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Thursday, March 4, 2010

2010 Kansas City Royals team preview

  2009 Record: 65-97   .401
Run differential: -156
Spring training of 2009 was filled with optimism for Kansas City fans, as it appeared the AL Central was moving backwards which would allow the Royals to catch up.  Expected improvements from young players and GM Dayton Moore’s penchant for building a bullpen seemed to back up this theory. Unfortunately the Royals were downright awful and narrowly avoided 100 losses.  In the winter Moore traded one of his most effective relievers in 2008 for likely non-tender Mike Jacobs and his career .318 OBP.  Not only did Jacobs fail to hit, but his defense at first base was so bad Billy Butler became the full time starter while Jacobs DH’d .  Compounding this trade was the fact that the acquisition of Jacobs blocked one of the better prospects in the system, Kila Ka’ahue.  If this wasn’t bad enough, Moore traded for the worst starting infielders in the majors in August (SS Yuniesky Betancourt) and allowed Trey Hillman to find regular at- bats for Willie Bloomquist and his .655 OPS. Fan outrage called Moore out for his ineptitude leading to a tirade about trusting the process that may never die.  Injuries to Alex Gordon, Mike Aviles, and Coco Crisp also played a part in driving this team to the cellar.

2010 seems to arrive with tempered expectations. 
Fans know the offense will have its bumps and bruises but hope Alex Gordon can finally capitalize on his potential.  Billy Butler was great last year and the team hopes some of those AL leading doubles will turn into home runs.  Mike Aviles should be healthy and Mike Jacobs was thanked for his time and non-tendered.  The real star here is Zack Greinke, last year’s AL Cy Young winner.  Greinke was incredible and although last year’s numbers may not be replicated, Kansas City knows they have a real star.  With a minor league system that continues to improve especially on the pitching front, Royals fans hope that the losing years are drawing to a close. Unfortunately, Dayton Moore still doesn’t seem to grasp the importance of on-base percentage.  You can draft as well as any team in the league, but until the front office realizes what skills need to be added to the major league lineup, the team will have a hard time competing.
Likely opening day roster:
My two cents

Jason Kendall
The Royals welcome his .305 SLG with open arms

Bryan Pena
4C player deserves ABs

Billy Butler
Hit 51 doubles as a 23 yr old

Alberto Callapso
Fans want Aviles but Callaspo is the better player

Alex Gordon
He’ll never be George Brett but could be a top 5 AL 3Bman

Yuniesky Betancourt
Makes Bloomquist look like an All-Star; .269 OBP in ‘09

Scott Podsednik
Minor league contract but he’ll make the team. This is the Royals.

David DeJesus
Royals second best hitter may be traded this summer

Rick Ankiel
Make or break year for this guy. I’m rooting for him.

Jose Guillen
Counting down the days until it’s over

Mike Aviles
If healthy will be a nice bench player

Chris Getz
It’s unlikely he’ll ever hit much but plays good D

Josh Fields
He’ll either hit 24 HR or spend half the year in Omaha

Zack Greinke
Funny how great season quieted ridiculous trade rumors

Gil Meche
If he’s healthy I expect a season more like ’08 than ‘09

Luke Hochevar
Will never live up to #1 pick billing but is a decent back end option

Brian Bannister
Gotta love a guy who understands FIP

Kyle Davies
Personally, I think he stinks

Joakim Soria
Best nickname in sports: The Mexicutioner

Juan Cruz
I like the guy but you never know what you’re gonna get

Kyle Farnsworth
See above except I don’t like this guy.

Carlos Rosa
$1.7 M
Acquired in trade w/ Phi 11/7/07
Dusty Hughes
Should start in the pen before moving to rotation
Robinson Tejeda
Pretty effective as a reliever
Anthony Lerew
Moore’s token Brave castoff. This one might actually pay off.
Say hello to: Chris Getz, Josh Fields, Jason Kendall, Scott Podsednik, Rick Ankiel, Brian Anderson, Noel Arguelles
Wave goodbye: Mark Teahen, Mike Jacobs, Miguel Olivo, Coco Crisp, John Buck, Josh Anderson, Tony Pena Jr, Sidney Ponson, Jamey Wright, John Bale, Dough Waechter, Tug Hulett, Yasuihiko Yabuta
Rookies: Carlos Rosa, Dusty Hughes
Potential breakout: Alex Gordon – I’m calling it!
Welcome to Earth: How can an already awful player collapse? I’ll pick Jose Guillen since I feel the end is near.
Likely to rebound: Alberto Callapso, Rick Ankiel
Top 3 players: Greinke, Butler, Soria
Prediction: 70-92, 5th place AL Central

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