Could the KC Royals offense be primed for a breakout?

These three Kansas City players could power the attack at the plate.
Stephen Brashear-USA TODAY Sports

It's no secret that the KC Royals win games differently than most teams. They strike out at one of the lowest rates in baseball. They don't hit many home runs. Despite their unique approach, they have scored the 11th most runs in the majors. Their season has been built on a foundation of quality pitching, but the offense might be ready to take another leap.

Bobby Witt Jr. hasn't had to carry the KC Royals

Witt is rightfully gaining more national attention, but his performance has cooled down recently. He had a two-home run game against the Astros April 11 but posted a 101 wRC+ with only a single homer. This isn't to knock Witt, who is an incredible talent. It's more to point out how much the offense will improve once Witt returns to All-Star-caliber form.

Even during this recent slide, Witt displays impeccable skills with just a 14.6% strikeout rate and a .264 batting average. Tack on 12 stolen bases in that span and it's hardly a major disappointment. The power will return for Witt and he'll be the lineup's leader again.

Vinnie Pasquantino's breakout inches closer and closer

Nearly every underlying metric points to an improved plate approach for slugger Pasquantino. His ability to tap into power while still racking up walks and avoiding strikeouts is partially why he earns such praise from Royals fans. He's in at least the 95th percentile in both strikeout and whiff rates according to Baseball Savant.

So, why not add even more power to his profile? His hard-hit rate has jumped from 40.3% to 48.1%, from 2023 to now. He's on pace for a career-best 10.7%-barrel rate, close to entering elite territory. Pasquantino clearly could be one of the Royals' most potent power bats. He hasn't knocked many out of the park in recent weeks, but he's hitting .275 in May with a 123 wRC+ through Thursday. He's an important part of the offense just with his ability to get on base. If he sends a few more into the seats, the Royals offense could see another surge.

Maikel Garcia can still find success

Garcia has had an uninspiring season, but there are plenty of reasons for optimism. His .238 batting average is a wild underperformance from expectations, but his .269 expected batting average points to some important skills development. His barrel rate has risen from the 10th percentile in 2023 to the 45th percentile this season. That won't turn him into a star in itself, but it should lend credibility to his approach as a line-drive hitter. More meaningful contact while avoiding strikeouts is an invaluable aspect of his game.

One notable disparity from last year comes from his results against fastballs. Last year, he hit .290 against the pitch type compared to .194 this season. Is that a fix that Garcia can work through mid-season? His xBA of .261 implies there is still room for more production against heaters.

In May, Garcia is hitting .250 but with just four doubles, his extra-base potential hasn't quite come to fruition. Yet he's hitting more line drives, even if he hasn't found much recent success. There's a significant gap in his actual form than what could come from an approach like this. If he finds more consistency, Garcia could still easily become the hitter the Royals hoped he could be entering the season.

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