One of the things I want to do on this blog is to provide more regular, if not daily content. With grad school all over, and being in education, which clears up Summers, I want to be able to post something daily that Royals fans can look to as a resource.
Thus, I am going to create a Royals “3 Stars” award system after each and every Royals game (or as many Royals games as possible). For those who aren’t aware, I am going to be using the “3-Star” system from hockey, where players of the game are awarded by “star”, with the three-star player being the best player from that particular contest.
Much like hockey, I will keep track of all the points accumulated by Royals players who earn “stars” for each week. Based on these point totals, I will do periodic awards (Spring Training player of the year; Player of the Month; First-Half MVP, etc.) based on the points accumulated.
Here is how the points will work for each star
- One Star: 30 points
- Two Stars: 20 points
- Three Stars: 10 points
These are going to be Royals-centric, meaning that I am not going to award any stars to other players from other clubs in games. Whether it’s a 10-0 Royals win or 10-0 Royals loss, the three stars for each game will be awarded to only Royals hitters or pitchers.
The first Spring Training game is in the books, which ended up being a 5-5 tie with the Texas Rangers, who also share the Surprise, Arizona complex with the Royals.
Let’s take a look at the three stars from Cactus League Opening Day for Kansas City.
Three Stars: Adalberto Mondesi
Mondesi started at shortstop and hit in the seven-hole for the Royals, which were both interesting signs. The oft-injured, but still talented, infielder did go 1-for-2 in his Cactus League debut, which included a bomb from the right side of the plate against the Rangers’ Cody Bradford.
Mondesi’s blast was the first home run of the Spring for the Royals squad.
Mondesi also stayed healthy and didn’t strike out, which are both positive steps in the right direction as he prepares for 2022.
Two Stars: Bobby Witt, Jr.
Just today, MLB Pipeline rated Witt as the top prospect in baseball going into 2022. Mike Matheny ended up penciling in Witt not only as the Royals’ starting third baseman today, but also had him hit in the eight-hole, in between Mondesi and Michael A. Taylor, respectively.
Witt had a stellar debut, as he utilized his plus speed on an infield single, and then stretched out a double that would have been a single for most players.
If the first lineup of the Cactus League season is any indication, Witt may be in the driver’s seat when it comes to being the Opening Day third baseman in Kansas City. If Witt continues to hit like today, it will be interesting to see if he will move up the Royals lineup over the next few weeks.
One Star: Nick Pratto
While Pratto didn’t start the game, he came in and had the most impressive game at the plate. Pratto went 2-for-2 with a walk, and in addition to hitting a single, he also blasted a two-run home run in the seventh off of top Rangers pitching prospect Jack Leiter.
I still believe that it’s a longshot that Pratto will be the Opening Day first baseman. Carlos Santana is still on the roster, and unless Santana is traded, it would make sense for Pratto to get everyday at-bats in Omaha.
However, if he continues to make noise this Spring, it may push Dayton Moore and JJ Picollo to push for a trade of Santana sooner rather than later.
Photo Credit: Rob Leiter/Getty Images