The Kansas City Royals’ 2018 season has concluded and while the team lost over 100 games, it wasn’t all bad. Some Royals stepped up and surprised us all. Who were the players who were surprisingly good?
Kansas City Royals fans didn’t expect the team to contend in 2018, but the most important thing to keep an eye on was the young players and how they developed this year. Those young players will be at the forefront of helping this team get back to the promise land down the road.
We all expected Salvador Perez to do his thing and for Danny Duffy to provide solid innings on the mound, but what about some players who fans didn’t have a ton of expectations for? Let’s take a look at the most surprising (in a good way) players for the Kansas City Royals in 2018.
MOST SURPRISING ROYALS IN 2018 – NUMBER SIX: KEVIN MCCARTHY
While the Royals bullpen was easily the weakest spot for the team in 2018, Kevin McCarthy was one of the few bright spots. McCarthy, who had a nice 2017 campaign, followed it up with a career high in innings pitched this season with 72.
In those 72 innings (spread out through 65 games), McCarthy notched a respectable 3.25 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, and 5-4 record with 46 strikeouts and 20 walks. McCarthy is 26 years old and won’t hit free agency until 2024, so he could definitely be a reliable bullpen arm for this Royals team over the next few years.
While not many fans will give McCarthy the props he deserved, he truly was one of the better relievers for the Royals in 2018. His 3.25 ERA earned him a spot on this list.