As every KC Royals fan knows, and as we re-emphasized in this space just a few days ago, shortstop Bobby Witt Jr. and rookie third baseman Maikel Garcia helped soften the blow of the dreadful season the club completed almost three weeks ago.
And while their respective successes at the plate captured most of the attention, what they did defensively can't be ignored. Per Baseball Savant, both finished the season with some of the best numbers in the big leagues: no qualified American League shortstop had a better OAA (14) or DRP (11) than Witt, and only three National League shortstops had better marks; Garcia had the best AL DRP (10) and OAA (13) at third, and was second only in the majors to Pittsburgh's Ke'Bryan Hayes in both categories.
But those stellar defensive numbers notwithstanding, both Royals aren't in the running for one of the most prestigious awards major leaguers can win. This year's finalists for the Rawlings Gold Glove Awards — three at each position in each league (including utility man) — have been revealed, and Witt and Garcia didn't make the cut. Nor did any other present Royal.
Former Kansas City firstbaseman-designated hitter Carlos Santana is a National League nominee at first base.
Winners will be announced Nov. 5.
The KC Royals have several players in the Arizona Fall League
Kansas City chose eight of the organization's top players to participate in this year's Arizona Fall League. One, major league utility man Nick Loftin, has returned home, but the other seven, together with Loftin replacement CJ Alexander, are still in action for the Surprise Saguaros, whose 8-6 record has them in fourth place in the six-club AFL through Tuesday's games.
Two Royals representatives are performing especially well. Infielder Peyton Wilson, currently ranked by MLB Pipeline as Kansas City's 26th-best prospect, is slashing .324/.447/.622 with two homers and seven RBIs in nine games, while pitcher Eric Cerantola, who's started one game and relieved once, has eight strikeouts and has surrendered only one run in six innings.
Other notables: KC major leaguer Ángel Zerpa is 0-0 in two starts but has three strikeouts in the four inning he's worked, Beck Way has fanned four in two scoreless innings, Rylan Kaufman has struck out three in his own two scoreless frames, and Gavin Cross, Pipeline's No. 6 Kansas City prospect, is hitting .286 with a pair of RBIs and four stolen bases in four games.