Kansas City Royals infielder Kelvin Gutierrez is playing well in winter ball.
Kansas City Royals fans haven’t gotten to see much from Kelvin Gutierrez in the big leagues so far. A lot of that has been attributed to him being blocked from contributing due to depth, but the hope is that he’ll be ready to pitch in and be a key member of the team this year.
According to Mike Rosenbaum of MLB.com, Gutierrez (the No. 24 prospect in their farm system) is doing well in winter ball and that’s exactly what the Royals want to hear. Here’s what Rosenbaum had to say,
"Gutierrez hit a home run and drove in four runs as he helped power Cibao past Estrellas, 5-3, in Game 6 of the semifinals and into the championship. He did most of his damage in the series’ final three games, going 6-for-13 with a pair of multihit efforts to improve his postseason average to .292. The 26-year-old third baseman put up solid numbers in 17 regular-season games for the Gigantes, batting .396/.492/.604 with seven extra-base hits, including two home runs."
This is obviously great news for the Royals, who have high hopes for Gutierrez. The 26-year-old made his debut for Kansas City in 2019 and finished the season with a slash line of .260/.304/.356 with one home run and 11 RBI in 79 plate appearances. He barely contributed in 2020, appearing in only four games and batted just .111 through 12 plate appearances.
When Gutierrez has been in the big leagues, the Royals have had him at either third base or designated hitter and that’s likely to continue in 2021. Hunter Dozier is likely the starter at third base, but if he needs a day off, Gutierrez can be a solid backup option.
2021 is hopefully going to be a competitive year for the Royals, especially with the talent that Dayton Moore has brought in this winter. Seeing Gutierrez perform well is another sign that this season could be the turning point for what looks to be a bright future for the Kansas City Royals.
Of course, the pitching is tougher in the major leagues, but Gutierrez is putting his skills on display through winter ball and that’s what the Royals want to see out of him. He hasn’t gotten much of an opportunity to prove himself on a daily basis in the majors and hopefully he gets that chance in 2021 and can be an important piece in this team’s rebuild.