Kansas City Royals: Adalberto Mondesi faces crucial season

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 15: Adalberto Mondesi #27 of the Kansas City Royals bats against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on September 15, 2020, in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 15: Adalberto Mondesi #27 of the Kansas City Royals bats against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on September 15, 2020, in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

Adalberto Mondesi has displayed plenty of potential for the Kansas City Royals. Now he has to put it all together for a full season.

Over the past three years, Adalberto Mondesi has displayed flashes of the type of player the Kansas City Royals hope he can be. He has hit for power while displaying impressive speed and a cannon of an arm at short. But with those flashes of potential, Mondesi has also been frustratingly inconsistent.

His overall 2020 production was essentially on par with his performance since establishing himself in the majors. In his 233 plate appearances, Mondesi produced a .256/.294/.416 batting line, hitting 11 doubles and six homers while stealing a league leading 24 bases. However, Mondesi was unable to use that speed as much as the Royals would have liked, as he drew just 11 walks while striking out 70 times.

The 2020 season was also a tale of two campaigns for Mondesi. In his first 140 plate appearances, he had a meager .179/.209/.231 batting line, hitting just five doubles and a triple. He had stolen only eight bases, and been caught stealing five times, being struck out 43 times while drawing only four walks. That was not the production that anyone had hoped for.

More Royals. Mondesi ties major league mark. light

But Mondesi turned things around over the final few weeks. In his 93 plate appearances to close out the season, he produced a .376/.424/.706 batting line, hitting six homers and six doubles while stealing 16 bases. Although he still struck out 27 times, Mondesi did manage to draw seven walks.

This also leads to the question – can Mondesi sustain that type of production? He has been brilliant for short spurts, showing why he tantalizes the Royals with his potential. But his overall body of work – an 85 OPS+ with a 4.3% walk rate and a 29.7% strikeout rate – leave plenty to be desired.

The Royals have indicated that they are looking to change their offensive philosophy. They are seeking to add players that can get on base, with former prospect Nicky Lopez likely to be replaced in the lineup. While Mondesi has had flashes, he needs to show that he can be a part of the Royals’ future.

Next. Time to retire Gordon's number. dark

His performance in 2021 will go a long way to making that determination. Adalberto Mondesi could be facing a make or break year with the Kansas City Royals.