Kansas City Royals have plenty of power on the way

Kansas City Royals Bobby Witt Jr., rounds the bases on an error, inside the park home run, which was misplayed by Cincinnati Reds left fielder Errol Robinson in the eighth inning of the MLB Cactus League Spring Training game between the Cincinnati Reds and the Kansas City Royals at Goodyear Ballpark in Goodyear, Ariz., on Thursday, March 4, 2021. The Royals won 5-3 in a nine-inning game.Kansas City Royals At Cincinnati Reds Spring Training
Kansas City Royals Bobby Witt Jr., rounds the bases on an error, inside the park home run, which was misplayed by Cincinnati Reds left fielder Errol Robinson in the eighth inning of the MLB Cactus League Spring Training game between the Cincinnati Reds and the Kansas City Royals at Goodyear Ballpark in Goodyear, Ariz., on Thursday, March 4, 2021. The Royals won 5-3 in a nine-inning game.Kansas City Royals At Cincinnati Reds Spring Training /
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The Kansas City Royals are not a team that is synonymous with power hitting. Steve Balboni‘s 36 homers had been the single season record for the franchise until Mike Moustakas belted 38 homers in 2017. Jorge Soler hit 48 homers in 2019, the only time a member of the Royals had ever surpassed the 40 home run mark or led the league in homers.

That may be about to change. Three of the top four minor league home run leaders are members of the Royals’ organization, two of which may end up making their major league debuts next season.

Kansas City Royals offense could transform in 2022

Internally, the Royals felt that they could contend in 2021. They had made several short term signings to get back to respectability, hoping that their young pitchers would be able to take a step forward. That has not been the case this season, as those arms have struggled in their adjustment to the majors.

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While that was to be expected, the Royals’ offense has been a disaster. They rank last in the American League with 130 homers, and 13th in runs scored, slugging, and OPS. The Royals have been unable to get on base (12th in the AL), and when they do, they cannot drive those runners in.

The hope is that the offense will get an injection of power next season. Bobby Witt Jr. was considered a dark horse candidate to break camp with the Royals this season, and has done nothing to make anyone feel any less bullish on his future. He has a .955 OPS in his 437 plate appearances between Double-A and Triple-A, hitting 28 homers and 23 doubles while stealing 22 bases. He should solidify the shortstop position into the latter part of the decade, and potentially beyond, as the Royals’ next young superstar.

Nick Pratto had been a disappointment after being selected with the 14th overall pick in the 2017 MLB Draft, but has emerged as the player the Royals hoped for this year. He has produced a 1.003 OPS in his 422 plate appearances between Double-A and Triple-A, hitting 28 homers and 23 doubles while stealing ten bases. There is hope that he and Witt can be the foundation of a dynamic lineup.

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The Kansas City Royals have not been known for having a powerful lineup. That may change as soon as next season.