The Royals are coming off a terrible 104-loss season where they were the second worst team in baseball behind the awful Baltimore Orioles who lost 115 games last season. The only good thing to come out of it was getting the 2nd overall pick in the 2019 MLB Draft. Now the Royals losing that many games occurred for a variety of reasons.
The first of these reasons being that a large portion of the starting roster at the time was a lot of underperforming players or washed up veterans that were far beyond their prime. Seven of the ten starting players (counting DH) were over the age of thirty. In addition, are a large portion of the starting rotation and bullpen pitchers were over the age of thirty. In all that rough there were a few diamonds though.
Starting off is rookie pitcher Brad Keller who was acquired in the Rule 5 draft. Keller ended shocking the Royals and the rest of the American League as an above average starting pitcher who was put on the starting roster halfway through the 2018 season. In his twenty games he started he put up a 9-6 record and two complete games.
He also put up a 3.08 ERA, which was 1.10 below the league average among all MLB pitchers. He was also considered for AL Rookie of the Year. Another young player that turned out to be great was twenty-three-year-old Adalberto Mondesi. Mondesi had played here and there during the 2016 and 2017 seasons but hadn't had a batting average over 185.
He wasn't even on the 25-man roster at the beginning of the year but with the Royals trading a few guys and the previous Royals shortstop, Alcides Escobar, not performing well they brought Mondesi up and gave him a starting spot in August.
And that is when Mondesi started to shine for in the short amount of time that was left in the season he put a batting average of .276 and managed to steal thirty-two bases and clobber 14 home runs.