He made his presence felt immediately by posting an OPS of .882 and securing 1st team all Pac-10 conference honors and being named as a Freshman All-American.
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Unfortunately, that’s as good as Kenny Diekroeger has been. His sophomore year OPS dropped to .720, and his Junior year OPS fell to .715. It’s safe to say that nobody expected such a drop in production. Despite his decline in offensive prowess, the Royals drafted in Diekroeger in the 4th round of the 2012 draft. After the draft, Royals scouting director Lonnie Goldberg said this about Diekroeger: “We think this guy has plus-plus makeup. We’re anxious to get a wood bat in his hand. We think he has a ton of upside.”
After being drafted, Diekroeger managed to play in 52 games and accumulate 220 plate appearances. In those 52 games, he hit .208, with an OBP of .275, and a SLG of .366. He also struck out more than 3 times as often as he walked. Just looking at the numbers, one might assume that his first professional season was a disaster.
Reasons for optimism (?)
If you’re looking for a silver lining, look at Kenny Diekroeger’s home/away splits. Burlington Athletic Stadium was not kind to Diekroeger. At home his slash line was a putrid .171/.227/.285/.512. However, when the Burlington Royals left home, he really seemed to find his stroke: .266/.344/.494/.838. His OPS was over .300 points higher during away games than home games. If he can leave the not-so-Diekroeger-friendly confines of Burlington, we might see a big step in his production for 2013.