Let’s take a look at who will be donning the tools of ignorance for the boys in blue this year, once again using the official 40-man roster as our guide, which can be found here.
Note: All posts will follow this general format:
Player Name (linking to the player page on Baseball-Reference.com)
2013 “Slash” line (Batting Average/On-Base Percentage/Slugging Average)
2013 OPS+ or ERA+ and career OPS+ or ERA+ (A full explanation of these stats can be found here and here.)
General gibberish from yours truly about what I find to be interesting about a guy and what might be expected from the player in 2014.
134 / 71
The only thing keeping Hayes from having the “journeyman” tag slapped on his resume is that he played all of his career in the Miami system before being claimed off of waivers by the Royals last off-season.
While he only played in five games for Kansas City, he made the most of it, hitting three doubles and socking a homer in the 7th inning to put the last game of the season out of reach against the White Sox.
A somewhat interesting biographical note is that Brett’s father, Tim Hayes, was drafted by the Royals in 1975, but never played in the pros.
Hayes has already avoided arbitration by signing a one-year deal, so he likely has the inside track to be the primary back up in 2014.
The son of former Royals manager, Tony Pena, Francisco was signed as a minor league free agent in the offseason. In addition to sharing variants in their names of Anthony and Francisco with his older brother, Tony Jr., Pena is known as a defensive whiz with little to offer on the offensive side of the ball.
While the elder brother is still collecting checks as a converted pitcher in the minors, the younger will probably stick as the catcher for Omaha this year.
104 / 96
Recently signed to provide more competition to Brett Hayes and Francisco Pena, Hernandez made the All Star team in 2003, where he saw five pitches before grouding out the third baseman in the seventh inning.
At 38 years old, Hernandez is past his prime, but could bring oodles of veteran leadership to the bullpen side-toss sessions.
105 / 112
Statistically, 2013 was Perez’s worst year as a major leaguer, but it was also his first true full season, after suffering a knee injury in 2012. A look at his daily graphs shows that he came on after a slow start, and then suffered a summer swoon before killing it the last two months of the year—318/346/526 after August 1.
Already regarded as one of the premier defensive catchers in the league, Salvy’s biggest obstacle may be his preference for an older-style mask and helmet, which has already led to him spending time on the disabled list for a concussion.
A pure pull hitter, Perez isn’t likely to improve his hitting approach much in the coming season, but he does have a good chance to put a few dents on the Royals Hall of Fame facade. Here’s a pretty spray chart courtesy of Baseball Savant.