3 KC Royals who could surprise in spring training and beyond

These Royals have the most to gain in Suprise.

Peter Aiken-USA TODAY Sports
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Don't count out Daniel Lynch IV yet

Daniel Lynch IV has been an enigma since his big league debut in 2021. He showed some flashes last year under a new pitching coaches, but missing most of the season gave rise to more questions than answers. In 51 career games, Lynch has a record of 11-23, a 5.18 ERA, and a 1.524 WHIP. The 2023 season showed some modest improvement (4.64 ERA and 1.261 WHIP), but those are hardly the numbers of an ace.

Lynch has good stuff, but for whatever reason it hasn't translated to great success and seems to have a knack for giving up bombs when he can't get strike three. His career 3.4 HR% isn't terrible, but when he gives up the long ball it often feels like a killer for his outing and the Royals' chances for victory.

Lynch will get his shot this year. He is too talented for the Royals to give up on him without another trial, but they're probably not counting on him in the same way they were last year. They brought in reinforcements, and Lynch appears to be on the outside the rotation looking in heading into the spring. But remember that one of those spots is manned by Jordan Lyles, and if Lynch wants to jumpstart a statement season and break camp as part of the rotation, he needs to show he can limit home runs and get batters to swing and miss at strike three in Arizona.