KC Royals first base candidate Nick Pratto is doing what he needs to do
The Royals have no qualms about Nick Pratto's Gold Glove-type defense, nor should they. His glovework is excellent and frequently spectacular; he even won a minor league Gold Glove two seasons ago. And KC would love to have his defensive prowess at first base.
But his bat didn't permit the club to give him that job last year. His glove was up to the task during the almost month-and-a-half he spent with the Royals, but he hit so poorly that he ended up finishing the final two weeks of the campaign back at Triple-A Omaha.
Pratto can play an important role in the Royals' planned return to winning ways, but only if he rediscovers the keys to the 36-homer. 98-RBI, .265/.385/.602 minor league campaign he enjoyed in 2021. Only then will the Royals give him first base, where Vinnie Pasquantino will likely spend most of his time if Pratto's bat doesn't recover.
Fortunately, it appears Pratto may be on the right track. He went 3-for-3 (and scored three runs) against the Reds Saturday afternoon, then 1-for-2 with an RBI in Sunday's victory over the Giants.
Although he hasn't homered yet, and strikeouts remain his nemesis (his spring K% is 35.7), he's slashing .417/.429/.583 in five games. And that's at least some progress.