Kansas City Royals: So…How Are We Doing?

KANSAS CITY, MO - JUNE 30: Jorge Soler
KANSAS CITY, MO - JUNE 30: Jorge Soler /

After last night’s 10-0 win over Seattle, the Kansas City Royals are now 3-5. That could very easily be 5-3.  Two flops by Brandon Maurer have quite an effect. So how are they actually doing?

So far, the Kansas City Royals have not hit much.  No one likes excuses, but if you have ever played baseball you know that hitting while it is so cold you can see your own bat speed because of steam. It is not easy to hit a baseball.

(Note: You can’t actually see steam that way.)

Lucas Duda leads the team with two home runs and seven RBI.  RBI is a wildly overrated stat, as it is dependent on the guys in front of you getting into scoring position.  That said, he is doing well, even with a night off last night (probably because of the cold weather and a balky hamstring).  Our old pal Eric Hosmer has six doubles, no homers, and two RBI.  Kansas City is getting decent production from Duda at a fraction of Hosmer’s price.

Mike Moustakas hit his first home run of the season last night as well.  He is the only regular besides Duda with a respectable slugging percentage.  That is good. The Royals need Moose to have a big year for a variety of reasons.  It keeps them in games, and it makes him all the more attractive to possible trade suitors.  He is showing no lingering issues from his injury last year, which is huge.

The starting pitching has been okay.  Danny Duffy has one bad start and one okay start while Ian Kennedy has been good through his first two starts.

Jakob Junis has been outstanding.  Through two starts, he has fourteen scoreless innings.  He may never be elite, but his ceiling is looking higher and higher all the time.  When you watch him, pay attention to how quickly he works.  He pitches to contact and is very quick to get on the hill and throw strikes.

It will be interesting to see if he can keep up anything like his current pace once the weather turns warm and hitters warm up at the plate.  His sample size is getting large enough now to feel pretty confident when he takes the mound.

Finally, I want to point out Jorge Soler.  He is now five of his last seven.  The important things to watch with Soler are his exit velocity (how fast the ball comes off his bat), and the number of pitches he sees.

He has been having good at-bats, even when results have not been there.  He is not wildly swinging at bad pitches and he is making pitchers throw him strikes.  That is a great sign.  If pitchers have to throw strikes to him, he is going to see a lot of fastballs—and if he does, we are all going to see why Dayton Moore was eager to acquire him.

Final Thoughts

That is a quick look at where we are right now.  Decent starting pitching, a fairly cold lineup (literally and figuratively), and a bullpen that I choose not to discuss right now.

I said that this would be a fun but frustrating team to watch, and so far it has been the case. However, I think fortune will pick up as the weather gets warmer.  Until then, keep your eyes on how many pitches Soler sees when he steps up, and let’s all start celebrating “Junisdays”.  Those are important things not only this year but as the rebuild progresses.

What do you think Royals fans? Are you noticing anything different? Am I missing anything? Let us know below!