What can Kansas City Royals fans expect after the expiration of the trade deadline?
Dayton Moore made a few trades at the deadline, sending beloved fan favorite Danny Duffy to the Los Angeles Dodgers along with cash for a player to be named later.
The next move that was completed sent the Kansas City Royals single season home run leader, Jorge Soler, to the Atlanta Braves. In return the Kansas City Royals received Kasey Kalich, a right handed pitcher. Kalich was drafted in the 4th round of the 2019 MLB draft by the Atlanta Braves. Kalich attended Texas A&M.
"“The 6-foot-3 Kalich fits the future reliever profile well, with a pair of solid power pitches at his disposal. It starts with his mid-90s fastball, a pitch he can crank up a bit harder at times, touching the upper 90s. He backs that up with a slider with cutter-like action to it that can be an above-average swing-and-miss pitch for him."
Kasey Kalich is now #24 in the Royals prospect list, and will be assigned to the Royals (A+) team Quad Cities River Bandits.
The Royals are 45-59 which puts them 16 games out of 1st place in the Central Division and 13.5 games out of the wild card post trade deadline.
What is the current state of the Kansas City Royals pitching staff?
The starting rotation is currently set with Keller, Minor, Bubic, Hernandez, and Lynch. With Singer beginning a rehab assignment in Omaha, the Royals’ AAA affiliate. As of right now, the Royals starting pitching has the 27th-worst ERA at 4.94. Only Minnesota, Arizona, Baltimore are worse in the category.
The starting rotation sits at 25th in all of MLB for innings pitched, and 28th in WHIP at 1.42. Kansas City’s starters have struggled all season. Some changes need to occur and, with the Royals unable to reach the postseason, they should begin to test out the minor league system at the Major League level.
There are currently three players in the bullpen alone who could be DFA’d: Greg Holland, Wade Davis, and Ervin Santana.
Does the Kansas City Royals’ pitching staff need some youth?
With the potential of some DFA’s or IR, stints some paths could be paved for the appearances of some minor league pitchers. One pitcher it could clear the way for is Jackson Kowar. Kowar, who could also pitch out of the bullpen, would be given the opportunity to gain confidence, and comfortability at the Major League level.
Kowar started two games with one game of relief, sporting a 18.00 ERA and a WHIP of 3.20. He took his lumps and went back down to AAA to work. The Royals should recall Kowar and give him the opportunity to face Major League hitting and evaluate his talent at this level.
Some others I would suspect to get a call are Tyler Zuber, and Jakob Junis. Both have Major League experience but have been down in the minor league system for majority of the season. With the expanded rosters in September, I would expect to see these pitchers arrive.
Some prospects who are knocking on the door and are projected to be with the MLB roster are Austin Cox, Alec Marsh, Jon Heasley, Noah Murdock, Zach Haake, Jonathan Bowlan, and Daniel Tillo.
Johnathan Bowlan underwent Tommy John surgery and Daniel Tillo is currently recovering from the surgery. Dayton Moore has stated pitching is the currency of baseball and as you can see our pitching prospects are on the cusp of the Major League level.
The Kansas City Royals’ batting lineup resembles Jekyll and Hyde
Since Dayton and his staff chose not to move the likes of Carlos Santana and Michael Taylor, the Royals can expect these two to continue manning their positions. The Royals are currently 13th overall in batting average at .243. They are 5th overall with a OBP of .303. A slugging percentage of .392 puts them at 22nd in MLB while an OPS of .695 puts them at 24th.
The Royals really have missed out on another full season of Aldalberto Mondesi, who at this point has only participated in 10 games.
Players like Jarrod Dyson, Ryan McBroom, Ryan O’Hearn, Hanser Alberto, and Cam Gallagher are currently in spots on the roster that could potentially be opened for future Royals starters. The Royals’ minor league system from a position player perspective has been utterly impressive this year.
The next Salvador Perez? Another catching phenom?
Some players have been putting on a display of what the future holds for the Kansas City Royals. That includes future star MJ Melendez. Melendez was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2017 MLB draft.
At the age of 22, Melendez has put on astonishing numbers at the AA level. So far, Melendez has had 272 at-bats with 79 hits, giving him a .290 average. The just off the wall number is the 25 homeruns. Melendez is currently slashing a .381 OBP along with a 1.009 OPS. He’s absolutely putting a hitting clinic on down in AA.
Kansas City’s future at first base has some pop along with some gold glove potential
Nick Pratto was drafted in 2017 in the 1st round by the Kansas City Royals. This season, Pratto has played at AA and AAA, slashing .273 BA, .398 OBP, .587 SLG, and .95 OPS. He is currently 22-years-old and has started to demonstrate exactly why the Royals drafted him in the 1st round.
So far, Pratto has hit a career high 19 home runs, all while reducing down his strikeout rate and increasing his walks. Ideally this demonstrates maturity at the plate. Pratto is primed to be apart of the next wave of Royals players who contribute from the minor leagues.
The prodigy and future of the Kansas City Royals
Bobby Witt Jr. His name alone excites Royals fans, but what he has accomplished in his first full year of baseball is incredible.
Witt, who was drafted with the 2nd overall pick in the MLB draft by the Kansas City Royals in 2019, has been impressive. Between two Royals minor league affiliates, Witt has slashed .298 BA, .364 OBP, .569 SLG, and .934 OPS. He has 19 HR, 56 RBI, and 16 SB. He’s doing all of this in his first full season playing professional baseball.
As the season continues to progress and we reach September, expect some of these minor leaguers to get an opportunity at the big league level.