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KC Royals: Five players who need to finish 2019 strong

KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 31: Right fielder Brett Phillips #14 of the Kansas City Royals catches a ball hit by Trey Mancini of the Baltimore Orioles in the sixth inning at Kauffman Stadium on August 31, 2018 in Kansas City, Missouri. Mancini's sacrifice fly scored Cedric Mullins. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 31: Right fielder Brett Phillips #14 of the Kansas City Royals catches a ball hit by Trey Mancini of the Baltimore Orioles in the sixth inning at Kauffman Stadium on August 31, 2018 in Kansas City, Missouri. Mancini's sacrifice fly scored Cedric Mullins. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) /
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Bubba Starling #11 of the Kansas City Royals (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images)
Bubba Starling #11 of the Kansas City Royals (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images) /

BUBBA STARLING

2019 AAA: .310/.358/.448, 11 2B, 2 3B, 7 HR, 21 BB, 59 K, 9/12 SBs (261 ABs)

2019 MLB: .205/.241/.276, 3 2B, 2 HR, 6 BB, 43 K, 1/1 SB (127 ABs)

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I saw Bubba Starling’s swing during Spring Training (stance reminded me of Jeff Bagwell) and I got the impression he could out perform his projections. A lot less noise in pre-swing movement and he is attacking all fields instead of trying to pull everything. What that means is he isn’t rolling over outside pitches but he’s driving the ball to all fields.

Early in his career, his timing mechanism was off due to pre-pitch movement (something he carried with him from high school, high leg kick, and starting hands low around mid-section). He is patient and waits for the pitch he wants to hit so his K numbers will remain higher than normal, but his hard-hit rate should remain elevated and this could randomize his numbers leading to variability “streakiness” depending on the caliber of pitching he sees.

Expectations: Realistic statistical projection over 162 games: .220 average with .260 OBP and .360 slugging (High variability, expect K rate above 28%). Gold Glove caliber D in RF and above average in CF. Decent speed and base running so about 15 – 20 SBs if he gets on base enough.

I believe each of these players will put together a fine final month of the 2019 season and look to be on the 2020 roster.

Five Royals Who Deserve September Call-Up. dark. Next

The 2019 Arizona Fall League is about to get underway and I recommend keeping on eye on the Royals representatives for the Surprise Saguaros (Daniel Lynch, LHP: Kyle Isbel, OF; Brewer Hicklen, OF; Gabriel Cancel, 2B; Tad Ratliff, RHP; and Daniel Tillo, LHP). Lynch and Isbel have had their regular seasons shortened by injury and both have the talent to shine in Arizona come September 18th.