Welcome back to Kings of Kauffman's offseason series grading the 2023 performances of various KC Royals players. Next up is catcher Logan Porter.
The small slivers of hope and progress kept KC Royals fans locked in across the 2023 season. They were few and far between, but the positive moments were there. One of the top moments came on Sept. 14, 2023, when catcher Logan Porter made his long-awaited MLB debut.
Catching the second game of a doubleheader does not sound very glamorous, but it was the culmination of Porter's heart-warming story. The Athletic's Alec Lewis and MLB.com's Anne Rogers have recounted Porter's story better than anyone else could, but the short version sounds like something out of a Hollywood production.
The synopsis is sweet too. Porter went from Royals clubhouse attendant in 2011 to joining the franchise as an undrafted free agent after the 2018 MLB Draft. He rose from the farm system's basement through five seasons, hitting .275 with 50 home runs and 208 RBIs along the way. He continually showed his defensive versatility and work ethic at each stop. After Freddy Fermin landed on the IL, the Royals finally brought Porter to The Show.
He made a great first impression, having a two-hit, two-RBI game in his debut. Those runs were crucial ones in Kansas City's 11-10 win over the Chicago White Sox.
“It’s just surreal to see it all unfold,” Porter said. “For it to all come together. It’s crazy. It really is.”
He continued his hitting streak in his next two appearances, including his first MLB home run on Sept. 16. Porter starting off so strong was a great and welcome sign, even if it was in sporadic action. He played in 11 games all told, sporting a .194/.324/.323 line, with five walks to 11 strikeouts. Porter struggled as the season closed, that is the MLB learning curve for you.
What grade should Logan Porter get for his 2023 season?
I'll take the copout here and give him an incomplete. His drawing five walks in six games as a rookie impressed me greatly, and he looked comfortable behind the plate. His slash line was not great, but he has very good plate discipline and that can get a backup catcher far in the MLB.
He is not a sure thing for 2024 if both Salvador Perez and Fermin return healthy. However, if one of those two does not return, I love what Porter brings to the lineup. He will be a player to watch in spring training. For now, I am just happy that he made his debut.