Buck the Trends: Park factors and the KC Royals

A new contributor's debut introduces a new series to Kings of Kauffman.
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Defending the power alleys

On defense, the Royals should strongly consider developing a team that can defend the power alleys. Because teams can't hit a lot of home runs at Kauffman, they attempt to attack the power alleys to gain an advantage. To ensure success, the Royals should place top-tier defenders at shortstop, second base, centerfield, and left field.

The good news is they already have a great start with stellar defenders Bobby Witt Jr. at short and Kyle Isbel in center, and second base options are strong with Michael Massey, Nick Loftin, or Maikel Garcia, all of whom are above-average infield defenders.

Being strong up the middle can reduce the ability of hitters to reach the power alleys. A Gold Glove-caliber defensive center fielder is a must to cover as much of the outfield as possible. Because the majority of baseball players are righthanded, pulled balls off their bats will go to left-center. This is why lining up Alcides Escobar, Lorenzo Cain, and Alex Gordon was so important to the Royals' most recent run of great success. 

Speaking of Gordon, one area the current Royals need to improve is corner outfielders. Problems in the corners were significant contributors to the 2023 team's inability to prevent runs. Look for several stories this offseason focused on improving the corners, particularly left field.