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
As Spring Training and the start of the regular season inch slowly closer, our thoughts have turned more towards how the 2014 incarnation of the Royals will fare upon the diamond. For those of us that play fantasy baseball as well, our thoughts may be focused more on how individual player will produce, as opposed to the team as a whole. We want the Royals to do well, but we also want to make sure that any players we draft from the team will be able to help our fantasy squad.
Our friends over at Fantasy Baseball Crackerjacks recently profiled the Royals, looking at projections for their lineup and pitching staff. Based on their projections, the Royals may not have one true star hitter to build a fantasy roster around, but a number of solid players that can compliment a roster. In fact, that approach may be more conducive to winning in the real world, as opposed to our fantasy baseball universe.
As of this point, the Royals are expected to have no one who hits even twenty home runs, a projection that is astonishing given that forty home run hitters are fairly commonplace in the game. Steamer projections are a bit more forgiving, with Eric Hosmer and Billy Butler each expected to reach the twenty home run plateau. However, the Royals are expected to have four players with an on base percentage of .350 or higher, while making contact in the vast majority of their at bats.
While we all hoped that the Royals would finally locate that middle of the order slugger who could hit thirty plus home runs and potentially remove Steve Balboni as the Royals single season home run leader, such a player may not be needed. The Royals are likely to get on base, and continually put pressure on the defense to make plays. While that may not lead to the traditional big inning that we have come to know in this era of baseball, the Royals should still score plenty of runs. What they have is a lineup that is seemingly perfectly suited to Kauffman Stadium, where they can put the ball into the gaps instead of having players focusing on trying to launch a ball into the waterfall.
That may help to illustrate the biggest difference between fantasy baseball and real life. Having a team loaded with members of the Royals in fantasy may not help your fantasy squad succeed, the Royals lineup should be enough to help the team contend for the postseason. And that is really all that matters.