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Mondesi eager for full season as Royals' SS

February 18, 2019

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Royals shortstop Adalberto Mondesi arrived in camp for the first full-squad workout along with the rest of the position players on Monday.And it didn't take long for the question to come to Mondesi: Who is the fastest on the team now that Terrance Gore was brought back,

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Royals shortstop Adalberto Mondesi arrived in camp for the first full-squad workout along with the rest of the position players on Monday.
And it didn't take long for the question to come to Mondesi: Who is the fastest on the team now that Terrance Gore was brought back, and Billy Hamilton was signed?
:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::
"It's not me," Mondesi said, smiling. "It has to be Gore and Hamilton. They can really run."
Catcher Salvador Perez, though, thinks he has the answer.
"It's Gore," Perez said, smiling.
But several Royals simply are waiting to see more of Hamilton before they make the call. The debate likely will rage on all spring with these speedy Royals.
Mondesi certainly can fly as well. He finally demonstrated to all of baseball his five-tool set last season, hitting 14 home runs and stealing 32 bases in just 75 games.
And Mondesi, 23, will try to transition what he did last season into a full season. He is now the starting shortstop entering a season for the first time, after the departure of Alcides Escobar.
The training wheels are off.
"I feel no pressure," Mondesi said. "I know what I can do. It's going to happen on the field."
The biggest issue with Mondesi in the past has been health. Last season, Mondesi made it through almost injury free and he started 26 games in September.
Manager Ned Yost purposely built in off-days for Mondesi in July and August to keep him rested.
But at one point, Mondesi told Yost, "You don't have to ask me how I'm doing every day. I'm good to go. I'm ready."
Mondesi feels the same way now.
"I'm trying to play every day," Mondesi said. "I know I can."
All 162?
"Let's go," Mondesi said.
A leaner Flynn
Left-hander Brian Flynn, the workhorse of the 2018 relievers with 75 2/3 innings, knows he'll be in a battle for a spot this season in a crowded bullpen.
But Flynn, 28, came prepared. He lost 20 pounds and is down to 245.
"They listed me at 255 last season," Flynn said. "But I was at 265 as the season went on."
His secret to the weight loss?
"Stop eating 10,000 calories a day," Flynn deadpanned.
The weight loss already has had an impact on Flynn's delivery.
"I feel more athletic," he said. "Rather than just let the weight bring me through the delivery, I feel like I'm pushing more through toward home plate."

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.