Royals bring it full circle with Ryan McBroom’s promotion

Royals promote, start recently-acquired Ryan McBroom

The Kansas City Royals traded for power-hitting first baseman Ryan McBroom from the New York Yankees on Aug. 31, and they called him up and put him in the starting lineup against the Detroit Tigers at Kauffman Stadium on Sept. 3.
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The Kansas City Royals traded for power-hitting first baseman Ryan McBroom from the New York Yankees on Aug. 31, and they called him up and put him in the starting lineup against the Detroit Tigers at Kauffman Stadium on Sept. 3.

Right-handed hitting Ryan McBroom rebuffed the Royals’ initial attempt to bring him into the fold after his junior season at West Virginia University back in 2013. More than six years later, he couldn’t have been happier to find himself in the Royals starting lineup.

The Royals acquired McBroom, a power-hitting Triple A first baseman/outfielder, from the New York Yankees on Saturday night in exchange for international pool money and either cash considerations or a player to be named later. On Tuesday, McBroom made his major-league debut as the starting first baseman for the Royals.

“It’s a dream of a lifetime,” McBroom said. “It happened super fast. It was like Christmas Eve times a million, and I’m just super excited to be here and ready to roll with this group of guys.”

The Royals drafted McBroom in the 36th round in 2013. However, McBroom didn’t sign.

McBroom, a former college teammate of Gardner Edgerton graduate and current Baltimore Orioles pitcher John Means, went back to college for his senior year, and the Toronto Blue Jays drafted him in the 15th round in 2014. The Yankees traded infielder Rob Refsnyder to the Blue Jays for McBroom in July 2017.

Two years later, his first game in the majors came with the team that originally drafted him.

“That’s the first thing I thought of,” McBroom said. “That’s the team that drafted me after my junior year in college and gave me the opportunity. That’s really special.”

McBroom, 27, played in 117 games for the Yankees’ Triple-A team Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and finished the season ranked fourth in the International League in batting average (.315), second in slugging percentage (.574), third in on-base percentage (.402) and 10th in home runs (26).

A scout who watched McBroom in the minors told The Star he’d been impressed with McBroom’s power and hitting approach. While the scout didn’t view McBroom as a great defender, he also said McBroom wasn’t a detriment in the field. He also gave McBroom high marks for work ethic and intangibles such as character, attitude and personality.

McBroom was one of four players called up to join the big-league club on Tuesday. The Royals activated right-handed pitcher Jesse Hahn from the 60-day injured list following a minor-league rehab assignment, and they also selected the contracts of infielder/outfielder Erick Mejia, left-handed Gabe Speier and McBroom.

Minor league manager Tony Pena Jr. of the club’s Arizona Rookie League affiliate also joined the major league coaching staff.

Royals manager Ned Yost said McBroom would “mix in” during the final month, and likely play regularly against left-handed hitters.

“We watched quite a bit of video, but I tried purposely not to know too much,” Yost said of McBroom. “Of course, obviously, you looked at the numbers. I looked at the numbers. We watched him on video, but I like to find out for myself. The numbers are good. They’re encouraging.”

Left-handed first baseman Ryan O’Hearn has hit well of late — 7-for-18, three runs, one home run, one double, five walks during the homestand — and right-handed hitting Cheslor Cuthbert has played both first base and third base with Hunter Dozier playing some at third base as well as right field.

“We’ll just have to move it around the month of September,” Yost said. “I want to see Mejia some. That’s going to probably mean (Alex Gordon) will play five days per week because we’ve got to see some of these guys. It’s going to be hard finding at-bats for some of these guys. You just make it work, figure it out day by day.”

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Lynn Worthy covers the Kansas City Royals and Major League Baseball for The Star. A native of the Northeast, he’s covered high school, collegiate and professional sports for The Lowell Sun, Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin, Allentown Morning Call and The Salt Lake Tribune. He’s won awards for sports features and sports columns.