Royals . central midfielder Kyle Isbel left yesterday’s match against Orioles with a left hamstring strain, as noted by Anne Rogers of MLB.com. Isbel’s stress level is unknown at this time, but it looks like he will be out for at least a while due to injury.
Isbel, was the Royal third-round pick in the 2018 draft. He made his debut in 2021 with a cup of strong coffee in 28 games, knocking down 0.276/.337/.434 in 83 outings. yard, good for wRC+ is 108. Coupled with his excellent central defense, that slash leaves him poised to potentially become an above-average regular for Kansas City Future. Unfortunately, Isbel has yet to deliver on that promise, as his racquet has gotten worse since the start of the 2022 season. Over the past two seasons, Isbel has only dropped 0.210/.260/. 343 out of 374 number plate occurrences, good for wRC+ is only 65.
Isbel’s hamstring injury could put any effort to get things back on track for the 26-year-old midfielder. However, despite his meager offensive performance, the injury would still be a significant blow to the Royals should Isbel miss out on time. His glove in central area is still among the best available, and the club are lacking in central depth. midfielder sprintwho opened the 2023 campaign on the oblique strain injury list, appears to be coming back, but has recently been regressed and has yet to begin his rehab mission, every Rogers. That likely leaves Jackie Bradley Jr. to start in center in case Isbel misses time, although Bradley is even worse in terms of fouls this year, posting 70% worse than the league average according to wRC+ measure in 51 appearances.
Waters, 24, was a top prospect in the Braves organization for years after they selected him in the second round of the 2017 draft, but transaction to Kansas City in the middle of the 2022 season after the breakthrough of the Braves Michael Harris II, leaving Waters largely blocked in Atlanta. Waters last entered 32 games for the Royals last year and has impressed in that time, with a .240/.324/.479 slash matching 125 wRC+. Whenever Waters is ready to return, he is likely to become a fixture in the club’s off-field squad, which currently includes Edward Olivares And bulldozer hunter besides Isbel and Bradley.
Also part of the outfield mix is MJ Melendez, the club’s second pick in the 2017 draft and a former top prospect. At just 24 years old, Melendez is primarily a commercial catcher, but has been stopped at major league level by the presence of a franchise catcher Salvador Perez. They split their time post-performance into 2022, with Melendez also getting some playing time and both players often sliding into the DH position to ensure both get enough game time. That system worked pretty well last year, when Melendez ended up playing 129 games for the Royal team, down 0.217/.313/.393 for the league average wRC+ of 99.
However, Melendez has only caught 68 innings of 2/3 so far this season, and coach Matt Quatraro has shown that Melendez will work exclusively off the pitch for the time being following the club’s decision to call up Freddy Fermin to act as a backup catcher. According to Quatraro, the decision was made to help Melendez focus on his offense, which has worsened so far in the 2023 campaign. In 118 appearances this season, Melendez has only made it worse. lost 0.20/.280/.371 with a much lower wRC+ of 76 and a worrying hit rate of 33.9%. Melendez’s immediate title win will provide a huge boost to the Royals going forward, as the club ranks last in the five pro leagues in terms of runs scored so far this season. .