After acquiring Jorge Lopez and Brett Phillips from the Brewers in 2018, Phillips hasn't been able to find his footing in the majors. But remember, he's still only 26-years old. The Royals have a pretty crowded outfield with Alex Gordon, Bubba Starling, Whit Merrifield and ... Read more
In 2019, the Royals signed utility player Chris Owings to a one-year deal worth $3 million. Thankfully, the Royals didn’t give him anymore than that.
The Royals were hoping Owings would be able to play multiple positions when they signed him. As we expected the Royals used him in many different positions. During his time with the Royals, Owings struggled mightily. Despite his struggles offensively, the Royals continued to put him in the lineup. In 40 games, Owings batted .133; yeah, that wasn’t good, not to mention Owings had 145 plate appearances.
While all of this was going on in the majors, Kelvin Gutiérrez tore it up in Omaha. Gutiérrez batted .287 in his time with the Storm Chasers. I would also like to mention that while Owings only hit 2 home runs with the Royals last season, Gutiérrez hit 9 home runs with the Storm Chasers. After Owings continued to struggle, the Royals finally decided to designate him for assignment. To fill Owings spot at third base, the Royals used Hunter Dozier to fill the hot corner. Dozier playing third base last year wasn’t much of a surprise. After the 2019 season however, the Royals moved Hunter Dozier to the outfield. That move surprised me quite a bit. As we all know the Royals brought in Miakel Franco to play third. I wasn’t too happy about that. Multiple Royals websites and other baseball sites rank Kelvin Gutiérrez as the best third basemen in the Royals organization. Despite his struggles in the short spring training due to the coronavirus, I still think the Royals should definitely give him the most playing time at third base regardless of how he performs. You know just like they did with Chris Owings.
I would also like to point out that the Royals didn’t draft a third baseman in the draft this year, so no one is in Gutiérrez’s way to get that third baseman spot in the Royals minor league system. Jeffrey Flanagan told me a few days ago if Franco struggles with the Royals or gets hurt, Gutiérrez is the guy to take his spot at the hot corner. So why not give Gutiérrez more playing time at third base? The truth is that the Royals really had no reason to bring in Franco if Gutiérrez is ready for the big leagues.