With a full week of Cactus League play behind them, the KC Royals continue the exhibition season today and tonight with a pair of split-squad games. They'll face Cincinnati on the road at 2:05 pm CT, then host the Dodgers at 7:05 pm CT in a game televised by Bally Sports Kansas City.
It's a red-hot Kansas City club that divides for the day and heads in separate directions in hopes of adding two more wins to their Cactus League-leading seven, a total good enough through Friday's games for first place and a two-game cushion over the Angels. Teamwise, nothing more than some pride and some measure of progress is at stake in spring ball, but a 7-1 record is nice regardless of context.
At the core of this early success is a surprisingly efficient offense that through Friday led the majors in OPS, OBP and RBIs, was tied for the lead in triples, and ranked second in runs, hits, total bases, doubles, at-bats and BABIP. And the Royals are averaging 7.5 runs per game. Who has the big bats?
Who the KC Royals' hottest spring hitter is should surprise you
Robbie Glendinning didn't play Friday when Kansas City won its fourth game in a row by beating Oakland 6-4, probably because he'd already left for Japan to join Team Australia for its first World Baseball Classic workout this weekend. But before he departed, he left his mark on KC spring camp.
Others are close on his heels, but the at least mildly surprising Glendinning, who in 118 games at Double-A Northwest Arkansas last season clubbed 19 homers and hit .252 with a .373 OBP, is 6-for-7 (.857) and has two RBIs. His half-dozen hits are all singles, but look for a homer or two when he returns from the WBC.
Another surprise is only a hit behind Glendinning: catcher José Briceño is 5-for-9 (.556) and has two doubles and three RBIs.
Who else is hot? Let's find out.