Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Of all the predictions floating around the internet about the upcoming Royals’ season, these are some of them. In part one of this series, the Kings of Kauffman staff made some predictions about Yordano Ventura and former Royal/current Brave/future Royal Ervin Santana, and you can read those predictions here. Today, we’ve got bold predictions on some Royals’ prospects and the big league squad.
What is your bold prospect prediction for 2014?
Brian: Bubba Starling for the whole season slashes .255/.345/.470, moves up to Double A at the All-Star break, and ends with 25 home runs, combining levels.
Alan: Christian Colon knocks the cover off the ball in Omaha to begin the year, then is brought up to replace Escobar or Infante, either of whom goes on an extended DL trip for his shoulder. Colon hits .320 in KC and ignites the bottom third of the order. Talk of why Moore signed Infante to a 4-year deal surfaces en masse.
Mike: (A repeat prediction from last season) Kyle Zimmer is used during the stretch playoff run by the team.
Ed: Raul Mondesi will play over a month in the bigs this season. He’ll be having a great year, and an injured Escobar will be doing a 2013 encore.
Ethan: Kyle Zimmer gets a September call-up. I don’t know if that’s bold, but I would be very happy to see it.
Jen: As excited as I am to see Hunter Dozier play in Wilmington this season, I think he will be headed to Double-A by the All-Star break. I thought it was interesting that Mike Moustakas stuck around to watch the minor leaguers during last week’s spring training game after he was taken out (instead of leaving). So he knows that he should be looking over his shoulder because Dozier will be moving quickly.
Dave: With the Royals hanging around the playoff hunt at the All-Star Break, they remove a subpar Jeremy Guthrie from the rotation for Kyle Zimmer, in the hopes that Zimmer can do for the Royals what Sonny Gray and Michael Wacha did for the A’s and Cardinals respectively last year.
Hunter: Miguel Almonte and Sean Manaea both dominate at the High-A level for a couple months before being promoted to Northwest Arkansas, where they continue to excel. By season’s end, both pitchers will be among the top 40 prospects in baseball.
What is your bold big league prediction for 2014?
Brian: After a pathetic 112 HRs last year, the team bounces back in a big way, going over 150 as a team led by 30 from Eric Hosmer.
Alan: The Royals will have a winning record in every month. If that occurs, their playoff fate is sealed.
Mike: Mike Moustakas hits 20 home runs and drives in 80 runs with a better than expected on-base percentage.
Ed: Butler, Perez and Hosmer will combine for over 75 bombs in 2014.
Ethan: Hosmer cracks 30 home runs and does lots of weird finger waggles throughout the year as he’ll be on base a lot.
Jen: Lorenzo Cain will stay healthy the entire season and play around 150 games. He has been hitting the ball hard this spring and once the season starts, those balls will find holes. Cain will be an All-Star and earn a Gold Glove.
Dave: With the Royals built around speed and putting pressure on the opposition, Norichika Aoki will be given an automatic green light when he’s on base. Taking advantage, Aoki will steal approximately 45 bases as the Royals have their first true leadoff hitter in years.
Hunter: Eight of the nine regulars in the Royals’ starting lineup will have on-base percentages above .320. If that doesn’t seem bold enough, consider that of the 10 hitters who accumulated 200 plate appearances with Kansas City last season, only 5 had an OBP of at least .320. Only 5 of 12 such hitters reached that mark in 2012. So, having almost the entire starting lineup getting on base at that clip would be a big accomplishment.
What about all of you? Feel free to make your own prospect and big league predictions in the comments below. People tell me the internet keeps record of such things, meaning we can revisit this post after the season is over and see how well we did. Or, if we’re all terribly wrong, we can forget all of this ever happened.