When the Kansas City Royals were ranked as having one of the worst farm systems in baseball at the beginning of the year, they had one ace up their sleeve.
See, a player with enough MLB service time loses ‘prospect’ status, meaning that they can no longer be ranked in prospect lists. But that player still exists, and if they are young enough they still have potential. Adalberto Mondesi was one of those guys: too many plate appearances as a Royal to count as a prospect, but still young and brimming with energy. Today, an impressive showing by Mondesi represented hope that the Royals’ depleted farm system still could power Kansas City to relevance, as the Royals dunked on the Detroit Tigers 9-2.
In his second start back from the disabled list and in the midst of a disappointing season, Danny Duffy encountered problems immediately. In the first inning, he coughed up three baserunners and one run off the bat of Mikie Mahtook. Fortunately for Duffy, though, that was pretty much all his issues. Duffy proceeded to halt the Tigers offense in its tracks, allowing two additional baserunners through the rest of his six innings of work. Duffy ended the afternoon with six strikeouts, three walks, only two hits, and that single run.
For many games, such a starting pitching performance has been a necessity for the anemic Royals. Today, though, it was a luxury, because the Royals offense was simply amazing. Tigers starter Michael Fulmer did not last past the fourth inning, only squeezing 11 outs out of the Royals offense. In that time, the Royals scored seven runs.
Three items were of particular note. Alex Gordon clobbered his 170th career homer in the third inning, moving into sole possession of fourth place all time among Royals. Mondesi owned the other two. The young shortstop crushed his sixth home run of the year in the second inning, scoring himself and Jorge Bonifacio. Then, in the fourth, Mondesi cracked a line drive for a triple, scoring Hunter Dozier. Mondesi capped his peformance with a bases loaded walk (yes, that string of words is correct).
All told, the Royals knocked 12 hits, seven of which were of the extra base variety, and walked four times (yes: four times). It was an efficient day, the only downside being some shaky pitching in the ninth inning by Wily Peralta, but at that point he had an eight-run lead so nobody was particularly unhappy about it.
With today’s win, the Royals have won back-to-back series for the first time all year. They, however, are still dozens of games below .500. So it goes.