Royals fans, at least many of those heating up Twitter, are perplexed by the team’s only trade deadline move, the acquisition of outfielder Justin Maxwell from the Houston Astros.
The same Maxwell who has a .222 career average who not only has found it difficult to be effective when
he’s on the field, but difficult to even get to the field.
The injury-prone Maxwell, who broke in with the Washington Nationals in 2007, has never been healthy. Experts have spoken frequently about Maxwell’s potential, but the 29-year-old is running out of time to make such statements prophetic.
Presumably the Royals, who had more pressing needs than adding an outfielder to an already-crowded mix. Apparently, Kansas City will look at platooning Maxwell, a right-handed hitter, with left-handed hitter David Lough, who has been a spark to the Royals since June.
Do the Royals really want Lough on the bench, even against left-handed pitchers? Looks like it.
But Maxwell hasn’t proven himself as a hitter against left-handers. Or right-handers, for that matter.
He did hit 18 home runs for the Astros last season, though he batted only .229. And if you know the Royals, you know they’re hungry for anyone who can hit the baseball over the fence. It’s their most glaring weakness.
Royals fans will go ga-ga over the way Maxwell fills a uniform. He’s 6-feet-5 and 220 pounds and resembles Miami Marlins right-fielder Giancarlo Stanton. Just one thing: Maxwell has never hit like Stanton. Not even close.
Kansas City didn’t have to give up much to acquire Maxwell and is obviously drawn to his power. Stranger things have happened than a 29-year old blossoming after a change of scenery to finally realize his potential. I’m not saying that’s going to happen with Maxwell. Odds are it won’t. But it’s worth a roll of the dice, although it is disappointing that KC general manager Dayton Moore didn’t upgrade the second-base position, one of the Royals’ bugaboos all season.