clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Royals recall outfielder Brett Phillips, Billy Hamilton designated for assignment

Welcome back, Maverick.

Kansas City Royals v Oakland Athletics Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images

The Royals have recalled outfielder Brett Philips from Triple-A Omaha and have designated outfielder Billy Hamilton for assignment. The 25-year old Phillips was hitting .240/.378/.505 with 18 home runs, 22 steals, and 72 walks in 105 games with Omaha this year. He has been on fire much of the summer, hitting .277/.404/.613 with 13 home runs in 58 games since June 1, although much of Triple-A has had inflated offensive numbers this year.

Phillips appeared in 36 games with the Royals last year after they acquired him from the Brewers with pitcher Jorge Lopez for third baseman Mike Moustakas. He hit .188/.252/.313 with a strikeout rate of 40 percent, but his defense was so excellent, he was worth 1.0 WAR, according to Baseball Reference. In 88 big leagues games over the past two seasons, Phillips has hit .222/.291/.362 with six home runs and a 38 percent strikeout rate.

Hamilton signed a one-year, $4.25 million deal with the Royals last winter after being non-tendered by the Reds. Hamilton hit just .211/.275/.269 in 305 plate appearances, for a career-low OPS+ of 46 this year. The 28-year old stole just 18 bases in 23 attempts and was worth 0.5 WAR according to Baseball Reference. He was due a performance incentive of $100,000 had he reached 325 plate appearances, and for every 25 plate apperances after that. The Royals will still be responsible for the $1 million buyout on his mutual option for 2020.

Obviously what will make or break Phillips in the big leagues will be his ability to put the bat on the ball. He did cut his strikeout rate in the minors to 28 percent, but he’ll have to adjust to big league pitching and limit the whiffs. Phillips does bring the speed and defense the Royals covet, and is young enough to still have a lot of potential as part of a rebuild. How the Royals will juggle playing time remains to be seen with Alex Gordon, Bubba Starling, and Whit Merrifield all looking to get regular playing time in the outfield.

The move leaves the Royals with 36 players on the 40-man roster.