Kansas City Royals: SI indicates little optimism for team

(Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
(Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /

The Kansas City Royals went from World Champions to bottom feeders in a short amount of time. Sports Illustrated thinks it will last a couple more seasons.

Look back to the 2012 season when the Kansas City Royals finished with a record of 72-90. They followed that with an 86-76 season in 2013, appeared in the World Series in 2014, and finally won it in 2015. However, things started to quickly diminish after the 2015 season as the team finish 81-81 in 2016, 80-82 in 2017, and 58-104 a year ago.

Obviously a large part of that was the departure of key players like Lorenzo Cain, Mike Moustakas, Eric Hosmer, Wade Davis, Greg Holland, Jarrod Dyson and Alex Rios. Sports Illustrated recently released their list of hopeless franchises ranked top to bottom. They have the Royals as the second most hopeless franchise just behind the Miami Marlins and ahead of the Detroit Tigers.

"The best way to explain the Royals’ hopelessness is with the players no longer on their roster. Nine ex-Royals from the 2017 team are now playing for teams that do not appear on our hopeless index, including three key members of their 2015 World Series championship team: first baseman Eric Hosmer (Padres), third baseman Mike Moustakas (Brewers) and Lorenzo Cain (Brewers). Relatively unknown, lefthander Mike Minor was a reliever for Kansas City in 2017 and is now an All-Star starter for the Rangers."

I mean, I can’t necessarily disagree with their reasoning but I do think that the Royals have the potential to compete again in just a couple of seasons. The most recent Fangraphs farm system rankings has the Royals as the 5th worst, but that’s in large part because their highly regarded prospects are all in the lower levels.

They should get a decent boost at the start of the 2020 season when Bobby Witt Jr. and and other 2019 draft prospects get assigned to their respective affiliates. However, it’s not all doom and gloom for SI as they give major props to Adalberto Mondesi‘s reason for giving this franchise hope.

"Adalberto Mondesi. The 24-year-old shortstop has five-tool potential and projects as a 20-20 talent. His defense is magnificent, with nine defensive runs saved in just 82 games this season before landing on the IL in mid-July. He’s hitting .266 with a .727 OPS and 31 stolen bases. If he stays healthy and gets on base more often, Mondesi will be a force atop the Kansas City lineup."

It will be nice to get him back in this lineup and healthy again. The problem right now is the pitching has just been terrible. Jakob Junis was clobbered against his kryptonite in the Cleveland Indians on Friday, Mike Montgomery the same on Wednesday.

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Like I said before, the majority of their talent is in the lower levels of the farm system right now but many of them are ascending at a good pace. 2020 definitely looks bleak right now, but we should start to see some of the young guys (Brady Singer, Jackson Kowar) make their way to Kauffman Stadium with others in 2021. Hang in there Royals fans.