Will the players who helped shape the 2017 Kansas City Royals season improve or fall off next season? That’s the question this piece will try to answer.
The Kansas City Royals missed out on their goal of making the playoffs in 2018, in part because of some lackluster play by a few key players. At the same time, they were in contention for the American League’s second Wild Card spot due to some outstanding play from others. Should we expect more of these players to progress or regress in 2018, and where will that put the Royals at the end of the season?
Every year, there are players who greatly exceed expectations, and there are others who fail to play up to their potential. This year, the Kansas City Royals roster was full of players that did both. Whit Merrifield emerged as a budding superstar. Alex Gordon was arguably the worst hitter in all of baseball. These are just two examples of players who overachieved or underachieved.
Usually, teams that have more players overachieving than they do underachieving will outperform teams that have the opposite. The Kansas City Royals finished 2017 slightly above-average, suggesting they had a fair number of players either exceed expectations or fail to live up to them.
Let’s break down five key players who either overachieved or underachieved in 2017 and decide whether to expect progression or regression in 2018.