Question 3: Can the KC Royals find a roster spot for catcher Logan Porter?
Should the Royals so choose, they can look elsewhere than Fermin for an internal option to back up Perez and, occasionally, Melendez behind the plate. And that might be their best course of action.
Left off the 40-man roster and thus exposed to the Rule 5 draft was Logan Porter, a promising hitter who we suggested at the time was arguably deserving of neither circumstance. He may well be a better choice for a spot on the Opening Day roster than Fermin.
The reasons are these. While both are adequate defensively, Porter's bat is a bit better than Fermin's and he's more versatile. Splitting last season between Double-A Northwest Arkansas and Triple-A Omaha, Porter batted .301, posted a stellar .442 OBP, hit 13 homers, and drove in 62 runs while Fermin hit .270 with a ,365 OBP, clubbed 15 homers, and had 56 RBIs at Omaha. (Fermin also went 0-for-7 with the Royals in three games as one of the 10 replacements for KC players whose vaccination statuses prevented them from playing a series against Toronto in Canada).
In four minor league seasons, Porter has 37 home runs, 160 RBIs and a .293/.428/.497 line; in six minor league campaigns, Fermin has just three more homers than Porter, 219 RBIs, and a .268/.350/.408 slash. Porter has actually played more at first base than behind the plate (125 games to 82), and even has some experience at third. Fermin has caught and DH'd.
Conceivably, then, the Royals could choose to keep Porter when spring training ends, giving them a decent third catcher, a good bat off the bench, and a player capable of working behind the plate and at first and third bases.
Will they find that kind of spot for Porter? We shall see.
How will the Royals answer their three catching questions?