Sep 23, 2013; Seattle, WA, USA; Kansas City Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas (8) and Kansas City Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer (35) celebrate after Hosmer scored a run against the Seattle Mariners off a RBI single hit by Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez (13) (not pictured) during the 8th inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

The Royals as a Sleeper World Series Pick


Thus far during the preseason, there have not been many projections that have been kind to the Kansas City Royals. For the most past, the Royals have been expected to hover around the .500 mark, falling within a couple of games on either side of that mark. At times, it seems as though only us Royals fans expect the team to be at least as good as last year.

However, there is at least one person that thinks that the Royals could be a sleeper pick for the World Series. David Schoenfield of ESPN.com selected the Royals as a sleeper pick to win the World Series, noting that the last five teams that won it all had missed the playoffs the previous year. Of course, the Royals could have been picked to win the World Series in any of the past 27 years based on that logic, but the Royals are a team that is seemingly on the upswing right now.

Schoenfield compares the Royals to the 2010 and 2012 Giants. He noted that Dayton Moore may not have signed the biggest names, but that he may have gotten the right veteran players to augment a young team. Omar Infante and Norichika Aoki have filled the holes that the Royals had at the top of their lineup. Gone are the days of seeing Alcides Escobar get almost 70 plate appearances in the second spot of the lineup. Jason Vargas may not be the stud second starter that we would like the Royals to have, but he may end up pitching like one by coming to Kauffman Stadium.

Like the Giants, the Royals have one of the deepest bullpens in the majors. In fact, the Royals bullpen may well be the best in baseball, and is much better than what the Giants had. As good as Brian Wilson may have been, the Giants bullpen was not nearly as stacked from top to bottom.

The only missing ingredient would be to have the younger players step up, or have one of the veterans put together a career year. Perhaps Eric Hosmer and Salvador Perez take a major step forward in 2014, becoming the offensive weapons they appear to be on the verge of becoming. Perhaps Mike Moustakas figures everything out, and turns into the hitter that the Royals envisioned. Or maybe Aoki turns into a stolen base machine, and the Royals run their way back into the postseason.

Even though the Royals are one of two teams to have not made the postseason this century, at least one person thinks that they could be a sleeper to win the World Series. Talk about a perfect way to welcome postseason baseball back to Kansas City.

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  • jimfetterolf

    Playoffs result from the team, the series is dependent on the pitching staff. Reach the playoffs with Shields, Duffy, and Ventura in the line up and it’s certainly possible. That’s what the Royals did in ’85.

  • moretrouble

    I very nice article today, David. I agree with it, although I would say the World Series is a different kind of series than the league playoffs. In the World Series, the teams do not know each other well and the key to that kind of series is who makes adjustments the quickest.

    KC, with their inexperience, has not shown me that ability in the past. How many times have we seen some unknown pitcher, just up from AAA ball, shut down the KC offense? Remember what Miami did to KC late last season? That may change with more veteran hitters in their line-up this season. Let’s hope so.

    Can KC get to the playoffs? Sure. Can they get past a one game wildcard game? Luck has a lot to do with that outcome, but yes, they could. Can they win against a determined opponent in a 7 game league championship? Well, they’d be facing a better team and I’m not sure KC could play that well.

  • Christian camlin

    From an offensive and defensive standpoint this could be the year it all comes together for the Royals.Aoki has been like clockwork since coming to the US and the larger dimensions of the K should cause his average and extra base hits totals to rise.Infante has spent his career as a bb gun in an artillery attack but may benefit a great deal from hitting in the 2 spot instead of the 8 or 9 spot. Hosmer recovered nicely last year but we all know he is just Scratching the surface of his potential.He could easily drive in 120 some year while fighting for a batting title.Still think he can make 100 RBI’s a regular thing.Butler is a poor match for the Royals but he is what he is.He can drive in runs hit for average with decent power.If we contend he is likely to be traded for a legitimate #2 pitcher.
    Gordon is another player who is talented but has yet to put it all together.He can hit for average& power and steal bases.And we all know that one of these years the Kiddy Catcher Saivador Perez will hit around 30 bombs to go with his .300+ average and outstanding defense.tThen we have Moustakas& Escobar who both had big 2012 seasons but floundered in 2013.If they came back to their 2012 form anything is possible for the Royals.And if Cain or Cain & Dyson play to full potential their could be no weaknesses in the Royals offense.Thing is some may not occur yet the majority are likely to happen.This offense will surprise teams.
    And as long as Perez is healthy the pitching is likely to pitch above the Talent level here.This team can make the playoffs or miss them by a mile.But if they make the playoffs the Series is not out of reach.