Admittedly committed to what they're calling an evaluation season, the KC Royals had the chance Sunday to add a third promising minor league prospect to their major league roster.
Instead, and after wisely calling up Dairon Blanco and Samad Taylor earlier in the week, the Royals summoned from Triple-A Omaha Matt Beaty, a 30-year old utility man they signed over the winter, sold to the Giants on Opening Day, then curiously re-signed to a minor league deal Tuesday. What adds mystery to the Beaty callup is that he shouldn't, and likely doesn't, figure into the Royals' long-term plans now any more than he did when they moved on from him in March.
What could they have done? Simple. Giving Logan Porter, a catcher-first baseman biding his time well at Omaha, a shot at the majors would have been a viable alternative.
And a logical move. Yes, Beaty has the defensive ability to spell Nick Pratto at first base when necessary, something that Vinnie Pasquantino, when he wasn't DH-ing, did admirably before a labrum issue ended his season a few days ago. Beaty can also play second, Michael Massey's regular spot until he landed on the IL Sunday with a finger laceration. But moving Porter up would have made more sense.
Why the KC Royals should have promoted Logan Porter over the weekend
Like fellow Storm Chasers Blanco and Taylor, Porter deserves a chance to show what he can do in the big leagues. He might not produce an immediate result commensurate with Taylor's Saturday walk-off heroics, but he's certainly capable of filling in at first when Pratto needs time off or manager Matt Quatraro needs Pratto in the outfield. He can also catch (historically his primary position), which sets him up to back up Salvador Perez and Freddy Fermin, especially if injury strikes either one.
And Porter's numbers are sufficient. Despite a lackluster May, when he hit only .228, he's rebounded this month (.342 with an excellent .500 OBP) and is now slashing .268/.366/.426 with seven home runs. He clubbed 14 homers at High-A Quad Cities two seasons ago and 13 between Double-A Northwest Arkansas and Omaha last year, so he has enough power to take advantage of what Kings of Kauffman's Jacob Milham recently pointed out is a Kauffman Stadium that's friendlier to homer hitters than it used to be.
And, as his .418 career minor league OBP proves, Porter knows how to get on base.
Promoting Beaty, hitter of only 18 home runs in parts of five major league campaigns, may signal the Royals don't view Porter as serious Kansas City material. Not only could they have called him, rather than Beaty, to Kansas City, but they also could have given him the spot Fermin received to open this season—after all, Fermin, with only three big league games under his belt when the year began, had no real experiential advantage over Porter. And KC could have brought him up for a look when he was having his good 2022 season that concluded with a nifty .301/.442/.476 line.
Perhaps the Kansas City personnel brain trust believed, with second baseman Massey out, that the team needs Beaty, who's played more positions than Porter, more. But Beaty has never played second base in the majors, has little time at third, and the bulk of his major league time is in the outfield. And the Royals already have Nicky Lopez, who replaced Massey at second base Sunday, and Maikel Garcia, both of whom can move around the infield comfortably. And Taylor is a pretty decent second baseman.
The reason the Royals didn't call on Porter is something likely to be kept behind closed Kauffman Stadium doors. But if they're going to keep him down on the farm, with little or no chance of seeing Kansas City, they need to package him up and trade him to a club that will give him his chance.