The Royals announced their 30-man roster yesterday. Let’s take a look at all the guys who have less than one year of service time.
The Royals have three 0.000 guys on this roster. The first number refers to the year of service and the second three numbers are how many days they have. So guys that are 0.000 have not been on an MLB roster for a single day.
Noticeably absent was Brady Singer who the team announced will start the Saturday game. By leaving him off the roster, the Royals save a day or two of service time. I’m not sure if their season starts Thursday even though they don’t play until Friday or if it starts officially on Friday for the Royals. Anyway, the season is 66 days so a player has to be on the active roster 61 days to get a full year of service time.
The roster will be cut to 28 in two weeks and then again to 26. The final cut will be August 20 on the 29th day of the regular season. The trading deadline is on August 31.
Some of these guys we know well. Some we don’t. Let’s take a look at the service time for our 2020 Royals.
0.000 Tyler Zuber and Foster Griffin (Brady Singer on Saturday)
I wrote about both Zuber and Griffin after watching them play at NWA over the last few years. I wrote about Zuber here and also here when I predicted he would be the next top relief prospect in the Royals system. I didn’t ever get to write about Singer in AA simply because of my schedule last summer. I wrote about Griffin here.
Griffin’s stuff seems to have ticked up since I saw him two years ago in AA when he was topping out right at 90. At that point, I was really worried he wouldn’t be able to get guys out just because hitters could adjust easier to the slower velo and foul balls off until they got something to drive. Then last year Griffin goes out and wins the ERA title in AAA while everyone gets shelled. Griffin seems to have learned a lot and it’s good to see him get the chance as a former 2014 first round pick. To those that say the Royals didn’t draft well in 2014, well there is the sixth guy in the big leagues from that draft to go along with Finnegan, Skoglund, O’Hearn, Stout, and Hill. Five of those guys are LHPs, by the way. Oh, and O’Hearn is left-handed too, not that it means anything.
The Royals brass called Zuber a competitor and a guy you want on the mound in tough situations during his tenure in the minors. Now, he gets a chance to show he belongs in the big leagues. Zuber has good stuff and is up to 95 on his fastball. He throws strikes, doesn’t walk guys, and strikes people out.
We all know about Singer’s fastball and slider combination. It will be the change up that determines Singer’s success in the majors. He can get people out and seems to be more mature than his experience. I’m excited to watch Saturday and see how he does.
0.027 Gabe Speier, Erick Mejia, and Ryan McBroom
These guys have 27 days on the MLB roster. Mejia hit his way onto this roster tearing the cover off the ball in the Royals spring/summer training/camp thing. He plays three spots on the infield and can play all three outfield spots as well. Basically, the Royals love his versatility and want to reward his hot start to the pre-season. Mejia gives Matheny a lot of options defensively and a pinch-runner as well.
McBroom made his debut last summer with the Royals and has a chance to earn some time at first base depending on how some other guys perform. He is a power bat and will have to hit to have value for this team.
I wrote a Prospect Watch on Speier last spring during spring training. I saw him pitch at least five different times in 2018 at NWA. We all predicted him to be a big leaguer, we just didn’t know when it would happen for him. Well, last September he got called up. Speier will work 93 to 94 with a good moving change and a solid curve.
0.028 Ronald Bolanos
Bolanos is a guy the Royals just acquired in the Tim Hill trade. I wrote a Film Study on him here. Bolanos is intriguing and should get a chance to start once the minor league seasons start back up. For the Royals, I think they’ll use him out of the pen but who knows if several guys end up injured or with COVID.
Bolanos can work into the high 90’s and hold his velocity deep into games. He struggles to throw his off speed pitches for strikes consistently but once he improves that, he will be a force to be reckoned with.
0.049 Kelvin Gutierrez
Gutierrez is on the injured list currently. He is a third baseman who has some power potential and is a really good defender. The Royals hope he can put his hitting together with everything else to be a very solid MLB regular one day.
0.064 Kyle Zimmer
0.072 Josh Staumont
0.075 Richard Lovelady
These three guys are all guys we know about already. They are all hoping for a chance to get innings and are all immensely talented. Zimmer is still the best pitcher I have ever seen live in Double-A before he got injured (a few times). I hope Zimmer can stay healthy and reach his potential. Staumont seems to have added a few mph to his fastball (!!!) this off season and can really bring it. He needs to throw everything for strikes and he could do some big things for this team. Lovelady has had some of the best relief seasons in the minors over the last few seasons for the Royals and throws well from the left side. If he can stay consistent this year, the sky is the limit.
0.106 Meibrys Viloria
Viloria has been on the roster for a while and finally got the chance last year. He spent a lot of the season in the majors due to Salvy’s injury but is a solid catcher. He will be the third catcher at this point offering protection if Salvy needs a few days off.
0.139 Nicky Lopez
Lopez is expected to start at second for this team. He has added some muscle to his frame this off season and is expected to use his contact skills to add some more power to his game. Lopez is a strong defender and should be a solid part of the Royals lineup all 60 games.
0.147 Bubba Starling
Starling is finally starting to completely put everything together. He is no longer a pull only hitter who can just run and play defense. He can hurt you when you make a mistake to him and can hit the ball wherever you pitch it. Starling may still struggle with some strikeouts but he provides really good value to this team as a defender and a strong runner. He should get some starts this summer when one of the outfielders needs some time off. I expect him to get some starts early while Dozier is on the COVID list.
Image from the Royals Blog and no photographer was given credit.