As a vegetable farmer & cook, but not a baseball expert, I've long struggled with ways to understand and analyze the Royals in terms more familiar to my profession. So with a strong hat tip to trusttheprocess's incomparable 2010 thesis The 25 Man Roster as Kitchen Tools, I present the current Royals lineup as produce, not production. All photos from my farm unless otherwise noted.
Exotic, unusual, many people aren't quite sure what to make of it. Great when used in certain ways, but can also get old quickly. Often looks quirky.
Infante: lima beans
Have been around forever, really should be better than they are. Are supposed to provide good balance to a meal, but leave you wanting more. If you're leading off a meal with kohlrabi and lima beans, you're doing something wrong.
Rugged and sturdy, the backbone of just about every meal. Makes you want to cry when used too much.
Productive & dependable, zucchini is a staple crop. Some misinformed people just don't get it, and even want to give it away to the neighbors. It's best when not overgrown.
Yeah, I know steak's not a vegetable, but Gordon's not a mortal. There's just no equivalent of a good steak, and Gordon is a perfect, free-range steak from a family farmer, grilled to perfection. You build a championship meal around him.
An absolute staple crop, so good, so versatile, you just can't get enough of them. But fragile, prone to bruising, and don't always last out the season. Enjoy them while you have them.
The hipster's veggie, the one all the food writers said would be the next best thing. When it's good, it's awesome, but it can just as easily be limp or bitter. Best young, doesn't mature well.
Moustakas: baby kale
Like arugula, but less exciting. Easy to plant, pops up quickly.
Adds a little much-needed zest to otherwise bland salads. May be hard to balance a meal along with arugula and zucchini.
A regional specialty, both over and underrated. Tall, thin, perfect for a few uses, but not as versatile as others. May be slick or slimy at times.
Small but valuable, exciting and interesting, lots of ways to use it. Only crazy people don't like garlic.
Shields: green beans
Awesome in their own right, but also fix veteran nitrogen into the soil to help gritty young seedlings take the next step (like lima beans, but good). Enjoy them while they last.
Ventura: hot peppers
Throwin' fire, baby, loaded with capsaisin to keep your adrenaline pumping.
Mysterious, production always uncertain & unpredictable, but tasty & valuable when they do show up. Bury me a truffle!
Solid, unexciting, but tasty even after roasting. No one looks forward to turnips, but they're good filler as long as you don't overpay.
Wholesome, nutritious, you can buy them in bulk to last a long time. Need certain growing conditions to thrive. Good for filling in your crop rotation, but not always reliable. Gritty as hell.
Holland: sweet corn
There's nothing better than perfect summer sweet corn at its peak. Enjoy it while it lasts.
Davis: cherry tomatoes
Not up to being a full slicer tomato, but a reliable delight in this more constrained role.
Herrerra: snap peas
Overlooked treat that comes before cherry tomatoes & sweet corn, a bit iffy to grow but awesome when good.
Crow: frozen carrots
A good idea in theory, something kept in reserve that you can pull out quickly if needed. Tend to turn to mush & ruin the dish, though. Make sure you have a backup plan.
Kinda goofy, has a few specific uses.
Cromulent, replacement-level filler that can hold a dish together if you have nothing better to use. Don't try to make a championship dinner with it, though.
Moore: GMO corn/soy
The hottest innovation when introduced, now more controversial, with critics focusing on its long-term implications. Still has support at the corporate level.