6 KC Royals players fighting for their futures heading into 2024 season

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OF MJ Melendez

Outfielder MJ Melendez is about to being Act Two as an MLB outfielder. He is fighting t onot only prove his doubters wrong, but prove that he can be an outfielder day in and day out.

“I feel like I’ve shown flashes of what I can do but haven’t been as consistent as I wanted to be ...” Melendez said to Kansas City Star reporter Jaylon Thompson. “So my goal is to maintain that confidence.”

Melendez went through a subtle sophomore slump at the plate, but one wonders how much moving from catcher to full-time outfielder affected that. He still played in 148 games and logged a shocking 602 plate appearances for Kansas City last year, walking 10.3% of the time. Melendez struggled at the plate in the season's beginning, but a 124 wRC+ in the second half offers hope.

“There is a lot to like about MJ,” Quatraro said. “He has huge offensive potential. We saw last year, you know, he hits the ball extremely hard. He can drive the ball to all fields. His at-bats got much more consistent in the second half of the year."

If Melendez's shows slight growth in the outfield, his bat will need to keep him in the long-term left field conversation. Changing positions this late in a baseball career can be challenging. Doing so at the MLB is trial by fire. Melendez has the ceiling to produce at the plate, but his defensive value will limit that. Melendez can make fnas forget about the 2023 season with noticeable defensive improvements and