This spring has been really harsh for the Royals. There has been an lack of offense and terrible bullpen pitching. We all knew it would be a rough year and the projections for the Royals were not very good. You may be able to blame the weather for some of it as they have had several games postponed thus making it hard to get into any sort of a rhythm.
Through this rough start there have been some bright spots. Moose calls once again can be heard at The K on a nightly basis, as Moose has been outstanding. He is currently leading the Royals in runs, hits, home runs, RBI, batting average, slugging and more.
This hot start has been fantastic for Moose and for the Royals. Moustakas signed with the Royals this offseason on a team friendly, one year contract. If he keeps this pace up, he could be very valuable at the trade deadline to any team making a charge to the postseason. Should this happen the Royals have a third baseman ready and waiting in Omaha.
Hunter Dozier had a stellar 2016 that earned him a call up to the Royals and named him the Royals 2016 Minor League player of the year. Things were looking up for Dozier in 2017, but he suffered several injuries that limited him to only 24 AAA games and 33 Minor League games altogether. Finally back and healthy he is trying to forget 2017 and make up for lost time.
During 2018 Spring Training, Dozier, the Royals #4 prospect per Royals Farm Report, was in the hunt for an Opening Day roster spot. The Royals did not have a first baseman and Ned Yost designated Hunter Dozier as the possible heir to Eric Hosmer. Dozier played quite a few games at first base but when the Royals signed Lucas Duda his prospects of making the team out of Spring Training were greatly diminished. Going into the Minor League regular season, Royals manager Ned Yost said that Dozier would be playing primarily first base. With the Royals trading Cody Asche to the Yankees things changed and Dozier reclaimed his hot corner position at third base. That leaves Ryan O’Hearn and Frank Schwindel splitting time at first base for the Storm Chasers so far this season.
This scenario sets up Hunter Dozier as possibly being the Royals everyday third baseman after the trade deadline if they trade off Moustakas. I know that the Royals have Cheslor Cuthbert who has proven himself capable of handling third base at the Major League level, however he has played more first base this season (6 games) than third base (1 game) as of April 14. I believe that, for this season at least, unless Ryan O’Hearn or Frank Schwindel force themselves onto the 40-man roster and into the Kansas City line-up, you’re going to see Cuthbert as your first baseman if Duda also becomes a trade piece.
The Storm Chasers have been struggling just as much as the Royals have been early on. They have also faced bad weather, postponed games, suspended games and bad luck while getting off to a 2-9 start. Much like Moustakas, Hunter Dozier has gotten off to a great start. He leads the Storm Chasers in runs, hits, walks, on base percentage and trails only Jack Lopez in batting average (min 25 ABs). Dozier has even already had a 6-game hit streak to make things better. He is doing a good job putting his disastrous 2017 season behind him and is making the most of this season. Look for Dozier to be your Royals everyday third baseman no later than the July trade Deadline and quite possibly in Kansas City well before that.