Orlando proving to be offensive force for KC

Royals outfielder credits extra work in cages, being more selective

Orlando proving to be offensive force for KC

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Royals have a .400 hitter entering play on May 25.

Meet Paulo Orlando, the right fielder who started playing regularly a little over a week ago. And suddenly, opposing pitchers can't seem to get him out.

After two hits in the Royals' 7-4 win over the Twins on Tuesday night, Orlando had 17 hits in his past 30 at-bats (.567).

"I don't remember anything like this," Orlando said of his hot streak. "But I remember in the Minor Leagues, I had good [streaks] when I played every day. Not like this, though."

Orlando started getting more playing time when Jarrod Dyson slumped earlier this month. And Orlando certainly seized the moment.

"Right now, he's hot," manager Ned Yost said before the win. "It's far-fetched to think he can sustain it all year. But is he going to be a better player than last year? Yes."

As a rookie last season, Orlando was a pleasant surprise. Orlando hit six triples and seven homers in a part-time role -- just 251 plate appearances -- and played solid outfield defense.

This season, Orlando, 30, appears to be learning about opposing pitchers and storing usable information. Orlando entered Tuesday on a seven-game hitting streak and had three three-hit games in the last week.

"He's been consistent offensively," Yost said. "And we're seeing the growth now that we didn't see last year. Last year, he would do one thing to help you win a game each game. Now he does multiple things.

"He can hit to all fields. He's got power. He's got speed. He can incorporate all of those things. He's putting the ball in play better right now."

Sveum on Orlando's adjustments

Orlando, just the third Brazilian player to reach the Majors, believes his success stems from hard work. He works endlessly in the cage with hitting coach Dale Sveum. And Orlando's approach is simple: Don't get yourself out.

"It's hard work and selecting good pitches," Orlando said. "You get results that way. I feel comfortable at the plate. Hopefully it keeps going.

"You learn every day in this league. You take swings in the cage and you feel how you command the bat that day. Some days you might go to different spots against different pitchers.

"But the most important thing is that you make sure you get the best pitch. That's the most important. That's what I've been doing."

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.