KC Royals 2 biggest losers, 2 winners from May

The month was kind to Kansas City, but not to the whole roster.
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
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Loser: MJ Melendez

There is no positive way to slice outfielder MJ Melendez's May at the plate. He has finally assuaged fans with his defensive production in left field but now draws their ire with his batting blunders and offensive offense.

The outfielder appeared in 24 games this past month and failed to flash in nearly every single one. Melendez's 38 wRC+ was the worst among qualified Kansas City batters and seventh worst among MLB batters with at least 70 plate appearances last month. He is batting well below the Mendoza line, his .208 on-base percentage is barely scraping above it.

Melendez's most apparent and frustrating problem is against four-seam fastballs. He struggled against that pitch in 2023 but still posted a .242 batting average and .400 slugging against fastballs. Melendez has taken an even further step back in 2024, with only a .167 batting average and .352 slugging against the offering.

San Diego Padres starter Dylan Cease dispatched Melendez easily on May 31 with that pitch. It is an ugly sequence to watch back for fans and had to frustrate Melendez.

Something has to give. The Royals outfield is inarguably the team's weakest position group in 2024. Kansas City is winning despite them, rather than because of the outfield. Kansas City has reasons for keeping Hunter Renfroe, Kyle Isbel, and Dairon Blanco on the 26-man roster, but Melendez's performance screams he needs a demotion.

He turned fans' eyes with his bat and power. Now the lack of them has fans turning up their noses. His May numbers and obvious struggles mark a new low for Melendez.

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