Kansas City Royals Predictions
The Kansas City Royals have been trying to turn the corner for more than two decades. Many experts are picking this team to be one of the sleepers in 2013 despite winning just 72 games last season. That’s because general manager Dayton Moore has finally overhauled a wretched rotation. He retained free agent Jeremy Guthrie while adding James Shields, Ervin Santana and Wade Davis through trades. While it’s still not one of the better rotations in the majors, it’s finally got some potential.
The Royals have been known for having the deepest farm system in the league over the last several years. They did have to trade away the likes of Wil Myers (2012 Minor League Player of the Year) and righthander Jake Odorizzi (club’s most advanced pitching prospect) and two other prospects to get Shields and Davis from Tampa Bay. Now, with a promising young lineup and a deep bullpen, Kansas City is more prepared to compete in 2013 than it has been in years.
Alex Gordon (LF) – He’s the lineup’s best fit for leadoff hitter as long as Eric Hosmer can handle the No. 3 spot. Gordon followed up a breakout 2011 campaign by hitting .294 with 14 homers, 72 RBIs and 93 runs scored last year.
Alcides Escobar (SS) – Performed much better once he was moved up from the bottom of the lineup last year. Escobar finished with a.293 average while swiping 35 bases in 2012.
Eric Hosmer (1B) – A big disappointment last season, Hosmer hit just .232 with 14 homers and 60 RBIs. Expectations for this young talent remain through the roof, and he could be primes for a breakout 2013 campaign.
Billy Butler (DH) – Continues to establish himself as one of the game’s best hitters. Butler took another step forward last year while hitting .313 with 29 homers and 107 RBIs.
Salvy Perez (C) – It will be interesting to see what this young talent can do in a full season provided he can stay healthy. Perez hit .301 with 11 homers and 39 RBIs in just 76 games last season.
Mike Moustakas (3B) – A late-season slide took away from an overall productive 2012 campaign in his first full season as a starter. Moustakas hit .242 with 20 homers and 73 RBIs on the year.
Jeff Francoeur (RF) – Backed up a breakout 2011 season with a horrendous ’12 in which he hit .235 with 16 homers and 49 RBIs. Francoeur will be watched closely and may lose his job early if he doesn’t produce right away.
Lorenzo Cain (CF) – Adds speed to the bottom of the lineup but must stay healthy after multiple injuries derailed him last season. Cain still managed to hit seven homers with 10 steals over 222 at-bats last year.
Chris Getz (2B) – The powerless Getz set a franchise record with 887 career plate appearances without a home run. However, he did hit .275 while stealing nine bases in only 189 at-bats last season.
James Shields (RHP) – His last two seasons in Tampa were outstanding. Shields won a combined 31 games while giving up a mere 403 hits over 473 innings pitched.
Ervin Santana (RHP) – The Royals are betting big by giving Santana a $12 million in his final year before free agency. Had a solid 2011 before plummeting to a 9-13 record and 5.16 ERA last season with the Angels.
Jeremy Guthrie (RHP) – One of the biggest bright spots on the Royals last season, Guthrie earned his new three-year deal by going 5-3 with a 3.16 ERA over 14 starts in Kansas City last season.
Wade Davis (RHP) – His velocity jumped last season when used as a reliever in Tampa Bay. However, it is yet to be seen if Wade can keep it up over 100 pitches per start. He finished 3-0 with a 2.43 ERA with 87 strikeouts over 70 1/3 innings last year with the Rays.
Bruce Chen (LHP) – Went 11-14 with a 5.07 ERA over 34 starts for Kansas City last season. He’ll have to fend of Luke Hochevar, who went 8-16 with a 5.73 ERA in 32 starts, for the 5th and final spot in the rotation.
Greg Holland (RHP) – Proved over the final two months last season that he has all the tools to be the closer in Kansas City. Holland finished 7-4 with a 2.96 ERA while striking out a whopping 91 batters over 67.0 innings last season. Setting him up will be the underrated trio of Kelvin Herrera (4-3, 2.35 ERA), Tim Collins (5-4, 3.36 ERA) and Aaron Crow (3-1, 3.48 ERA).
4th Place AL Central & UNDER 79 Wins – While the additions to the rotation are promising, it won’t be enough to make the Royals a winning team in 2013. There are still question marks surrounding all five starters. Even Shields has been inconsistent throughout his career, and he certainly hit his ceiling over the past two seasons in Tampa Bay. Davis has been much better out of the bullpen than as a starter, and Santana is coming off a disastrous 2012 campaign. I do believe the Royals have one of the best bullpens in the league, and their young, talented lineup certainly gives optimism to Kansas City fans. While they could surprise, I’m banking on the Royals to disappoint once again in 2013.
|2013 Kansas City Royals Odds|
|Total Regular Season Wins||O79 (-115)|