This year? Nobody.
Why is it that the Royals rarely, if ever, have somebody on their roster that plays over his head? Or, at the very least surpasses expectations? In a game where stepping up to the plate is the name of the game, why do the Royals have so few examples of somebody who actually steps up to the plate?
Last year, Mike Aviles likely played over his head, but that is the most recent example I can think of. The year before that, "TJ" played over his head, but we all knew that even as it was happening. I suppose one could argue that Leo Nunez played over his head for a time over the past two seasons, but that is actually debatable. Finally, Teahen played over his head a few seasons back after being sent to AAA, but we all intuitively knew at the time that "this too shall pass", and it did.
Right now, there are a number of calls for the Royals to bring up some youngsters for the purpose of "seeing how they do" for the next month or two. I tend to agree with those making this plea, if only for a change of scenery. After all, if I miss another at-bat by the Inning Ender in a meaningless game in late September, it is doubtful that make the short list of my deathbed regrets.
But, let's face it: we know what the stats and lines are for most of those who would be called up. Nobody is "lights out" in the Royals' farm system right now the same way, say, Hawaiin Punch was most of last summer. What we're really hoping for with such call ups is that somebody will play over their head, and, as with so many other things concerning the Royals, history is not our friend and our hopes are probably misplaced.