The KC Royals may have the advantage in the near future and it would be very similar to something the current World Series champions pulled off.
The KC Royals have a lot of work to do, that is not something that can be dismissed. Fixing their offensive woes would do a lot to help push them forward, but time is something they need most. Time for their young pitching prospects to adapt, time for their position players to get comfortable, and time for the team to grow together, much like the team of 2014-15.
When trying to relate the team to the most recent World Series it would be easy to immediately put the Royals and the Rays together. Smaller market, underdogs to many, attempting to work with a smaller payroll and develop from within instead of having to buy players, all things the team can be said to have in common.
While the Rays made these “disadvantages” work for them, much like the Royals of 2014-15, it may be important to take a look at the other player in this whole scenario, the L.A. Dodgers.
It’s true, most wouldn’t put the Dodgers and the Royals in the same category. The Dodgers don’t fall into the small market category allowing them to typically spend a little more than the Royals would. They are also often an MLB favorite, as they are a bigger name, make more money, and are good for business when on a main stage such as the World Series.
Still, the Dodgers of 2020 could be a foreshadow of what is to come for the future Royals. Not because of what they spent, but because of what they developed. A recent tweet tells something incredible the Dodgers did in the 2020 postseason.
The stat presented in the tweet is impressive for any team. While there was obviously some money spent in some areas, the nod to player development is very apparent. The Dodgers have been able to develop players, and while they can afford to keep them around longer than some, they can typically replace one if they leave as well.
This stat is where the line starts to come together for the Royals and the Dodgers. Pitching has been a struggle for years in the Royals organization. There have been times in the past with good starters, and obvious times with dominant relievers, but often, the issues come down to inconsistencies on the mound.
But, the Royals have changed their approach. Brady Singer and Kris Bubic were just the start in 2020. Still to come is Asa Lacy, Daniel Lynch, Jackson Kowar, Jonathan Bowlan, Carlos Hernandez, Austin Cox, and plenty more, all of them drafted by the Royals.
By 2022, the majority of the Kansas City rotation could be headed by players drafted and developed in the organization, and the bullpen could easily go down the same road.
The Royals have set themselves up for success, and while it’s likely they will lose some of their pitchers in the future due to cost or trading, they seem to be continuing to stockpile, allowing them to rinse and repeat, develop and replace.
As no two storylines are typically the same, it’s not fair to say the Royals will see the same success as the Dodgers. There are other areas to work on than just pitching, and the Royals will likely need to spend a little more money before making it to the postseason again.
The Dodger’s ability to develop their pitching and use it in the World Series seems awfully close to home for those following the Royal’s minor leagues, though.
There is no telling what the future may hold, but if the Dodgers are any indication, the Royals may be on the right track to see a World Series again soon.
The Dodgers used their drafted and developed talent in the 2020 World Series and came out on top. The Royals could see similar success with their current prospects and find a way back to contention.