June 23, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals batter Billy Butler (16) singles in a run against the Chicago White Sox during the fifth inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports
Second Half Breakout
Jen: The entire offense. They will become an extra-base hitting machine (or they won’t make a playoff run).
Mike: Alex Gordon. If left in one position in the lineup I think his offense will improve.
Brian: Since Hosmer has already started breaking out, I will go with Lorenzo Cain.
Marcus: Billy Butler. Billy’s been pretty good so far, but despite the fact that some are quick to both criticize and defend him, he hasn’t been his usual self. So, I expect a big surge in the second half.
Jordan: He hasn’t quite put together a season we were all hoping for the former All-Star but it has been a productive season regardless of what anyone says. He’s primed for a big outburst of power in the 2nd half that we were hoping to see to start the season.
Jeff: Billy Butler. Billy traditionally puts up better numbers in the season’s second half and will likely do the same this year.
Hunter: Billy Butler. It seems odd to select the player leading the Royals in wOBA and wRC+ to “break out,” but Butler has always been a 2nd half player, and I expect his power numbers to spike in the coming months. (Close 2nd choice: Johnny Giavotella, if he’s allowed to play more than 3 games at a time.)
Ethan: I really hope it’s Johnny Giavotella. I don’t necessarily think Gio is a long-term solution at second base, but I’m sick of the Getz/Johnson debate. I don’t think either of them should be an everyday starting second baseman and the thing about Gio is he not be a better choice than those two, but we don’t know because he hasn’t been given a chance. If they’d let him start regularly throughout the second half, we’d have a better idea of how he can perform at the major league level. (note: I guess there’s still time for Ethan’s pick)
Michael: Billy Butler. His pattern suggests it, he’s had a down year and time to think about it, and he’s just too talented a hitter to keep struggling. He may not get back into 30 homer range, but he’ll get back towards .300 and probably surpass a .400 OBP.
Kevin: Alex Gordon – sure, I’m a homer. But Gordon two years ago was a 6.6 fWAR performer, and last year 5.5 fWAR. The difference this year has been mostly defense as the metrics don’t show him nearly as much love as in years past (11, 14.6, 3.3 Fielding Runs Above Average Respectively), so I expect some progression to his mean there. But mostly, it’s on the offensive side. Gordon’s Isolated Slugging is down significantly over the past two seasons, and I will forever believe that someone with his significant natural power shouldn’t be a little bit more of a home run hitter.
I'm a KU grad and longtime Royals fan who shudders at the names Ricky Bottalico, Kerry Robinson, and others too terrible to recount, while also longing for the days when Johnny Damon would do commercials with George Brett. I'm glad that there's a new crop of potential stars to hang my playoffs hopes on.