Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Your Future in Right Field

Yestterday was quite the day for Royals right fielder of the future Jorge Bonifacio. Not only did he drive in the go ahead run in the 4th, but he also hit a two-run bomb in the 8th. Fox Sports' Jeffrey Flanagan wrote about Bonifacio's efforts here. Of course, the highlight of the article came from Royals assistant general manager J.J. Picollo:
"I'd say he's our most advanced and consistent upper-level hitter that we have right now. He puts a consistent swing on everything and doesn't chase a lot of bad pitches. He doesn't get beat very much by fastballs, either. Just a very mature 20."
I haven't been shy about my love of the Nori Aoki acquisition. I think the man is poised for a breakout 2014 campaign. Unfortunately, the Royals only control him for the 2014 season and it is a safe wager that his contract demands are going to jump following the season. If he performs as expected he'll be justified for a raise from the $1.95 million he is making this season, and if he excels then he will get an enormous boost in his paycheck for 2015 and beyond.

The Royals clearly view Aoki as a nice stop gap to bridge the road to Bonifacio in 2015 and beyond. Of course, that means that Bonifacio will need to be Major League ready within a season. With just 105 upper minor plate appearances under his belt, this seems like a tall order.

Bonifacio has age on his side, but I hope the Royals don't rush him to fill the 2015 hole in right field. With that being said, his bat is legitimate and the Royals might not need to push him. Just as I do with Aoki, I am expecting big things from Bonifacio in 2014. I'm looking forward to watching him shot lasers all over Arvest Ballpark for the first half of this summer, but I'm even more excited to watch him do that at Kauffman Stadium.

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