3 KC Royals that put up eye-catching numbers this spring

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Nick Pratto's 19% strikeout rate

When the Royals optioned Nick Pratto down to Triple-A Omaha, most fans rightfully had a negative reaction to the move. Pratto had done everything within his power to break camp with the Royals and begin 2024 at Kauffman Stadium. Many numbers will show how great Nick Pratto's spring was, but one stands out as the most important.

Pratto had plenty of question marks heading into spring training this year. He played a career-high 95 games in 2023 but posted his second consecutive season of negative fWAR. The 2017 first round selection recaptured fans' attention with an electric 2021 in the minors but has failed to produce since then. A staggering 40% strikeout rate in 2023 only exacerbated the problem.

The 2023 Pratto was not the one who showed up in Arizona, though. Whether it was a renewed focus or finally getting healthy for the first time in two years, Pratto was red-hot in the Arizona desert. He led the Royals in batting average (.421), OPS (1.292), wRC+ (237), and RBI (13) His four home runs tied with Bobby Witt Jr. for the team lead as well. Whenever Pratto was at the plate, he had a great chance of producing.

Pratto's plate approach was the real catching point for his spring success. He didn't start drawing walks suddenly, but cutting his strikeout rate in half in 2023 is impressive. Sure, it is spring, but not striking out as often and being more aggressive at the plate when needed are two things Pratto can control.

Royals fans need to watch how he performs in Triple-A very closely. If he carries over his spring performance to Omaha, Pratto could force his way back to the majors. Pratto's MLB story isn't over, and his spring made sure of that.