Last year, the Kansas City Royals traded Trevor Rosethal to the San Diego Padres, landing outfielder Edward Olivares in the deal. Olivares had debuted for the Padres that year in his age-24 season, and he held his own in Kansas City, hitting .274/.292/.419 for an 87 wRC+. Not bad for a guy who hadn’t yet seen Triple-A.
This year, Olivares did not break camp with the Royals. Instead, he did see Triple-A, where he absolutely dominated. Olivares has hit .395/.473/.654 with five home runs for the Omaha Storm Chasers for a cool 200 wRC+. He makes his debut today to fill in for an injured Jorge Soler.
Is Olivares likely to be a breakout star? Put it this way: he’s probably more Kelvin Gutierrez or Cheslor Cuthbert than Mike Moustakas. But unlike the rest of the Royals lineup, Olivares has some actual upside. It’s not out of the question that adjustments made in the upper minors could unlock a legit big league player. And in seasons like this, where the Royals aren’t going to make the playoffs without breakout performances, having guys who can, you know, break out is important.
Pitching for the Royals today is Brad Keller, who has a 3.48 ERA in his last six outings. Can he contain a Minnesota Twins lineup that is home run happy? Well, put it this way: he probably has much better of a shot than poor Ervin Santana and Carlos Hernandez did yesterday, neither of whom are big league players at this point in their careers.