Jaylon Thompson tries to project the Royals’ starting lineup.
The Royals have some decisions to make. Competition is expected at a few spots during spring training. Will they add another versatile left-handed bench bat? How will they fill their final bench spots? These questions will be answered before the season begins....
Also worth noting: Royals manager Matt Quatraro likes to shift his lineup. There will be days when Perez is the designated hitter and Fermin plays catcher. Hampson could also draw starts to spell Isbel, Massey, Garcia or Witt.
I do think there’s more power in the tank, both as he grows and as he evolves as a big leaguer. But even if he is someone who will get you 25-30 doubles, five or six triples and eight to 10 homers in a season, he can still be successful. What made him so intriguing in the minors was his ability to command the strike zone. In 2022, he walked 41 times and struck out 60 in Northwest Arkansas in 369 plate appearances. If you don’t want to do the math yourself, that’s an 11.1 percent walk rate and 16.3 percent strikeout rate. But he went to Omaha and the walk rate fell to 9.1 percent while the strikeout rate jumped to 22.6 percent. Without a ton of power, that doesn’t work great. He did hit seven homers and 10 doubles in 186 plate appearances, so it did work but that seems to be a bit of an anomaly for him.
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