5 KC Royals who’ll be the difference between success, failure

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First baseman Vinnie Pasquantino

Do you know that Vinnie Pasquantino still hasn't played 162 career MLB games? After a late debut in 2022 and an injury-shortened 2023, Pasquantino returns with high expectations and a ton of fanfare.

Pasquantino got off to a slow start in 2023, but he was still above league average at the plate with a below-average .250 BABIP. All signs pointed to him bouncing back as the season progressed, but the universe had other plans for his season. He underwent surgery for a torn right labrum, ending his season in June. The only positive was that his surgery gave us this midseason gem.

Pasquantino stuck around baseball during rehab, with fans seeing his infectious smile and giving some stellar interviews. It was refreshing to see Pasquantino so much, despite him not being able to play. But the batting cages started calling, and now it is time to see the Old Dominion alum perform in 2024.

Pasquantino has a chance to cement himself as a franchise cornerstone, the missing piece in Kansas City's winning machine. His return will either cause immense questions at first base or solidify his spot for the foreseeable future. Fans saw what Pasquantino could do during his red-hot 2022 debut. That version of Pasquantino will carry the Royals far.