This isn't a becasue CJ Alexander is knocking down the door. Rather, this move serves as his much needed audition for the 2024 Royals.
The 27-year-old Alexander is often the forgotten part of a certain 2022 trade. The Atlanta Braves sent him, Drew Waters, and Andrew Hoffman in exchange for the 35th overall pick in the 2022 MLB Draft. While Waters was the clear prize of that trade package. Alexander drought some more depth to a Royals farm system lacking a prospect at third base above Double-A.
Alexander, a non-prospect in the Braves system, made a great first impression. He hit 10 home runs and 44 RBIs in 46 Double-A games, with an .808 OPS to boot. Alexander may not have become a sure-fire big leaguer in 46 games, but that performance was a step in the right direction.
Alexander started the 2023 season in Omaha with similar production, not skipping a beat. He had 10 home runs in 44 games, plus a .509 slugging and .796 OPS. He could get it done at the plate. Even Royals legend George Brett endorsed Alexander during his 2023 spring training. That is the man any Royals prospect should want in their corner.
Alexander has not been performing at a high level since returning from the IL on July 14. But there are some biographical metrics that make him a callup candidate. First, his age. He is slightly above the average age of Triple-A batters while he started the season below that line. The Royals are going to get younger this offseason, hopefully. Will Alexander hurt or help their efforts there? That remains to be seen.
Also, Alexander was Rule 5 eligible last year and remains so this year. Will he be safe? Chances are yes, as Alexander has not been knocking down the major league door. But, he has plus-power at the plate, defensive versatility, and control through his prime playing years.
The Royals calling up Alxaner would signal a much deeper youth movement to close out the season. He could easily replace Matt Beaty in the field, and fans know Beaty is not in the team's future plans. That decision regarding Alexander is not final. A late-season debut would allow him to sink or swim, with little to lose on the Royals' end.