2012 Kansas City Royals Season Preview
Ned Yost is in his second full year at the helm of the Royals, and he wants to take the youngest team in baseball back to the times of Brett, Saberhagen and Quisenberry. At the average age of 26, the Royals might not be able to depend on experience in 2012, but they can depend on talent. A team gets plenty of that when they consistently pick in the top 3 of every draft. Alex Gordon finally lived up to the hype last season, hitting .303 with 23 HRs and 87 RBI. The second overall pick of the 2005 draft has made the move to left field permanently and it’s worked out well now that Mike Moustakas is ready to take over the hot corner. Moustakas, also a second overall pick in 2007, is projected to have a big year and most think he’s a future all-star. Eric Hosmer, third overall pick of 2008, came in third in Rookie of the Year voting in 2011 after hitting .293 with 19 HRs and 78 RBI. The first baseman took over for Billy Butler, another first round pick, that’s a consistent .300 hitter who hits 45-50 doubles a season. The pitching mound is where the Royals struggle, giving up the third most runs in the league in 2011. Luke Hochevar, first overall pick in 2006, has not been able to produce consistently as KC had hoped. On the up side Hochevar had career best in innings (198), strikeouts (128) and ERA (4.68). He pitched well in the second half of the season and that’s something to draw from for Kansas City in 2012.
2011 Kansas City Royals Season Preview
After a long stretch of playoff-less baseball, the Kansas City Royals are looking to make a run in 2011. However, since the Royals' glory days of the 1980s, things have not been going well in Kansas City. But with the youth movement afoot in the haven of barbecue, and with it, a hope of an extra helping of wins this year. Nearly all of their starters are under 30, including first baseman Billy Butler who stands to give them the most consistent bat in the lineup. The 26-year-old hit .318 in 2010 while amassing a respectable 15 home runs and 78 RBIs. Though Butler has promise, the rest of the Royals lineup is rife with role players such as Melky Cabrera, Alex Gordon and Jeff Franceur who, while all reliable, are not the type of player to build a franchise around. The lone bright spot for the Royals over the last several years has been pitcher Zach Greinke, who won the Cy Young in 2009. Unfortunately for Kansas City, Greinke took his talents to Milwaukee in the offseason, leaving the Royals with a gaping hole at the head of their rotation. The staff will likely rely heavily on Jeff Francis and Kyle Davies, both of whom have had their struggles in the past. The bullpen is decent, however, thanks in large part to closer Joakim Soria, who had 43 saves in 2010.
2010 Kansas City Royals Season Preview
Everyone wants to be the first to pick the sleeper team from the MLB's field of thirty clubs, and in 2010, no choice is more popular than the Kansas City Royals. The Royals have assembled a team of young players that looks good on paper, and could be great when they actually take the field. This season, all eyes will be on pitcher Zack Greinke, the hard throwing right-hander who mounted a breakthrough campaign last year on his way to capture the American League Cy Young Award. In 2010, the somber hurler will get down to business in an attempt to show that last year's overpowering performance was no fluke. In the late innings, Greinke and the other Royals starting pitchers will hand the ball over to their trusty closer, Joakim Soria. Taking the mound for the final three, four or five outs of a close ballgame, Soria has rarely allowed batters to reach base with the game on the line. The Royals own batters will need to find a spark in up-and-coming sluggers Alex Gordon and Billy Butler. With the addition of power-hitting outfielder Rick Ankiel, the lineup of the 2010 Kansas City Royals has shaped up to make a serious run at postseason play.
2009 Kansas City Royals Season Preview
The 2009 Kansas City Royals will be focused on improving their position in their American League Central Division. In 2008, the Royals finished second to last in the division - just one game ahead of the Detroit Tigers. Now Alex Gordon must take his Kansas City teammates another step up the ladder, and one step closer to the playoffs. For KC fans who doubt the team can make the playoffs, they should look at the NFL's Arizona Cardinals for inspiration. The same way the Cards overcame years of poor finishes to make the 2009 Superbowl, the KC Royals can aim for the 2009 World Series.
2008 Kansas City Royals Season Preview
The Kansas City Royals are a team on the rise this year. The Royals organization was considered by many to be the most aggressive team in Major League Baseball in the 2006 off-season. In 2007, the team broke a 3 year 100 loss per season drought, and finished with 69 wins. With all their new talent, a new look, and a new attitude exemplified by their "True. Blue. Tradition." motto, the Royals might be the most improved team in all of baseball this spring. Kauffman Stadium will fill with Royals fans this season as they cheer their team on to top their division for the first time in more than 20 years.