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Kila Ka'aihue Failing To Capture His Moment

ANAHEIM CA - AUGUST 10: Kila Ka'aihue #25 of the Kansas City Royals scores a run for a 1-1 tie with the Los Angeles Angels during the second inning at Angel Stadium on August 10 2010 in Anaheim California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM CA - AUGUST 10: Kila Ka'aihue #25 of the Kansas City Royals scores a run for a 1-1 tie with the Los Angeles Angels during the second inning at Angel Stadium on August 10 2010 in Anaheim California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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Many were calling for it, including myself. And the results have been less-than-stellar. Still I believe it was the right move, because you have to know what you're working with -- even if what you have isn't going to work.

I'm referring to the Royals decision -- at first, an indecision -- to promote Kila Ka'aihue to the major league level after the first baseman had nothing else to prove in the minors. The 26-year-old was dominating AAA to the tune of a .1060 OPS and 24 homers in just 323 AB. It was similar production to what he'd done the last two seasons there, proving that he deserved a real shot at the major league level. Yet the Royals waited and waited and relied on pricey vets instead of letting their younger players prove themselves.

Then this August, the tide turned and Ka'aihue got his call. Since then? The results have been disastrous. Of course, it's a small sample size, but with the 60 or so at-bats he's received thus far, only about a dozen players this decade have been as horrible at the plate with a .382 OPS. The only name you might recognize from that list is Glenallen Hill in 2001 and Kaz Matsui from this season as well. It's also a list of players who flamed out quickly for the most part.

The history is on Ka'aihue's side in that he's shown he can flat out hit. And the Royals must continue to give him at bats to let him work out the mental and physical routine at the highest of levels. But thus far, perhaps the Royals realized that the Hawaiian product wasn't as capable as the numbers made it seem. At any rate, things don't look pretty in the early going.