The KC Royals needed a backup catcher Saturday when a fractured finger forced rookie backstop Freddy Fermin to the Injured List. Calling up Logan Porter, Triple-A Omaha's primary catcher who's waited patiently for a shot at the majors, seemed the logical choice.
But for whatever reason, the Royals, as part of a four-move roster shuffle before Saturday's game against Toronto, called up Double-A catcher Tyler Cropley instead. As we wrote here at the time, bypassing Porter in favor of Cropley, who hasn't played an inning above Double-A, appeared at the time to spell trouble for the former's future with the club.
Now, things have changed considerably. And in Porter's favor.
Confirming scattered Sunday night social media speculation, Kansas City has called Porter up; he'll become a big leaguer when the Royals open a three-game series with the White Sox tonight. The club announced the move Monday afternoon; to open spaces on their active and 40-man rosters, the Royals sent Cropley to Omaha and designated him for assignment.
Porter, who KC probably should have called up earlier this season, will now get his well-deserved shot.
Logan Porter earned his promotion to the KC Royals with a pretty good bat
Although he's a capable catcher, can play other positions, and is stuck in a lengthy slump, it's Porter's bat and ability to get on base that stand out most. After driving in a run against Iowa Sunday afternoon, Porter, 28, is hitting .275 with 50 home runs and 208 RBIs in five minor league seasons. His homer output includes one in Arizona rookie play after signing as an undrafted free agent in 2018, nine in 44 games at Burlington, a former KC rookie-level affiliate, in 2019, 14 at High-A Quad Cities a year later, 13 last season between Double-A and Triple-A, and another 13 for Omaha this season.
Porter was also instrumental in Quad Cities winning the 2021 High-A championship series — he saved the River Bandits from possible elimination by belting a tie-breaking walk-off Game 4 homer against Cedar Rapids, then drove in current Royal Maikel Garcia with what proved to be the championship-winning run in the finale.
And as his career .402 OBP proves, he boats a proven ability to get on base.
The biggest rap on Porter, however, may be his recent struggles at the plate. He's hitting only .232 for the Storm Chasers this year, a subpar average for him born primarily of a few poor months. But he hit .348 with a hot .500 OBP in June.
How manager Matt Quatraro uses Porter in the club's final 18 games of the season will be interesting to see. He'll surely take a few turns behind the plate, and may DH. He could also get time at first base, where he's appeared 150 times in the minors, or even at third, where he's played eight times.