Opening day for the Kansas City Royals has been postponed to May. Photo Kansas City Royals
Royals 2020 spring training report & the coronavirus shut down
By Sam Kombrink
Happy Saint Patrick’s day Kansas City! As we sports fans well know there is a pandemic going on across the world, the coronavirus. The virus has affected sports fans with the postponement of every major sport. You also have the cancellation of the 2020 men’s and women’s basketball tournaments. Since there are no sports to currently watch, let’s take a look at the 2020 Spring training season forecast for the Kansas City Royals, as well as the success of Ruskin, Grandview and Avila Basketball teams.
2020 Kansas City Royals
My first time covering the Royals during Spring Training was also my first time visiting Arizona. When I arrived at Surprise stadium to get my credentials, I heard that due to the coronavirus the media would not be around the players, starting on that day, March 10th. Informed of this new information, I wasn’t going to pass up watching the game.
The Royals had split the team in two to play separate teams: an away game against the Oakland A’s and a home game against the Milwaukee Brewers. The Royals ended up losing the home game 5-2 and won the road game 4-2.
In the game that I went to, I was impressed with the improvement of first baseman Ryan O’Hearn and it was nice to see a healthy Salvador Perez catching behind home plate.
There was a lot of talk about the competition at first base between Ryan O’Hearn and Ryan McBroom. O’Hearn is coming off of a struggling 2019 season where he played in 105 games and performed with a 195 batting average, 14 home runs, 38 RBI, 281 OBP, and 650 OPS. Ryan McBroom was acquired in a trade last season for cash considerations from the New York Yankees. During his time with the Royals in 2019, McBroom performed in 23 games, (293 BA, 0 HR, 6 RBI, 361 OBP, 721 OPS).
Here are their stats during 2020 Spring Training:
1B Ryan O’Hearn – (13 games, 35 at bats, 12 hits, .343 BA, 5 HR, 9 RBI, .395 OBP, 1.252 OPS)
1B Ryan McBroom – (15 games, 35 at bats, 11 hits, .314 BA, 3 HR, 8 RBI, .368 OBP, 1.026 OPS)
According to new Royals Manager Mike Matheny, he is not ruling out a “platoon system,” sharing time at first base. “I’m not ruling that out at all. I’ve explained it, certainly to O’Hearn to be prepared all the time,,” he said. “But understand that if we can create a way to set him up better, we’re open to whatever we have to do.”
I think we will see a platoon at first base this season, but we should expect O’Hearn to be the Opening Day starter.
The Bullpen will be improved this season as the Royals went out of their way to sign some veteran relief pitchers. On December 7th it was announced that the Royals signed Lee’s Summit native Trevor Rosenthal to a one-year deal worth $2 million. The Royals brought back former closer Greg Holland on a one-year deal worth $1.25 million. This season Royals fans may get to see some talented young players make their major league debuts in 2020.
Player Minor league Stats
- LHP Foster Griffin – (age: 24, 141 games, 708.0 innings pitched, 4.77 ERA, 43 wins, 47 loses)
- OF Kyle Isbel – (age:23, .264 BA, 247 at bats, 40 runs, 60 hits, 7 HR, 35 RBI, .324 OBP, .729 OPS)
- RHP Brady Singer – (age:23, 26 games, 148.1 innings pitched, 2.85 ERA, 12 wins, 5 loses)
- LHP Daniel lynch – (age:23, 22 games, 103.1 innings pitched, 2.79 ERA, 7 wins, 2 loses)
- RHP Jackson Kowar – (age: 23, 26 games, 148.1 innings pitched, 3.52 ERA, 7 wins, 10 loses)
- LHP Kris Bubic – (age: 22, 26 games, 149 innings pitched, 0.97 ERA, 11 wins, 5 loses)
The 2020 MLB Baseball season is expected to have opening day in mid to late May and teams are expected to play an 81 game season.
Boys High School Basketball
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the Missouri State High School Activities Association has announced that it has canceled semi-final and championship boys and girl’s games that were scheduled to be play March 20 and 21 at Missouri State University in Springfield, MO.
The tournament was canceled on Monday morning, but let’s take a look at the turnouts of some local high schools.
On March 5, the boy’s Class 4, District 13 Final was played between the (20-6) Grandview Bulldogs and the (22-4) Ruskin Eagles.
The Eagles took an early lead and led at half by a score of 31-17. The Bulldogs then answered back in the fourth quarter to win the game 59-54.
Grandview had won back-to-back State Championships (2019, 2018) and was looking at a threepeat. On March 10, the Grandview Bulldogs were dethroned by the (23-3) Raytown South Cardinals by a score of 59-54.
2020 All-Conference Honors
Suburban Blue Conference 1st Team
- Reggie Morris Jr. – Senior – Guard
- Taj Manning – Sophomore – Forward
Ruskin Golden Eagles
Suburban White Conference 1st Team
- Tyrone Moore – Senior – Guard
- Tavion Banks – Junior – Forward
Suburban White Conference 2nd Team
Deone Mccarthy – Senior – Forward/Center
All-Conference Honorable Mention
Elijah Corner – Junior – Forward/Center
White Conference Coach of the year:
Ray Hughes – Ruskin High School
Avila Women’s Basketball
The Avila Eagles Women’s Basketball team had a dominant season, going (19-11) and winning the 2020 KCAC Conference Tournament.
Ranked #5 Avila started the 2020 KCAC tournament taking on #4 Tabor College in the quarterfinal and won 55-50. The lady Eagles advanced to the semifinal and took down #8 Oklahoma Wesleyan University by a score of 72-62. Avila then played for the conference championship against the #2 seed Sterling College, who was ranked #20 nationally. The Eagles won a close game by a score of 67-65.
Avila was set to play Saint Xavier University (29-4) in the first round of the 2020 NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball Tournament, but due to the coronavirus pandemic the tournament has been canceled.
Avila Stat Leaders:
Points: Paige Bunn – Senior – Forward (15.00 ppg)
Rebounds: Matti Morgan – Junior – Guard (5.7 rpg)
Assists: Taylor Faulkner – Senior – Guard (2.97 apg)
Steals: Taylor Faulkner – Senior – Guard (1.72 spg)
Blocks: Brooke Westrom – Senior – Guard (0.92 bpg)