Kansas City Royals Still the Class of the AL Central
By David Hill
1. Kansas City Royals
Maybe it is easy to say that the defending World Series champions will once again win the American League Central, but for all of their flaws, the Kansas City Royals are still the most complete team in the division.
Offensively, there are questions. Second base is a concern, given that Omar Infante has battled injuries and has not produced when healthy. Right field could be a revolving door all season, with Jarrod Dyson likely getting the first chance to prove he can man the position. Questions abound as to whether or not Mike Moustakas can build on his breakthrough 2015 campaign. Yet, with their contact based approach and ability to cause havoc on the basepaths, the Royals offense should be able to produce.
Likewise, questions abound about the starting rotation. Yordano Ventura is again expected to front the rotation, and the Royals hope that this is the season he can embrace the role of being the staff ace. Edinson Volquez and Chris Young were revelations last year, and the newly signed Ian Kennedy may be a perfect fit for Kauffman Stadium. However, the strength of the pitching staff is still the bullpen, with Joakim Soria returning to join Wade Davis and Kelvin Herrera as the new lockdown trio.
Next: Can Mike Moustakas sustain 2015 breakthrough?
The Kansas City Royals, with their ability to make contact, shutdown bullpen, and stellar defense, are the most complete team in the division. With a two year window of opportunity, the Royals should be able to make the postseason once again this year.