With spring training sneaking up, the 2021 KC Royals announced the full roster they are bringing with them to Arizona. They will be carrying notable names who appeared in the 2020 season, such as Whit Merrifield, Hunter Dozier, and Jorge Soler. The club will also be carrying 12 of their top 30 prospects in Arizona where their camp takes place.
2021 KC Royals: What to Watch
There is a solid mix of veteran players, new faces, and rising prospects in the 2021 KC Royals spring training roster. However, some players are going to be fighting for a roster spot or looking to prove they belong on a Major League roster. I have seven players who are going to be watched closely by the Kansas City coaching staff over the next month.
Gutierrez has seen a small sample size of time in MLB during his time with the Kansas City Royals. In 2020, Gutierrez only got nine ABs during the season. The 2021 KC Royals are looking for bench bats to add to their roster this year, and he could be one of them.
This offseason, Kelvin Gutierrez worked on his game playing in the Dominican Winter League and found some success at the dish there. He was a key role in one of the playoff games for his team. If he can translate that into spring training this year, expect Gutierrez to make it on the opening day roster.
Lucius Fox was acquired by the Kansas City Royals for Brett Phillips in 2020. Fox is the 22nd prospect in the KC organization and has seen success in the minor leagues. Fox in 2017 and 2018 batted around .270 and stole a total of 59 bases during that span. Fox struggled in 2019, however, only having a batting average of .221. Fox has yet to make his MLB debut, but that could change in 2021 if Fox puts together a solid spring training. He, like Kelvin Gutierrez, could find himself as a bench bat.
Edward Olivares came from the San Diego Padres in 2020 and spent the last part of the season with the Royals. During the 2020 season, Olivares had 96 ABs, with a .240 batting average, along with three home runs, and 10 RBIs.
With Alex Gordon retiring at the end of 2020, Olivares has a shot to be apart of the 2021 KC Royals. He is going to be in a position battle with several others to make the cut.
Kyle Isbel impressed in spring training last year prior to the shut down of MLB due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite this, Isbel impressed the KC coaching staff by making some incredible plays in the outfield. If Isbel can keep making some big plays on the defensive side and continue to hit well, he could find himself in the Major Leagues sometime during the 2021 season.
Asa Lacy was the fourth overall pick in the 2020 MLB draft and has yet to throw a professional pitch on any level. Despite this, Lacy has already claimed the top spot on MLB.com’s rankings of the Kansas City Royals pitching prospects.
Lacy, the highly regarded lefty pitcher out of Texas A&M, joins Daniel Lynch and Jackson Kowar as other highly rated pitchers in the Royals’ organization. I do not expect Lacy to make his MLB debut in 2021, but never say never. Lacy is one of the top prospects in the KC organization and is a must-watch whenever he takes the mound this spring.
Bobby Witt Jr.
Bobby Witt Jr. was the second overall pick in 2019 and has burst onto the scene in Kansas City. Witt Jr. started turning heads in 2020 camp making some incredible plays in the infield and getting hits off some of Kansas City’s MLB experienced pitchers.
The Royals’ top prospect is still growing his game and has yet to play above Rookie-ball. Fans are excited to see what Bobby Witt Jr. could do in spring training for the 2021 KC Royals. With a little experience, expect Witt Jr. to stay in the minor leagues this year, but as I said earlier, never say never.
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