The Kansas City Royals had a difficult season in 2022, losing 97 games and finishing at the bottom of the American League Central.
However, the season wasn’t a total failure, as stars such as Bobby Witt Jr. and MJ Melendez made their mark on the team and are ready to help guide the Royals into a new era.
Melendez certainly feels as if he’s made some important progress.
Yesterday, MLB Network stopped by the Royals’ spring training camp and caught up with several prominent players from the team.
Stephen Nelson and Yonder Alonso got the chance to talk to Melendez, who discussed his 2022 success and what his goals for 2023 are.
"Last year I was able to feel out the league. Now, it's coming in and trying to dominate."@mjmelendez7 is ready to put it all together in '23.#SpringTraining | @StephenNelson | @YonderalonsoU | @Royals pic.twitter.com/Nqx2n6OXSN
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) February 22, 2023
Melendez talked about certain improvements that he made during the offseason, both in terms of offense and defense.
The catcher and outfielder hit just .217, but managed to hit 18 home runs in his rookie campaign.
Melendez mentioned how he plays with a chip on his shoulder.
He discussed how the important thing for him is to be himself, saying that last season, he was able to get a feel for the league and the style of play at the major-league level.
Now, he says it’s about going out and dominating.
He also talked about his defensive improvements and how he worked on being better at receiving pitches and making plays in the outfield.
Alonso then asked Melendez about the mindset of the team and what it’s like for him to have had a full season with them.
He responded by saying that the team is hungry and ready to make some noise in 2023.NEXT: Bobby Witt Jr. Discusses His Goals For 2023