At the conclusion of their season, the Kansas City Royals lost franchise cornerstone and left fielder, Alex Gordon. After a 14-year career in Kansas City, Gordon has hung up his cleats and retired from the game of baseball.
The departure of Gordon leaves a hole in left field. The seven-time Gold Glove award winner is one of the greatest defensive left fielders in MLB history, and a key leader on. the team. Who fills the void in left field?
The Royals have a lot of depth in the outfield, with Whit Merrifield, Hunter Dozier, Edward Olivares, Franchy Cordero, and Nick Heath all on the active roster.
However, I should note that Dozier played mainly first base during the homestretch of the season and that could possibly affect the outfield.
Along with them, Ryan McBroom has also displayed his ability to play in the outfield. the Royals also have Erick Peña, Kyle Isbel, and Khalil Lee, who are three of their top 10 prospects, according to MLB.com.
For this piece, I had the opportunity to talk to Royals broadcaster, Joel Goldberg, who provided his insight into the left-field outlook for next season.
Q: What do you think the Royals are going to miss most about Gordon?
A: His leadership. Plain and simple. He led by example and had respect from every member in the clubhouse.
Q: With the depth in the outfield, do you think there will be a every day player in left field next year?
A: Still very much unknown. Lot of candidates and moving pieces due to the players they have who are versatile.
I don’t think they have to have an every day left fielder any more than they need an every day center fielder or right fielder or first basemen. But the more certainty they have at any given position, the better.
Q: Hunter Dozier played mostly first base at the end of the season, could he be moved to the position permanently? If so, how would that shake up the outfield look for next season?
A: Dozier could play first every day. He also could play right every day. Let’s look at it differently. Ryan O’Hearn and Ryan McBroom still could prove they deserve to play every day. That hasn’t happened but if they went and acquired a bonafide first baseman, then Dozier moves back to right. Could always go back to third too.
Q: Who do you think will mainly play in left field for the Royals next season?
A: Impossible to tell. Franchy Cordero, Edward Olivares are possibilities. Need to wait to see if any hitters are added in the offseason at any position because if one is, there’s a domino effect.
With free agency looming, the Royals have some questions to answer going into the 2021 season.