Bonifacio Recovers His Power Stroke

KANSAS CITYRight fielder Jorge Bonifacio appeared to be on a treadmill going nowhere the past two seasons at Double-A Northwest Arkansas, despite a breakout 2013 season.

Bonifacio hit .298/.372/.429 in 88 games with three different clubs in 2013, when he did not turn 20 until June 4. He missed nearly six weeks that season with a broken hamate in his wrist, which he injured during batting practice in May.

He earned a July 30 promotion to the Naturals and hit .301 in 25 games.

Bonifacio spent the entire 2014 and 2015 seasons at Northwest Arkansas, hitting just .235/.303/.361 in 1,102 plate appearances. How much the broken hamate sapped his power in 2014, when he hit just four home runs, is an unknown.

Bonifacio’s power output rebounded in 2015, when he ranked fourth in the Texas League with 17 homers, seventh with 30 doubles and tied for fifth with 49 extra-base hits.

“You look at Bonifacio’s numbers last year, and his power was up,” Northwest Arkansas manager Vance Wilson said. “He has always hit doubles. His average was down (to .240), but in the grand scheme of it, he had a much better year than the average said. The kid hit third (in the lineup) every single day.

“I think last year he tried to hit for more power, which he did. I think, hopefully, this year he can get back to being the type of hitter he is—a doubles hitter—and his average will go back up. You’re still talking about a kid who is 22 years old.”

The Royals promoted Bonifacio, a righthanded hitter, to Triple-A Omaha this season, and he thrived.

He hit .328/.365/.571 through 31 games, with six homers and 25 RBIs. His slugging percentage and .913 OPS ranked among the Pacific Coast League leaders.

Bonifacio, however, needs to manage the strike zone to advance. He had drawn just five walks against 30 strikeouts, which included two different games with four strikeouts.

Bonifacio is listed at 6-foot-1, 220 pounds, and has the power potential and an above-average arm to play right field in the majors.

“No question there,” Wilson said.


• The Royals promoted righthander Mark Peterson, who signed as a nondrafted free agent out of Radford in 2012, from Northwest Arkansas to Omaha.

Reymond Fuentes, the Royals’ Opening Day starting right fielder, went on the Omaha disabled list and was replaced by utility infielder Angel Franco.

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