K.C. Royals’ Prospects Competing in Dominican Winter League

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Minor League Baseball as a whole will not be the same in 2021 and several prospects, including some Kansas City Royals’ prospects, are looking to make up for a lost season. The Dominican Winter League went into full swing early this week. This league consists of six teams that are spread out across the Dominican Republic. Usually, the season starts in October and ends in the middle of December. However, due to the impact of COVID-19, the league did not have plans to play. Ultimately, they did decide to play without fans and planned to start in the middle of November.

In this league, many players are MLB veterans looking to get some live game action during the MLB offseason. Despite this, most of the league consists of minor league prospects who are looking to showcase their talents. In the year 2020, the Minor League Baseball season was canceled, so this year is extremely important for many of these young prospects who have not seen playing time since spring training.

The Kansas City Royals currently have two players competing in the Dominican Winter League. Both of these Royals’ prospects have been through the minor league system.

One of these players has seen limited time in the big leagues. While the other had a standout 2018 season in the minors and is looking to bounce back from a disappointing 2019 campaign. Both Royals’ prospects play for Gigantes del Cibao in the Dominican Winter League in 2020 and have a chance to set themselves apart after a wild 2020.

Royals’ Infielder Kelvin Gutierrez

Kelvin Gutierrez has spent part of the last two seasons with the Kansas City Royals. He saw some playing time in 2019 with K.C., slightly due to injuries suffered by Hunter Dozier, opening up a slot at third base. During the 2019 season, Gutierrez played in 20 games, and had one home-run, alongside 11 RBIs.

However, in 2020, Gutierrez only appeared in four games regardless of the rosters expanding. In those four games, he went one for nine at the dish and did not drive in a single run.

Kelvin is looking to use the Dominican Winter League to improve at the plate and show that he can crack the Major League roster.

Royals’ OF Seuly Matias

Matias is from the Dominican Republic and has been with the Kansas City Royals organization since 2016. He did not make it to Single-A Lexington until 2018. However, Seuly Matias broke onto the MiLB scene then. During the 2018 season, he led all of MiLB with 31 homers, and along with his 31 moon-shots, Matias batted .231 and had also raked 63 RBIs.

During the 2018 Futures Game, Seuly Matias homered at Nationals Park during the game. This is where many Royals’ fans started to catch a glimpse of Matias on a national stage.

He also competed in the 2019 Dominican Winter League and batted .220 in just 11 games.

However, 2019 was a different story for the young-outfielder. Matias struggled throughout the season in High-A (Wilmington). He ended up only hitting four homers in 2019. He also batted a low .148 at the plate. The big kicker is that he struck out a total of 98 times in 221 plate appearances. If he wants to make it to the Kansas City Royals in the next few years, he must cut down on the strikeouts.

This year’s winter league for Matias is going to be a good time to work on his plate discipline and try and cut down the strikeouts. Matias has shown he can be a big-time power bat. However, cutting down the strikeouts and not chasing pitches would be an ideal start for the 22-year-old outfielder. Currently, Matias is the 14th top prospect in the Kansas City Royals’ organization heading into 2021.

Both of these Kansas City Royals prospects are looking to use this league to gage where they are as players and build off what was a cancelled 2020 MiLB season.

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