It’s been an entirely disappointing year in Kansas City thus far, but there’s still talent in the system worth getting excited about. For instance, Wil Myers, who just homered in a second straight game for Double-A Northwest Arkansas on Sunday and is up to nine homers for the year.
Myers is hitting .336/.390/.692 overall. The big negative is that the line comes with 34 strikeouts in 107 at-bats. He’s repeating Double-A, but he’s doing so at the tender age of 21. He already has one more homer this year than he did in 354 at-bats last season.
Myers began his pro career as a catcher, but the Royals moved him to the outfield prior to the 2011 season. He’s playing center field and right field in equal amounts for now, but he projects as a right fielder in the majors. If he keeps this up, he’s going to make Jeff Francoeur expendable next year. However, in order for him to maintain the production, he likely will need to cut down on the K’s a bit.
The Royals are in agreement with right-handed reliever Drew Storen on a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Per Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the deal is worth $1.25 million if the veteran righty breaks camp with the club this spring. Additional, albeit unspecified incentives will be included in the contract as well.
Storen, 31, is coming off of a protracted absence from any MLB duties. After inking a one-year deal with the Reds in 2017, he sustained a right elbow sprain toward the end of the year and underwent Tommy John surgery that October. He was effectively decommissioned for the club’s entire 2018 run and generated little interest around the league this winter, perhaps due in part to the uninspired 4.45 ERA, 3.8 BB/9, 7.9 SO/9, and career-low -0.2 fWAR he posted across 54 2/3 innings during his last healthy season.
While it’s not immediately clear what kind of performance the Royals can expect from Storen in spring training, they’re not exactly in a position to be choosy. Their bullpen ranked dead last among all MLB teams with a collective 5.04 ERA, 4.85 FIP, and -2.2 fWAR last year, and still appears to be in a state of flux as they approach Opening Day. Skipper Ned Yost told reporters Wednesday that he intends to eschew the traditional closer appointment in 2019 and will instead utilize a combination of right-handers Wily Peralta and Brad Boxberger, lefty Tim Hill, and various others as he tackles high-leverage situations in the future.