Should Tyler Gentry be on the KC Royals Opening Day roster?

Tyler Gentry's prospect status rocketed two seasons ago. Now on the 40-man roster, where will he play come Opening Day?
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
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Tyler Gentry, the eighth-best prospect in the KC Royals system according to MLB.com, has been making waves among some corners of the Royals fandom. While the Royals struggled with their outfield options last season, there were calls for Gentry's MLB debut in 2023.

The KC Royals outfield battle should have Tyler Gentry in the mix.

With Kansas City adding him to their 40-man roster, Gentry is now one step closer to realizing that dream. In this analysis, we will explore Gentry's chances of making the Opening Day roster by examining his competition in the outfield during spring training. Will he return to Triple-A Omaha in March, or will he don a Royals uniform on Opening Day?

The field

To answer that question, let's look at Gentry's outfield competition during spring training.

  • MJ Melendez
  • Kyle Isbel
  • Nelson Velazquez
  • Hunter Renfroe
  • Dairon Blanco
  • Drew Waters
  • John Rave
  • Nate Eaton
  • Diego Hernandez

There are some players that I feel comfortable locking into the Opening Day roster and locking out. So, the real competition Gentry has is:

  • Drew Waters
  • Dairon Blanco
  • Nate Eaton

Hernandez needs another season after his shortened 2023, while Rave is a solid player, but I do not see his bat transitioning immediately to The Show. On the other side, Melendez, Renfroe, Isbel, and Velazquez are the favorites to start on Opening Day. That leaves four wild cards, all players with options remaining, and less than two years of service time between them.

I love Eaton as an underdog story, and longtime readers will know why I want him to succeed so much. However, he will have to have a massive spring training showing to push his way onto the 40-man roster once again. I cannot, in good conscience, put him above Gentry in the pecking order.