Outfielder Wil Myers, the Kansas City Royals' top prospect, was named Baseball America and USA Today 2012 Minor League Player of the Year after hitting .313/.387/.600 with 37 home runs, 98 runs scored and 109 runs batted in between Double-A Northwest Arkansas and Triple-A Omaha.
With such a player stashed away in their system, one has to wonder how a team like the Royals wasn’t able to find a spot for Myers in Kansas City this season.
After comparing statistics with the player supposedly blocking him from the big leagues (right fielder Jeff Francoeur) and hearing excuse after excuse on why keeping Myers in the minors will benefit both him and the organization long-term, the befuddlement becomes even more knotted.
The Royals did the same thing with third baseman Mike Moustakas in the midst of his monster 2010 season.
But by being two more years entrenched as one of Major League Baseball’s whipping boys, Kansas City must start doing things outside of the box so that teams like the Pittsburgh Pirates, Washington Nationals and Baltimore Orioles do not become permanent fixtures ahead of them in the ranks.
The fact that Myers wasn’t already on the 40-man roster isn’t a huge deal. The suggestion that the Royals need to protect players like David Lough, Jason Bourgeois and Derrick Robinson is, however, and should raise a red flag about the direction this organization is headed.
Having the All-Star Game festivities in Kansas City this season saved the Royals of further neglect from a continually downtrodden fanbase.
The honeymoon is now over, and the only thing that could have prolonged that interest from fans this season would have been to call up Myers, because another September flirtation with winning baseball won’t be enough this time.
The Royals failed to do what was right by the fans and the entire city, and now find themselves on the tail end of another losing season with no hope in sight.
Sometimes finances, overstuffed egos and misguided loyalty get in the way of making good baseball decisions. This seems to happen a lot in Kansas City and this time it might just be too late to recover.