Royals: O’Hearn and McBroom in a Battle

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KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - SEPTEMBER 03: Ryan O'Hearn #66 of the Kansas City Royals is swarmed by teammates at home plate after hitting a walk-off home run during the bottom of the 9th inning to win the game against the Detroit Tigers at Kauffman Stadium on September 03, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

After the Royals acquired 1B Ryan McBroom from the Yankees late into last season for cash considerations or a player to be named and international slot money, he showed potential in his first major-league stint in September. McBroom quickly became good friends with other 1B Ryan O’Hearn. However, as we are about half way through Spring Training, O’Hearn and McBroom continue to battle for Royals First Base spot.

“I love Broomie,” O’Hearn said. “Broomie and I have become close. We hang out and do our workouts together every day. We’re in the same groups. We take ground balls together. I hang out with him outside of the field. He’s one of my good friends. That’s just what it is. “

The Case For Ryan O’Hearn

Ryan O'Hearn playing first base last season.

In 2018, Ryan O’Hearn had one of the most productive starts of any Royals player the previous year. He’d hit more home runs (12) and extra-base hits (24) than any Royal through 44 career games, while his 30 RBIs in that span ranked third in franchise history. However, O’Hearn is now coming off a dreadful 2019 campaign where he hit only .195 at the plate, with 14 Home Runs and 38 RBI’s in 105 games. This Spring, O’Hearn is hitting .343 with 5 Home-Runs and 9 RBI’s.

The Case For Ryan McBroom

Ryan McBroom swinging at a ball in Miami.

O’Hearn’s counterpart, Ryan McBroom played most of his 2019 season in the Yankees organization with AAA Scranton. In AAA, McBroom hit .315, with 26 Home Runs, and 66 RBI’s. With the Royals, McBroom played in 26 games, batting .293 with 6 RBI’s. This spring, McBroom is batting .314 with 4 Home-Runs, and 7 RBI’s.

“There’s always competition, and most of the times it’s with one of your good friends,” McBroom said. “I don’t necessarily think it’s a one-on-one competition. We both can make the team. I can play a little outfield, and we have 26 guys on the team.”

The Case for a Platoon

Manager Mike Matheny and the coaching staff have taken notice with both O’Hearn and McBroom offensively this spring. However, Matheny has thought about platooning both men.

“I’m not ruling that (soft platoon) out at all,” Matheny said. “I’ve explained it, certainly to O’Hearn, to ‘be prepared all the time, and that we’re not afraid having you face a lefty. But understand that if we can create a way to set you up better, we’re open to whatever we have to do.’”

Conclusion

In conclusion, as Opening Day quickly sneaks up on us, the Royals coaching staff has a tough decision on their hands. They have three obvious options on the table and will need to evaluate both guys in the next coming weeks. If both guys continue to swing the bat well, it seems likely they will have a soft platoon. With a few weeks left of Spring Training, O’Hearn and McBroom continue to battle for Royals First-Base spot.


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