Royals Opening Day Roster Projection 1.0: Any surprises?

Kansas City's roster will be pretty interesting.

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KC Royals Outfield

  • MJ Melendez (LF)
  • Kyle Isbel (CF)
  • Hunter Renfroe (RF)
  • Dairon Blanco (RES)

Kansas City's outfield picture is, for now, a little more settled than it has been during the last few spring training camps. Because the club remains high on, and committed to, MJ Melendez and Kyle Isbel, slate them for left and center, respectively, and Hunter Renfroe is a given in right.

The Royals will give Blanco, a lethal base-running threat and capable defender, the outfield reserve job, but don't be surprised if he ends up playing more than do typical backups.

KC Royals Designated Hitter

It won't quite be a "designated hitter by committee" situation for Kansas City, but more than one capable hitter will get ample time as DH, including Perez, who'll use his share of the assignment for days of half-rest, and Renfroe and Witt from time to time.

Expect Nelson Velázquez, though, to be the primary DH.

KC Royals Bench

  • Garrett Hampson

Don't be fooled, or even concerned, that we seem to be putting only Garrett Hampson on Kansas City's bench. Hampson is, of course, a capable and versatile player (a bit more versatile than Frazier), and his status as an established big league veteran utility man without any minor league options strongly suggests the club won't cut him.

But he's not the only Royal who can play more than one position regularly or in an emergency — Frazier can, and will, move around, Witt can play third if need be, García can work at third, short, or second, the club has been increasing Perez's time at first, Melendez can play either corner outfield spot, as can Blanco, and Renfroe and Velázquez have both spent time at first.

What all that versatility means is that this is a club stocked with players who can competently back others up, so there's no need to pack the dugout with role players.

How accurate are our projections? We'll see, and we'll have at least one more projection before spring training ends. Stay tuned for Royals Roster Projection 2.0.

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