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Kyle Isbel is paid an average of $701,900 per year.


In Surprise, Kyle Isbel was one of the Royals’ finest tales this spring. Isbel excelled in Cactus League action this past Spring after only playing in High-A ball in 2019 and spending the whole 2020 season at the Alternate Site in KCK.

Kyle Isbel
Kyle Isbel

Isbel hit .333/.420/.548 with an OPS of.968 in 23 games and 50 plate appearances, with two home runs and an OPS of .968.

The Royals decided to move Whit Merrifield to second base (he was expected to start in right field) and make Isbel the Opening Day right fielder after Nicky Lopez had a terrible Spring

Isbel had a strong debut on Opening Day, going 3-for-5 with two RBI in the Royals’ 14-10 marathon victory over the Texas Rangers at Kauffman Stadium.

Isbel appeared to be a “Rookie of the Year” candidate after his outstanding debut, as his mix of hitting, speed, and defense fit the mold of what Royals fans had come to expect from starting outfielders.

With Adalberto Mondesi’s oblique injury, it appeared that Isbel would have a great chance to get a lot of at-bats in the Major Leagues.

Unfortunately, following his great Opening Day performance, Isbel’s luck ran out. Isbel had a .279 wOBA and a 75 wRC+ in 12 games and 36 plate appearances.

While those aren’t really poor scores on the surface, his advanced metrics revealed that he still has a lot of room for improvement.

His projected wOBA (xwOBA) was .212, and his hard hit rate was only 26.3 percent, both below-average numbers.

Furthermore, Isbel struggled to detect pitches with the Royals, striking out 41.7 percent of the time and walking only 5.6 percent of the time.

According to Baseball Savant, his strikeout percentage was primarily caused by his troubles against breaking balls, as he had a.181 xBA and 38.5 percent whiff rate.