8 blazing bats fire hot KC Royals spring start

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Two regulars and two players seeking jobs with the KC Royals have hot bats

A pair of 2022 rookies the Royals are counting on to play key everyday roles this year are clicking at the plate.

Vinnie Pasquantino, who played a lot of first base after the club traded Carlos Santana to Seattle last June and who'll play there if Nick Pratto doesn't make the club, or serve as KC's primary designated hitter if he does, is 4-for-9 (.444) with a home run and four RBIs in four games. Like Glendinning, he's headed for the WBC (he'll play on Italy's team with Nicky Lopez). Pasquantino's rookie campaign was excellent: he slashed .295/.383/.450 and hit 10 home runs.

And MJ Melendez, the presumptive starting left fielder, has two doubles and four RBIs and is hitting .364 (4-for-11) with a .417 OBP. He, too, will take temporary leave from spring camp to play for Puerto Rico's WBC squad.

Two other Royals are performing well at the plate as they compete for spots on the Opening Day roster. Versatile Samad Taylor, prevented by injury from playing after the Royals acquired him from Toronto in last summer's Whit Merrifield trade, is 5-for-11 (.455) with a triple, double and three RBIs. But he's a long shot to make the club and will likely head to Triple-A Omaha to start the season. And big league veteran Matt Duffy, also versatile, is 4-for-9 (.444) with a double and two RBIs.

None of these eight hot hitters will finish the spring with the kinds of numbers they have now. But that they're hitting so well so early is encouraging.

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