The KC Royals are off to a blistering start in the Arizona desert. They are on top of the Cactus League, sporting a 3-0 record in spring training play. Each of those three games had some pretty memorable moments. What were the top five highlights of this past weekends action?
HM: Quatraro's "you're an idiot" quote
New manager Matt Quatraro is starting off his Royals tenure on a good note. He has an impressive resume, having previously coached for the Tampa Bay Rays and the Cleveland Guardians before taking over the Royals. He appeared to be all business this winter, but he appears to be more at ease in the dugout this spring. He had a great, candid quote during Saturday's game against the Texas Rangers.
5: Reyes' towering home run
Franmil Reyes, the Royals' most recent free agent signing, signed a minor-league contract with the club on February 16. His powerful bat had him on an upward trajectory prior to last season, when the strikeouts rose and walks dropped. Kansas City could use another hard-hitting righty, and Reyes proved how powerful he can be Sunday against the Seattle Mariners.
4: Tolbert's diving catch in center
On Saturday, there was no Royals player shining brighter than Tyler Tolbert. The non-roster invite is known for his base-stealing prowess but was thrust into the game Saturday. Diego Hernandez exited the game with an injury, and Tolbert took his spot in center field. While this is not Tolbert's only amazing catch of the day, he left it all on the line to end the fourth inning against the Rangers.
3: Pasquantino's hot spring start
Vinnie Pasquantino will not have many spring training plate appearances, but he started off spring training with a bang Friday against the Rangers. He launched a home run over the right-field fence, giving the Royals a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Pasquantino and Nicky Lopez are joining Team Italy for the World Baseball Classic in the coming days, making their spring training performances even more important.
2. Bradley's storybook homer
Spring training may not carry the same weight as the upcoming season, but a walk-off homer is always cause for celebration. Tucker Bradley, the Royals’ 23rd-best prospect by MLB Pipeline, was an emergency player Friday for the Royals' spring training opener. Improbably, Bradley ended up batting in the bottom of the ninth against Rangers pitcher Marc Church. Bradley shocked everyone in Surprise Stadium when he took Church deep to win the game.
1. Tolbert's three-run thriller
While Tolbert made two incredible catches in the field, his biggest play Saturday was a three-run homer to left field. Tolbert is now known more for his bat than his power. But Tolbert's hit against Rangers pitcher Antoine Kelly was a no-doubter that extended the Royals' lead.