When I read that Lance Zawadzki was among the Royals’ roster cuts, I was prepared to make the argument that he should be retained as an organizational guy for another season. In my mind, he was a pretty darn good ballplayer. The thing is, most of my exposure to the Storm Chasers this year came from the daily game recaps* because I was away from Omaha. In my memory, it seemed like Zawadkzi contributed a lot of big hits and quite a few homers.
Memory is a funny thing though, and a selective one. I remembered reading about all of Zawadzki’s good games, because, I don’t know, his name is Zawadzki? So according to my brain, he was a big contributor to the Chasers because I happened to remember every time his name was mentioned in game recaps in connection with good outcomes. If his name was John Doe I doubt any of his standout performances would have, well, stood out.
I visited his FanGraphs page just now to see what he actually did. My memory was very kind to him, considering his actual line was .233/.288/.383. That puts him toward the bottom of the leaderboards among his teammates in each of those categories.
I don’t mean to pick on the departed Lance; I have nothing against him in the world. It’s just funny how my memory – and my unusual lack of geographical attachment to the team – painted him as a better player than he actually was this year.
I’m sure he’ll land somewhere. Though his stats this year weren’t great, they were also a bit lower than his career numbers. He was, as recently as 2009, a top 10 prospect in the Padres’ system. There’s definitely a place for Z somewhere, but apparently that place is not with the Royals.
Per the KC Star, the other twelve Royals minor leaguers released today are outfielder Darian Sandford, outfielder Steven Brooks, catcher Dale Cornstubble, pitcher Casey Edelbrock, outfielder Justin Fredejas, outfielder Nick Francis, infielder Gerard Hall, utilityman Derek Hamblen, pitcher Nathan Johnson, catcher Paul Krebs, first baseman Joey Lewis and pitcher Robbie Penny.