Happy Opening Day, Royals fans! It is officially the beginning of the Bobby Witt Jr. era in Kansas City as the Royals young phenom figures to slot in as the Opening Day third baseman when the Royals take on the newly named Cleveland Guardians later today. Zack Greinke is back for his second tour of duty in a Royals uniform and expectations for the big league club are higher than they have been in the last five seasons. Enjoy today, it ought to be a great season for our Boys in Blue.
Really quick, here is a thread of my predictions for the 2022 MLB season before play begins today:
- Nate Webb will debut in the big leagues before September 1st
- Dylan Coleman will be the Royals closer by June 1st
- Maikel Garcia will steal at least 40 bases and hit at least 5 HR this year
- Angel Zerpa will start more games in the big leagues than both Jon Heasley and Jackson Kowar
- Nick Loftin will be on 4 of the major 7 top 100 lists by the end of the season
- Michael Massey will hit 25 HR between AA and AAA
- Asa Lacy blows the doors off of AA hitters and is knocking on the door of the big leagues by August
- Jonathan Bowlan returns from Tommy John and cements himself as a top prospect in the system
- Maikel Garcia is a bona fide top-10 prospect in the system by year’s end and is knocking on the door of top-100 lists
- Carter Jensen will hit 20+ HR in Low-A (assuming he plays every day, I’m a little skeptical because I think it’s possible he’s in a platoon role of sorts, but the power is legit and that’s more the point)
According to Anne Rogers, Merrifield’s 2022 salary increases from $2.75 million to $7 million. His 2023 salary will be $2.75 million with $4 million in salary escalators when it was originally going to be a $6.5 club option. His mutual option in 2024 will be $18 million with a $500,000 buyout.
Royals position player WAR leader: Bobby Witt Jr. 36.2%, Salvador Perez 21.6%, Adalberto Mondesi 18.1%, Whit Merrifield 11.8%, Nicky Lopez 4.9%, Andrew Benintendi 4.5%
AAA Omaha Storm Chasers (1-0)
The Storm Chasers were postponed last night due to weather in Indianapolis. Omaha will now play a double header tonight in Indy beginning at 5:05 pm CT. Austin Cox will start one of the games on the mound for Omaha. The rest of the lineup should be out later today.