Royals Rated Fourth Best Team in Baseball


Last season, the Kansas City Royals came within one Madison Bumgarner of winning the World Series. For a team that relied as heavily as they did upon pitching, defense and speed, it was quite the impressive accomplishment and a ride that all of us enjoyed being a part of. Yet, even with that run in the postseason, the Royals just did not feel like one of the top teams in baseball, given their offensive holes and complete lack of power.

Those needs, as well as their needing to shore up the pitching staff with the departure of James Shields, have been addressed this offseason. Edinson Volquez should be able to perform at a level similar to Shields. Kendrys Morales and Alex Rios should provide more power than Billy Butler and Nori Aoki respectively. Even the bullpen has been improved, with the return of Luke Hochevar and Jason Frasor.

But are the Royals improved enough to be the fourth best team in baseball? According to Buster Olney, the Royals are, indeed, the fourth best team at this point in time. Obviously, a lot can change, given that Shields is still a free agent, but that still seems to be a rather high ranking for a team that, even with these additions, may not scare anyone offensively.

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  • Yet, when one thinks about it, that ranking may well be the perfect spot for the Royals. After all, how many teams can one truly say are better than the Royals right now? The Washington Nationals may be the class of the National League, and both the Miami Marlins and Los Angeles Dodgers seem fairly close behind. But beyond that? Who in the American League is truly a frightening ballclub?

    Even if the Royals may be considered, at least to some degree, the current favorites to come out of the American League, that does not mean that the Royals are suddenly going to be winning games 15-1. The formula is still going to be the same, even with those additions on offense. The Royals will still likely get as far as their bullpen and defense take them.

    So long as they can hold a lead after six innings, then the Royals should be fine. The biggest difference may be that, instead of needing to rely upon stringing together three hits in a row to get that run, they have enough of a power upgrade to get those runs a slight bit easier.

    The Kansas City Royals may not look like the fourth best team in baseball, but perception may not matter. It could be that the Royals really are that good, given the parity that has begun to crop up in baseball.