Matheny on what makes Vinnie Pasquantino a 'potential championship-caliber player'


There are plenty of reasons to be excited about Royals young first base prospect Vinnie Pasquantino. For starters, Pasquantino has what Royals Insider Josh Vernier summed up as 'the best hit tool' of any of the next wave of Kansas City players. Secondly, in a Royals season that hasn't gone to plan whatsoever, the idea of bringing up a young, talented player that offers a glimpse to the future never hurts. Pasquantino is that -- and more, according to Royals manager Mike Matheny. Speaking to 610's Fescoe In The Morning on Wednesday, Matheny explained what makes the first baseman so special.

"The power is there, it'll show itself, there's no doubt about it," he said. "But also just the strike zone awareness. But then you just start looking for intangibles. Sometimes people don't hear what we're trying to say, because the talent is going to be obvious -- the numbers and production are going to be obvious. So then you start looking for where in the margins are we watching a potential championship-caliber player. So you talk about how they go about their business, how they work, how they handle adversity, how they handle some success, how are they viewed as a teammate. And those things all sound kind of warm and fuzzy and fluffy, and nobody cares that much about them, until you start trying to put together a team and realize that those are pieces of teams that consistently do really special things and sometimes perform beyond what their normal individual skillsets would allow you to believe.

"I don't know if I've had a player more highly-regarded by his teammates than what I've heard about Vinnie Pasquantino. So you take the production, all that stuff's there. The guy can flat hit, he'll take his walks, strikeouts are low, he's got some juice. And he's out there working his butt off to become a better first baseman, and a he's a guy we believe will improve there. And then you realize that there's all these intangibles that could really set him apart to be this kind of voice and a potential leader someday in that clubhouse ... "

You can listen to Matheny's entire interview in the embedded player below: