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What to expect from Kansas City Royals rookie Reymond Fuentes

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With Jarrod Dyson on the disabled list, the Kansas City Royals have turned to rookie outfielder Reymond Fuentes to fill an outfield roster spot to open the season. He started Opening Day and went 0-for-3. Here's a quick view.

Fuentes was originally drafted by the Red Sox in the first round in 2009 from high school in Puerto Rico. He was traded to the Padres in 2010, then traded to the Royals in 2014. Here's a quick view.

From the 2016 Baseball Prospect Book:

Reymond Fuentes, OF, Kansas City Royals
Bats: L Throws: L HT: 6-0 WT: 165 DOB: February 12, 1991

2010: Grade B-; 2011: Grade B-; 2012: Grade B-; 2013: Grade C; 2014: Grade C+
2015: Grade C+

He’s fast, will flash some inconsistent power, doesn’t draw many walks, doesn’t strike out very much, and has an excellent glove. The perfect Royals player, in other words, who could slot on the big league roster as a fourth outfielder once an opportunity arises. Expect him to hit .260-.270 over the long haul with enough speed and defensive ability to hold a roster slot, but not quite enough OBP or SLG to satisfy most teams as a regular. Grade C+.


Fuentes had an excellent spring, hitting .386/.453/.682 with three steals, five walks, and eight strikeouts in 57 at-bats, leading all Royals hitters (who received substantial playing time) in OPS. He was the obvious choice to replace the injured Dyson but I don't think think the hot spring alters his general outlook very much.

Sabermetric projection systems give similar results to my comment outlook. Steamer has him at .269/.321/.375, ZiPS at .258/.315/.358, Baseball Prospectus at .271/.323/.383. I would lean more towards the BP PECOTA numbers. All project him as capable of 20-25 steals if he got regular playing time and I agree with that too.

Note that a guy who is a natural .270sh hitter can have seasons where the hits fall and his BABIP is high and he hits .290 or .300. I can see that happening with Fuentes, especially when he gets into his late 20s. He'll also have seasons where the hits don't fall and he hits an empty .250.

Without more power or patience, his bat will likely come up a bit short for him to be a long-term regular, but Fuentes should/could have a long career as a valuable fourth outfielder/platoon partner/defensive sub.