Grading the 2022 KC Royals: Second baseman Michael Massey

(Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports)
(Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports) /

Five months ago, and just two days after the KC Royals cleared space on their roster for Vinnie Pasquantino by trading Carlos Santana to Seattle, we called in this space for Michael Massey to be the next man up from Triple-A Omaha.

His case for promotion was sound. Only the night before, Massey completed his second week with the Storm Chasers by homering, singling, and driving in two runs, an effort that raised his Omaha average to .353 and helped the Chasers thrash St. Paul by nine.

And he’d earned his way to Triple-A with nine home runs, 48 RBIs and a .305/.359/.495 54-game line at Double-A Northwest Arkansas, where he began the season after an excellent 21-homer, 87 RBI, .289/.351/.533 2021 season at High-A Quad Cities.

Kansas City gave Massey his big league shot in mid-July when their unvaccinated status landed 10 Royals on the restricted list for a series in Toronto. Nothing beyond filling in for four days was guaranteed and, after he went 3-for-8 against the Blue Jays, Massey returned to Omaha.

It didn’t take long for the Royals to recall him—he rejoined them in Chicago Aug.3, singled twice in three at-bats against the White Sox, and stuck for the rest of the season.

How did he do?

Michael Massey had a good two months after he returned to the KC Royals.

Kansas City had 58 games left on its schedule when Massey returned from the minors, and he played 49 of them. His bat cooled from what it had been at Northwest Arkansas and Omaha—although he hit his first big league homer Aug. 18 and added three more before the season ended, he hit only .236 over the campaign’s final two months and finished with a .243/.307/.376 line.

Those numbers, a far cry from his career minor league 42 homers and .294/.356/.506 slash, aren’t terrible for a rookie and will in all likelihood improve next season.

The difference between his big league and minor league defensive work wasn’t as great. He committed only three errors between Northwest Arkansas and Omaha (two of the three occurred at third base, a position he’d never played before as a professional); then, playing 48 games at second base and one at third, he made only four in 222 chances with Kansas City, where his .982 fielding percentage was league average.

Because the Royals essentially gave the second base job to Massey and he handled it well, expect him to be there next season.

For 2022, we’ll give him a solid B.

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Michael Massey had a good, albeit short, season for the Royals.