The Kansas City Royals are in rebuilding mode once again. Their previous window of contention netted them two World Series appearances and a championship, but the organization is now undergoing a painful reset.
The Royals are projected to be near the bottom of the American League this season, and they're tied for the worst World Series odds in the majors. There will be opportunities for young players to play in the bigs: last year, the Royals promoted fringe prospects like Nicky Lopez and Meibrys Viloria well before September. The Royals' most important prospects are two or three years away, but here are three names you should watch out for in 2020.
1. Brady Singer, RHP
The Royals were high on Brady Singer, a standout college pitcher at Florida, taking him with the No. 18 overall pick in the 2018 draft. Singer has been very good in the minors thus far, earning promotion from High-A with a 1.87 ERA over 57.2 innings. He had a 3.47 ERA over 90.2 innings in Double-A, and it's only a matter of time before he cracks the major league roster. The Royals won't want to rush Singer, but with Jesse Hahn and Mike Montgomery penciled into the back of the rotation, they will certainly need starting pitching help. With Danny Duffy likely to be traded at some point in 2020, Singer could make his way into the rotation by mid-July.
2. Nick Heath, OF
With Adalberto Mondesi and Whit Merrifield, the Royals have been one of the most aggressive teams on the basepaths in recent years. This provides ample opportunity for Nick Heath to make an impact. Heath is a 26-year-old outfielder who stole 60 bases across the minors last season. He has no power, but he has had a solid double-digit walk rate throughout his minor league career. His defensive abilities should also earn him more at-bats. When Heath gets to the majors, he will have a green light to steal as many bases as he possibly can. He'll start the year in Triple-A, but the Royals will probably bring him up at some point just to see what they have. The Royals have a glut of outfielders, but Brett Phillips and Bubba Starling probably won't be too much competition for Heath.
3. Khalil Lee, OF
Khalil Lee is a highly speculative choice, but the 21-year-old outfielder has been turning heads in the minors. Lee had a .363 on-base percentage and 53 steals in 129 games at the Double-A level last year. He could find himself in Triple-A before long. If he can hit at that level, the Royals could quickly bring him to the majors like they did with Mondesi and Lopez. Like Heath, Lee's defensive ability and speed should keep him relevant for the Royals' roster. If the Royals go all-in on tanking and trade center fielder Whit Merrifield, the situation could be even better for Lee.
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Tristan Jung is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Tristan Jung also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username tristan1117. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.