Kansas City Royals who could make debuts – Number 2: Nick Heath
A lot of the prospects on this list have been pitchers and it’s because there’s obviously a bigger need for more pitchers on a roster. Nick Heath, however, was already on the team’s 40-man roster (prior to the 60-man roster being announced) and that bodes well for him.
Heath had a slash line of .255/.345/.387 with eight home runs and 38 RBI between two minor league teams last year (Northwest Arkansas and Omaha) and spent most of his time in center field with both of those teams.
Heath probably doesn’t start the year on the roster due to the Royals having Alex Gordon, Whit Merrifield, Hunter Dozier, Brett Phillips, and Bubba Starling as options for the outfield, but as soon as anyone is injured (or in the unfortunate scenario where someone tests positive), Heath will be the one brought up as depth.
Kansas City Royals who could make debuts – Number 1: Foster Griffin
Even though he’s a pitcher, Foster Griffin falls into the same category as Heath and that’s that he was already on the Royals’ roster prior to camp. Earlier I mentioned that there were two pitchers in the running for the five spot in the rotation and Griffin is one of those two (with the other being Singer).
The Royals selected Griffin in the first round (28th overall) in 2014 and he looks like he’s finally ready to make it to the big leagues. Griffin struggled in Omaha last year, finishing his campaign with a an ERA over five in 130.2 innings pitched.
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That being said, Griffin looked much better in the Dominican Winter League, throwing 23.1 innings with a 2.31 ERA and that helps his case this year.
In regular MLB seasons, it’s common for the rosters to expand in September and that’s usually when teams call up a lot of their prospects so that they can get some work in at the end of the season.
Things will be different this time around and while it seems unlikely, the Royals could be in contention this year if they get off to a hot start. How the team performs early on is going to play a factor in when these prospects get called up.
It seems pretty likely that Foster Griffin and Nick Heath will make it to the bigs at some point simply because they were on the roster already and injuries are bound to happen.
Which prospect are you looking forward to see make his debut in 2020?