FanPost

K.C. Royals Preview

AL CENTRAL TEAM-BY-TEAM
Detroit
Tigers
Minnesota
Twins
Chicago
White Sox
Kansas City
Royals

It seems like the time of year to start sizing up the competition. I think the general consensus is that the wild card is likely to come out of the AL East, so winning the AL Central is probably the only ticket to the playoffs. I figured I’d start by looking at the Royals, not for any other reason than that I think they are the least likely team in the division to make any more moves. Last season, the Royals crept out of the cellar, finishing in fourth place with a record of 75-87. Their Pythagorean record was 72-90. PECOTA seems them again finishing in fourth with a 75-87 record.

Let’s start out by looking at their positional players:

Position

Age

’08 Triple Slash

OPS+ (‘06-08)

+/- (’06-08)

Comment

C-John Buck

28

.224/.304/.365

80, 90, 79

N/A

Buck suffered a dip in power last year that may return next year.

1b-Mike Jacobs

28

.247/.299/.514

 

106, 100, 109

-12, -10, -27

He and Shoppach have a similar set of offensive skills, but one is a good defensive catcher and the other is a bad defensive firstbaseman.

2b-Alberto Callapso

26

.305/.361/.371

Only 234 PA.

N/A

N/A

He has a good approach, but little power. Kevin Goldstein claims his defense his gold glove caliber.

3b-Alex Gordon

25

.260/.351/.432

N/A, 87, 110

N/A, +6, -11

Former uber-prospect made nice progress on his approach last year. Is power next?

SS-Mike Aviles

28

.325/.354/.480

N/A, N/A, 122

N/A, +15

I think everybody expects regression on the offensive side, but the good defense was unexpected so we might see some there as well.

Lf-David Dejesus

29

.307/.366/.452

108, 89, 118

-2, N/A, +8

 

The projections seem to think he’ll regress at the plate, mostly due to his BABIP last year.

Cf-Coco Crisp

29

.283/.344/.407

77,  83, 93

-7, +26, -2

One of those defensive numbers is not like the other.  

Rf-Jose Guillen

33

.264/.300/.438

N/A, 116, 96

N/A, -7, -10

 

He is owed 24 million over the next two years. This probably isn’t going to end well.

DH-Billy Butler

23

.275/.324/.400

N/A, 105, 94

N/A

He seems like the best bet on the offense to make a dramatic improvement from last year.

UT-Mark Teahen

27

.255/.313/.402

122, 98, 91

Decent at the corner positions

He’ll be the primary backup at left, right, and third.

C-Miguel Olivo

30

.255/.278/.444

87, 72, 91

N/A

Buck’s backup/co-starter.

 

The Royals are not an old team as Guillen is the only starter over thirty. However, they don’t get on base very much or hit for a lot of power.   They don’t really make up for that on defense or on the bases. BPro’s team baserunning and defensive efficiency had them about average in both categories last season. The only prospect of note that could reach the majors this year is Kila Ka’aihue. He’ll probably start the year in AAA as Ryan Shealy figures to be the other first baseman on the big league roster.

The starters. Using Rich Lederer’s criteria for starting pitchers, the league average GB% was 43.45%. League average for K/BF% was 16.90%. I can’t seem to locate the league average for walk rate so if anyone wants to add this, that would be helpful:

Pitcher

Age

ERA+ (’06-08)

IP (’06-08)

GB% (’08)

K/BF %

(’08)

BB/BF%

(’08)

Comment

Gil Meche

30

99, 128, 107

186, 216, 210

39.2%

20.65%

8.24%

3 years and 35 million are left on Meche’s contract.

Zach Greinke

25

N/A, 127, 123

6, 122, 202

42.7%

21.5%

6.58%

Big jump in innings could cause some health issues.

Brian Bannister

28

N/A, 121, 74

38, 165, 182

37.5%

13.93%

7.15%

Not as good as his numbers in ’07, but not as bad as his numbers in ’08.

Kyle Davies

25

53, 73, 105

63, 136, 113

38.8%

14.58%

8.83%

He should see a little regression on his hr/f, but he’s still a decent fifth starter.

Luke Hochevar

25

N/A, N/A, 77

0, 12, 129

51.8%

12.7%

8.3%

Former #1 overall pick had peripherals pretty similar to Aaron Laffey last year.

 

This is a pretty decent rotation, but not one without question marks. There also doesn’t seem to be a ton of depth in the minors, with probably only Dan Cortes as a legitimate option from the minors. They also signed Horacio Ramirez, who could start in a pinch.

The pen is pretty thin. That’s what happens when you trade away two of your best relievers. I think they might experience some real trouble making that bridge to Soria this year. From the farm, Carlos Rosa supposedly has a pretty good arm so he should probably see some action.

I think PECOTA has the Royals pegged pretty good. The offense is just too bad, and they aren’t good enough in the other areas to make up for it. With some breakout performances and some good luck, I think they can make it to five hundred, but even in a division as bad as the central, I don’t see how they have any real shot at winning the division. Thoughts?

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join Let's Go Tribe

You must be a member of Let's Go Tribe to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Let's Go Tribe. You should read them.

Join Let's Go Tribe

You must be a member of Let's Go Tribe to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Let's Go Tribe. You should read them.

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker