Scott Sharp, Director of Player of Development for the Royals, was a guest on the Omaha Storm Chasers pre-game show last week. He addressed a couple of topics that Royals fans will be interested in.
Sharp was asked about the differences that position players like Matt Fields and Brett Eibner are seeing as they make the transition from Double-A to Triple-A. After hitting .310/.379/.440 for Omaha in April, Fields experienced his first slump in May, hitting just .226/.284/.500 so far. Eibner is struggling for Omaha, hitting .223/.322/.351.
"In A-ball, you may have a week or a month to adjust before your opponent adjusts to you," Sharp said. "In Double-A, it may be an at-bat or a game. And in Triple-A and the big leagues, the adjustment is pitch by pitch. And I think to really become successful you're going to start to narrow down how quick you can make adjustments."
Pitchers Aaron Brooks, Michael Mariot and Justin Marks made their big league debuts earlier this season. Sharp was asked about the importance of gaining that experience.
"I think it's really important," Sharp said. "Obviously to pitch there, you've got to get there first. And I think it's good to get it out of the way. You know, the way that we're set up in Kansas City - obviously we're trying to make a playoff run this year and we're going to use a lot of pitching. And if guys are going up and down, at least they have that experience, that exposure.
"I heard Michael say that each time you go out it's less nerve-wracking, you become comfortable and you understand what is expected of you. So I think it's great that they get that exposure early."
Later in the interview, he spoke more about the Royals making a playoff run this season.
"I think obviously the expectation is much greater after the way the team played in the second half [last season], and really just the expectations in general coming into the year," he said. "I, personally, kind of like where we are. We haven't hit on all cylinders yet, but we've been competitive and I continue to see us growing as a young team throughout the course of the year.
"There's no question that the fan base would probably want us to be undefeated at this point, you know, and rightly so, but I think we're in a good spot. And I think there is a really good vibe and a really good atmosphere."