22-Year-Old Outfielder – Kansas City Royals
2016 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
In the first half, Bonifacio hit 13 homers and slashed .250/.313/.471 in 62 games with Double-A Northwest Arkansas, primarily as a 21-year-old. Those numbers certainly suggested that Bonifacio was on ...
Bonifacio was optioned to Double-A Northwest Arkansas on Monday, Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star reports.
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Kansas City Royals Roster
MajorsButera, Drew (C)
AAAAlexander, Scott (P)
AABinford, Christian (P)
A+Antonio, Mike (SS)
AAparicio, Julio (OF)
RookieAracena, Ricky (SS)
Jorge Bonifacio: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Bonifacio is a bit ahead of schedule in his development, having spent the entire 2014 season with Double-A Northwest Arkansas at age 21. The outfielder remains a work in progress, however, as a .230/.302/.309 slash line and 22.4% strikeout rate left much to be desired. He stole just eight bases and hit four homers in 132 games at the Double-A level, where he'll presumably begin his 2015 campaign. If he can show enough improvement, there's a chance he'll get to Triple-A by the end of the season, but it's unlikely he sees the majors due to Kansas City's organizational depth in the outfield.
While his older brother, Emilio, has built a career on speed and defense, the 20-year-old Jorge is looking to make more noise with his bat than his glove. He opened the 2013 season with the Royals' entry in the Arizona Rookie League, and after an immediate display of power and stronger plate discipline, he was promoted to High-A Wilmington, where he went on to post a .296/.368/.408 slash line, before a broken hamate bone landed him on the disabled list for nearly two months. He eventually worked his way back and even earned a promotion to Double-A at the end of July, where he continued to post a superb walk rate and a solid .300 average. Unfortunately, the power took longer to return, and he saw an increase in strikeouts while attempting to get it back. His talent level and end-of-season performance has earned him the right to continue his development at the Double-A level, and if he continues to exhibit strong plate discipline, a promotion to Triple-A at some point in 2014 seems very likely.
Bonifacio quietly produced a strong line in the pitcher-friendly Midwest League last season, hitting. 282/.336/.432 with 10 homers over 448 plate appearances. Unlike his older brother Emilio, Bonifacio projects to have above average power and his impact as a basestealer figures to be limited (6-for-9 in 2012). The Royals will bring him along slowly, but Bonifacio's ability to hold his own against older competition (he was the fourth-youngest player in the league on Opening Day) bodes well for his chances of succeeding as he advances, especially since he possesses steady contact skills (81%) for a young hitter with pop. Look for Bonifacio to spend most of the year at High-A, but another strong showing will likely open eyes beyond Kansas City as he already projects to be an above-average regular.