It’s been a couple of years since I’ve written this. Last year we were robbed of Opening Day and I didn’t wind up posting any predictions for the 60-game season.
This year, the Royals have rejuvenated their roster a bit and optimism surrounding the team seems to be at a 4-year high. Not since 2017 have we seen Royals fans this excited for baseball season.
As I’m writing this, the Royals still have not made their 26-man roster official just yet, but they have already announced that Adalberto Mondesi will start the season on the IL, which puts a damper on the season in the early going. Luckily they won’t exactly be playing a juggernaut out of the gate, as they’ll get Kyle Gibson and the Texas Rangers for Opening Day.
If you listened to either our podcast or caught me on 810 with Jason Anderson yesterday, I’ve already made a few predictions for the Royals season so I’ll list them here:
1) Adalberto Mondesi will be the first player since 2017 to steal 60 bases. That’s off to a roaring start.
2) The Royals will win between 76 games and finish 3rd in the AL Central.
3) We are definitely, 100% going to see the Major League debuts of both Daniel Lynch and Jackson Kowar sometime this year as long as they’re both healthy.
As we approach first pitch at 3:10, I wanted to give you a few more predictions for both the MLB and MiLB seasons. Without further ado, here they are:
4) Kyle Isbel sticks in the big leagues all year. He’ll be somewhere within 10% of league average offensively (90-110 wRC+) and be worth right around 2.0 fWAR at the end of the season.
5) Bobby Witt Jr. WILL make his big league debut. I said this spring there was no way he debuted this year, but I think at the very least he’ll earn a September call up by the end of the season.
6) We WILL have a MiLB season starting in May.
7) Michael A. Taylor has a renaissance of sorts. The Royals everyday CF will play in 120+ games, get his wRC+ over 85, and play great defense in CF that leads to him being worth 1.5 fWAR or so.
8) Alec Marsh and Asa Lacy will separate themselves as the clear two best pitching prospects left in the minors by the end of the year. Singer, Bubic, Lynch, Hernandez, and Kowar will all be in KC, meaning Lacy and Marsh will be the cream of the crop.
9) Seuly Matias gets off to a slow start, but puts himself back on the prospect map by hitting 25 HR and 20 doubles between AA and AAA. Giving himself a chance at a big league debut in 2022.
10) Hunter Dozier will return to 2019 form, post a 120 wRC+, he serviceable defensively at the hot corner, and make his new contract look extremely team friendly heading into 2022.
Happy Opening Day, Royals fans!