2022 “Feel Good” No. 4: A KC Royals rookie established himself at second.
Don’t blame Michael Massey if he might have felt a bit overshadowed by fellow rookies Bobby Witt Jr., Vinnie Pasquantino, and Nick Pratto when Kansas City included him in the group that temporarily replaced 10 Royals whose vaccination status disqualified them from traveling across the border to Canada for a mid-July series in Toronto.
After all, Massey hadn’t received big buildups like Witt’s, Pasquantino’s and Pratto’s, and Witt and Pasquantino were already in the majors, well on their way to fine rookie season performances.
Although Massey went 3-for-8 against the Blue Jays, he found himself optioned back to Triple-A Omaha when the disqualified players returned after the All-Star Break. The demotion didn’t last long—Massey, who started the year with Double-A Northwest Arkansas and slashed .305/.359/.496 with nine homers before earning a promotion to Omaha, where he had seven homers and a .325/.392/.595 line, was back with the big club Aug. 3, this time to stay.
Massey went 2-for-3 against the White Sox in his first game and, although he finished the season with a .243 average, played a decent second base, claimed the position as his own, and likely established himself as the club’s second sacker of the future.