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View Full Version : Royals BP Daily: Youth could fuel a Royal run


Gonzo
02-27-2009, 10:28 AM
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/insider/news/story?id=3938110

Which is nice...

Last week we discussed how the White Sox are BP's last-place pick in the parity-enabled AL Central. A rung ahead of them, we're pegging the Royals to win 75 games, still behind our current projection for a division-winning 84 wins for the Indians -- but within reach. Could the Royals have a shot as a dark horse?

Stick with the math, and it doesn't take too much to conjure up a scenario where the answer is yes. The AL Central was projected to have a 18-game spread last year, with the Royals pegged for 73 wins; two years ago, it was a 23-game spread, with the Royals expected to win 67; dial it back to 2006, and we forecasted a 27-game spread 61 wins for Kansas City. As Dayton Moore's slowly improved the talent on the roster, the anticipated leading teams in the division have been slowly coming back to the pack, with the Royals just as slowly coming back up from the depths.

Dr. Facebook Fever
02-27-2009, 10:31 AM
OOOOOOOOYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Toadkiller
02-27-2009, 10:32 AM
So if all their players have great years they could win the division, earth shattering! I am the biggest Royals fanboy around but I don't think we have much of a chance to win the division this year.

sedated
02-27-2009, 10:33 AM
not an insider?

Toadkiller
02-27-2009, 10:34 AM
Last week we discussed how the White Sox are BP's last-place pick in the parity-enabled AL Central. A rung ahead of them, we're pegging the Royals to win 75 games, still behind our current projection for a division-winning 84 wins for the Indians -- but within reach. Could the Royals have a shot as a dark horse?
[+] EnlargeBilly Butler
John Williamson/Getty ImagesA Butler breakout is key for the KC offense.

Stick with the math, and it doesn't take too much to conjure up a scenario where the answer is yes. The AL Central was projected to have a 18-game spread last year, with the Royals pegged for 73 wins; two years ago, it was a 23-game spread, with the Royals expected to win 67; dial it back to 2006, and we forecasted a 27-game spread 61 wins for Kansas City. As Dayton Moore's slowly improved the talent on the roster, the anticipated leading teams in the division have been slowly coming back to the pack, with the Royals just as slowly coming back up from the depths.

When Clay Davenport ran the current rosters through simulated seasons a million times to generate a pre-season playoff odds report, the Royals won the division 13.8 percent of the time. Since the predicted division champs in Cleveland win in those simulations just 32.3 percent of the time, and an entirely random draw in a five-team division would have everyone winning the title 20 percent of the time, you get a sense of how just a few breaks could make Royals fans very happy indeed. After all, the favored Indians have a rotation comprised of Cliff Lee, a stick of dynamite and a couple of rocks, and a have nasty habit of having promising seasons blow up on them (2006 and 2008).
Patience Problems Insider

For the Royals to truly be a contender, Matt Meyers writes that they will need to shed their free-swinging ways Story

The math's pretty good as far as this being a team that can entertain a realistic amount of hope, and the Royals have some homegrown upside guys who you can imagine becoming key players on a competitive ballclub. While young power hitters like Alex Gordon and Billy Butler and pitcher Zack Greinke have been slow to reach their status as prized prospects, none of them have done so badly as to rule out some major breakout potential. Median PECOTA projections for Butler have him slugging .450, but it's a volatile forecast; ratchet him to his 75th-percentile forecast, and you've got a 23-year-old who's slugging .500 and fostering a bunch of favorable comparisons to Hal McRae. Gordon's projected .258/.342/.457 line is more stable, but here again, you're talking about a lefty power source just entering into his peak seasons. If Mike Aviles lives up to anything like last year's performance -- PECOTA's reservations aside -- that's a fearsome threesome.
[+] EnlargeZack Greinke
G. Newman Lowrance/Getty ImagesZack Greinke could be the Royals' long-awaited ace.

There's plenty of promise on the staff as well. The Mexecutioner, Joakim Soria, is the best closer casual fans might not yet recognize. If Greinke lives up to comparisons to top comparables like Alex Fernandez or Kevin Appier, the Royals have the ultimate must-have item for small-market success: a staff ace under contractual control. Young starters Kyle Davies and Luke Hochevar will both be turning 25, just as Greinke will be, and both might be ready to settle into solid rotation roles.

The problems boil down to weaknesses in both basic elements -- with their projected lineup, they're about the 12th-best offense in a 14-team league, and their pitching staff is still in the middle of the pack in the AL (though it nearly projects as the best in the division, rating only slightly behind the Twins). Allowing for the upside potential in the rotation and the hope that skipper Trey Hillman conjures up satisfactory results from Soria's set-up crew, the problem with any proposition of Royal relevance is the mediocrity you'll find among the veteran hitters who've been brought in to shore up the lineup.

Giving the OBP-challenged Jose Guillen a three-year and $36 million deal before 2008 ranked among the worst free-agent mistakes of the previous Hot Stove season. In taking advantage of Mike Jacobs' arbitration-generated availability to trade for him, Dayton Moore probably didn't ask whether he should, just because he could. Jacobs is a defensive butcher and a platoon hitter besides, and ranked below average among major league first basemen last year in terms of his total production, finishing with a .273 Equivalent Average at a position where .283 was average. If you were going to go shopping for a first baseman, jumping early to grab an adequate player just because he represented improvement over Ross Gload wasn't wise, especially when Jacobs might not be any better than prospect Kila Ka'aihue.

Moving around the rest of the lineup, young veterans like David DeJesus and Coco Crisp aren't bad, but they're not big run-producers for outfield regulars. Mark Teahen's had his moments, but the experiment with playing him at second could fail pretty easily, and while that might lead them to do something wise -- like platooning Teahen and Guillen in right -- if they make a follow-up mistake in their lineup like entrusting the playing time at the keystone to the likes of overpriced utility import Willie Bloomquist, they won't really move the dial any as far as upgrading their offense.

In short, the Royals need the kids to bust out to really put some fear into the rest of the division, because the older men are more likely to merely mark time.

mikey23545
02-27-2009, 10:49 AM
It's long overdue, that's for sure...

Gonzo
02-27-2009, 10:55 AM
Shit...Sorry, I thought I posted the whole thing.

Thig Lyfe
02-27-2009, 10:59 AM
TO DA SHIP

Lumpy
02-27-2009, 11:01 AM
Shit...Sorry, I thought I posted the whole thing.

http://i82.photobucket.com/albums/j275/McLumpy78/Funny%20Stuff/roflbotulpnjb1.jpg

Gonzo
02-27-2009, 11:02 AM
http://i82.photobucket.com/albums/j275/McLumpy78/Funny%20Stuff/roflbotulpnjb1.jpg

Noone likes lippy n00b's beyatch.

Lumpy
02-27-2009, 11:07 AM
Noone likes lippy n00b's beyatch.

:deevee:

Ari Chi3fs
02-27-2009, 11:14 AM
I read that KC is the ONLY team in MLB to have their payroll INCREASE this offseason.

Reaper16
02-27-2009, 12:14 PM
I read that KC is the ONLY team in MLB to have their payroll INCREASE this offseason.
How the shit did the Yankees payroll not increase? Was Giambi making that much?

StcChief
02-27-2009, 12:40 PM
I read that KC is the ONLY team in MLB to have their payroll INCREASE this offseason.still in the bottom 5 teams for payroll?

Reaper16
02-27-2009, 01:19 PM
still in the bottom 5 teams for payroll?
I think the Royals are close to the dead-middle of the MLB now.