walk. The homer, a two-run shot in the first inning, gave the Chasers a 2-0 lead the Saints couldn’t get past.
A closer look at him proves why, now that they’ve promoted Pasquantino, the Royals should make their next major league call to Massey.
The KC Royals need to get Michael Massey and his bat to Kansas City.
Massey’s skills at the plate are no secret. He broke in professionally with a .272 average and .339 OBP in Rookie ball the same summer the Royals chose him in the fourth round of the 2019 amateur draft. He spent last season at High-A Quad Cities after missing the canceled 2020 campaign and slashed .289/.351/.531 for the River Bandits; he also proved his power with 21 homers, drove in 87 runs, and stole 12 bases.
Kansas City is wasting no time promoting him—Massey began this season at Double-A Arkansas and, after hitting .305 with a .359 OBP, nine homers and 48 RBIs in 54 games, advanced to Omaha where, in only 13 games, he’s slashing .353/.393/.647. Tuesday night’s home run was his third since arriving in Omaha and he’s driven in 14 runs for the Storm Chasers
The Royals could use Massey who, as his .293 three-season average demonstrates, has never hit badly for long in the minors. His glovework is also good—he hasn’t an error to his name this year.
And there’s more. Kansas City has two infield question marks—although first base and shortstop are set for now with Hunter Dozier and Pasquantino manning the former spot and Bobby Witt Jr. the latter, Emmanuel Rivera is struggling at third and second is up in the air as long as trading Whit Merrifield remains a possibility and Nicky Lopez, who’s been playing second less as Merrifield plays it more, doesn’t regain his .300 form of last season.
Although second base is Massey’s natural position, Omaha deployed him at third base Tuesday for the first time in his professional career. He started a pair of double plays and continued his errorless ways.
Input from Kansas City’s front office frequently drives minor league lineup and position changes; whether the Royal brass suggested trying Massey at third is certainly a possibility. Just that he played there, though, is enough to trigger thoughts that the Royals might be testing his suitability for the position, or maybe his versatility. Time will tell.
Is Massey ready for the majors? Maybe, maybe not. But his steady, excellent hitting and defense should make him the Royals’ next choice for even a temporary promotion. Their next call to Omaha should be reserved for him.
Keep an eye on Michael Massey. He might be a Royal before long.