2019 Autopsy Report: Kansas City Royals
The busy day continues as we trudge forward having just posted our autopsy on the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The 8th team eliminated, and 3rd in the American League, is the Kansas City Royals. After a semi-surprising 2nd place finish in the AL Central in 2018, the Royals were poised to challenge again under the new management of Rob Chapman.
Time of Death: Saturday, September 7th, at 7:17PM PST when Astros CF Darge Kawawe hit a walk-off single against Seattle to complete the Astros 4-3 win.
Cause of Death (Primary): A Vanishing Act. Pretty much if it went right for the 2018 Royals, it went wrong for the 2019 Royals. They were hot in April in 2018 and icy-cold this year. Since-traded 2018 AL MVP C Gary Sanchez picked up 8.4 WAR in 2018, hitting .321. In the 38 G before he was traded this year he hit just .217 and was under 1 WAR. He’s one of many Royals players who just didn’t perform up to the same level.
Secondary Issues: Pretty maligned overall, but their pitching really stands out. They’re on track to have just one pitcher (SP or RP) throw 50+ innings with a better than league average ERA. Combined with a spotty pen after dealing away McNally and a mediocre offense, it made for some rough times in KC.
Left to Play For: Quite a bit actually – they host AL Wild Card leading Houston this weekend then their final 8 games feature a home-and-home with the AL Central leading Twins, looking to lock up the division. It’d take a pretty herculean effort, but theoretically they could get to 70 wins (need to go 11-4)
2020 Outlook: Interesting for sure – with so many Jekyll and Hyde players – it’ll be a tough task for then-2nd year GM Rob Chapman to discern who he can count on going forward. He will have the help of some possible incoming young talent though – top prospect Bernard Blanchard hit the bigs this month and has hit .300 over 10 starts. Top-100 prospects LF Sergio Pagan, SP Casey Mize and CF Billy Rounds all hit AAA this year for part of the year and could see big-league action in 2020