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The best pictures from 2018 spring training photo day


MLB: Kansas City Royals-Media Day
Poor Brian Flynn looks like he wants to say that he’s uncomfortable but that someone will tell him to stop being rude if he does
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Here at Royals Review, we use images all the heckin’ time in our work. Every single article we write has a featured image, and some articles feature more images interspersed throughout the text. Thankfully, our access of USA Today and Getty Images supplies us with a fountain of relevant pictures, many of which are simply astounding. I have the utmost respect for professional sports photographers, who do great work under pressure.

So imagine our horror when, when the offseason starts, the fountain just stops. Days turn into weeks turn into months as we pull up our image search tool and see the SAME IMAGES again and again.

It wasn’t so bad after 2015, when the Royals won the World Series and we got to see images of the parade every time we wanted to write something, but it was torture after 2014 when we kept seeing shots of the San Francisco Giants parade because the psychopaths at USA Today and Getty kept using the Kansas City Royals tag in those pictures. It’s been pretty bad this year too, because we repeatedly saw Eric Hosmer, Lorenzo Cain, and Mike Moustakas mournfully waving goodbye as they glided away into the expensive sunset of free agency.

Regardless, every year there’s a photo day at spring training where all the players get their pictures taken and suddenly dozens upon dozens of photos pop up in our image feed and it’s like Christmas again.

I was tipped off late Wednesday night by Danny Duffy, who stayed up to watch the U.S. women’s hockey team beat the Canadian team for the Olympic gold medal.

Sure enough, Thursday, February 22 was indeed photo day. I was excited. Now, usually spring training portraits look like this:

alcides escobar, royals, spring training, photo day Getty Images

That, of course, is Alcides Escobar. This is a perfectly pleasant portrait. Nothing wrong with it. It even shows off the Royals’ 50-year anniversary patch. But it’s not particularly interesting; there are literally thousands of pictures that just popped up in the USA Today and Getty databases just like that.

However, some pictures do exceed expectations. I wrote about the Royals’ best spring training photos in 2016 and 2017. This year is no different. Here are the best pictures from 2018 spring training photo day.


  • USA Today (white backgrounds) - Jerome Miron
  • Getty (blue backgrounds) - Christian Petersen

Whit Merrifield will sex you right up

Sexy Whit Merrifield Getty Images

When I started writing this, Merrifield’s glorious subbled mug and saucy stare greeted me on the very first page. I was excited. It is, of course, a beautiful picture. Merrifield is trying to seduce you through the screen, here, and I’m guessing when he told Petersen that he was going to do this pose, Petersen tried to argue before being seduced himself and agreeing to snap the pic.

I did not crop this at all, by the way; this is the whole thing.

The only thing wrong with this is, and I implore you to move on and not read the rest of this sentence if you have OCD and haven’t already noticed, that a stray red thread attached itself to Merrifield’s hat and is painfully conspicuous against the blue background.

Salvador Perez indeed owns multiple phalanges

Salvador Perez, hands, Royals, spring training, photo day Getty Images

The only reason that I know this is Perez is because of the number on his jersey, which is itself partially cut off. I’m not entirely sure why this picture needed to be taken, but whatever. Perez wears a blue belt, if you wanted to know. And he certainly has fingers. He’s probably sponsored by Franklin gloves, too? Eh, whatever.

The hero Gotham needs and wants, or something

Kelvin Herrera, spring training, photo day Getty Images

I have used spring training portraits for literally years and I have never seen one so bizarrely lit as this. There are multiple pitchers who have pictures like this, but Herrera is the most interesting one.

Is Getty trying to position Herrera as an evil figure now? He’s pretty good, but I don’t think he’s going to be blasting the Dark Knight soundtrack when he comes out for a save. Maybe if he blows a save?

Also, and I literally just noticed this, but the harsh lighting highlighted the thinness of Herrera’s pants and you can clearly see the MLB logo on the tucked in portion of his jersey. I just...why?

Who is Kevin Lenik and why does he have a bat for killing zombies

kevin lenik, spring training, photo day Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Alright, I’ll admit it: I had never heard or seen the name of Kevin Lenik before I looked at the info on this picture. Sometimes dudes just slip through the cracks. Apparently, Lenik is a pitcher, and he escaped my radar because he went undrafted, was just picked up by the Royals out of independent ball last year, and is a 26-year-old.

That’s right. He’s a pitcher. Why is he holding a bat? Why is the bat full of nails? Is there tetanus involved? Who knows.

Alex Gordon behind the scenes

alex gordon, spring training, photo day, royals Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Nothing funny about this, just a good old fashioned behind-the-scenes picture. Kinda takes a bit of the mystique out of these pictures though when you realize they’re just being taken in some lunchroom somewhere.

eRiC sKoGluNd

eric skoglund, spring training, photo day Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
spongebob meme, eric skoglund

Raul Adalberto ‘THAT’S NOT MY NAME’ Mondesi

raul adalberto mondesi, spring training, photo day Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Ok, so hear me out: Raúl Mondesí played for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He had a son, who he named Raúl Mondesí Jr., so the elder Mondesí became Mondesí Sr. Then he had another son, who he named Raúl Mondesí as well, but that son’s middle name was Adalberto and I guess even a different middle name means that he can’t go by Mondesí Jr. Anyway, Raúl A. Mondesí went just by Raúl Mondesí, but not Raul Mondesí Jr., until he recently decided to just go by Adalberto Mondesí for this season.

What were we talking about?


Ryan O’Hearn, spring training, photo day Getty Images

This is not a portrait. This is a dude putting on gloves. I did that earlier today and no one took my picture. And if you did, how on earth did you get inside without my cat running to sniff you?

Also, this player is a minor leaguer without a Royals number. I haven’t seen this player play in person so I didn’t know what his face looked like. Good luck if you know. Guess in the comments below, I suppose.


kyle zimmer, spring training, photo day Getty Images