The Royals have made their reputation on defense over the years, and while 2019 wasn’t a banner year, the boys in blue could still pick it on occasion. Here are the top defensive players of 2019.
May 23 Mondesi ranges to his right
Adalberto Mondesi may very well have been the most valuable defensive player on the Royals this year, so it is no surprise he shows up on this list. In a game against the Cardinals in May, Mondesi showed off his unique blend of range and arm to get Jedd Gyorko in St. Louis.
May 25 Billy Hamilton finds the wall
When you look back on the Royals’ 2019 season, you may forget Billy Hamilton, but he did live up to his billing defensively. Hamilton’s speed was an asset in the vast center field of Kauffman Stadium, like on this play against the Yankees in May.
May 26 Nicky Throwpez
Nicky Lopez made his anticipated rookie debut in May, and it was pretty clear early on he would be a contributor with the glove. Lopez showed off his range on this ground ball up the middle and robbed D.J. LeMahieu of a potential hit.
June 20 Gordo’s foul ball catch that wasn’t a catch
This really shouldn’t even count since it didn’t end in an out, but this play by Alex Gordon was just amazing. Gordo went into the corner for a foul ball, and while the ball hit off his glove, he manages to catch the ball mid-air while falling to the ground. Unfortunately, the ball made contact with the fence, making it a dead ball, but it was still pretty cool.
Play of the game is a foul ball. Gordon man pic.twitter.com/3dQVcL4PxG— Cody Tapp (@codybtapp) June 21, 2019
July 20 Billy Hamilton robs Francisco Lindor of a home run
Francisco Lindor has hit approximately 14,358 home runs against the Royals in his career, but Billy Hamilton denied him at least one of those homers on July 20 in Cleveland with this over-the-wall catch.
August 28 Maverick takes off against Oakland
Okay, the rest of this list is the Brett Phillips highlight reel. The young outfielder didn’t come up until mid-August and appeared in just 30 games, but was still sixth on the team in Defensive WAR, according to Baseball Reference. Catches like this one against Oakland were a reason why.
August 31 Maverick lands smoothly against Baltimore
Again Brett Phillips. Again, robbin’ hits, this time against Trey Mancini of the Orioles.
September 25 Brett Phillips does his best Lorenzo Cain impression
Phillips may have saved his best for last, with this amzing catch against the Braves that for a moment, reminded us a bit of Lorenzo Cain. Full extension!
Did I miss any? What did you think was the top defensive play for the Royals this year?
What was the top Royals defensive play this year?
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Mondesi ranges oto his right
Hamilton finds the wall
Nicky Lopez ranges to his right
Gordo foul ball that wasn’t a catch
Hamilton robs Lindor
Brett Phillips dive against Oakland
Brett Phillips dive against Baltimore
Brett Philips full extension against Atlanta