MLB executives name KC Royals a top team (so far) in 2024

An anonymous poll revealed baseball leadership thinks Kansas City is most surprising team in 2024.
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The KC Royals are off to a strong start, posting a 20-14 record and sitting high in the AL Central. There is still plenty of baseball to be played, but seeing Kansas City winning early in the season is a forgotten feeling for fans. While we are slightly more than a month into the MLB season,'s Mark Feinsand polled MLB executives and found a surprising vote of confidence in this year's Royals.

The KC Royals are turning heads, in a good way, to start 2024.

Feinsand asked 24 voters "Which team has been the biggest surprise?" and Kansas City earned 13 votes. That nearly doubled the Cleveland Guardians, who received seven votes. The AL Central stood tall in this question, with the Royals, Guardians, and Detroit Tigers earning 21 or 24 votes. All three teams sit multiple games above .500 while the Minnesota Twins' 12-game winning streak has them sitting third in the division.

The voters cited Kansas City's offseason additions, mainly pitchers Seth Lugo and Michael Wacha. The pitching improvements, coupled with MVP-caliber performances from Bobby Witt Jr. and Salvador Perez, have the Royals off to a surprising start.

"I thought they would be terrible,” one AL executive said. “But their midrange free-agent deals have been mostly OK, and Witt has been playing at another level."

FanGraphs projections for Kansas City have improved dramatically since Opening Day. The Royals currently have a 33.1% of making the playoffs, with a projected 82 wins. That would be the Royals most regular-season wins since 2015, where they won the World Series after a 95-67 record.

Kansas City's winning ways come not from scoring a ton of runs, but limiting their opponents. The Royals allowed an MLB-low 99 runs through their first 33 games, thanks to quality starters and elite defense. They are the 10th team in the Wild Card Era to allow fewer than 100 runs through their first 33 games. That mark is usually a key to success, as eight of the previous nine teams qualified for the postseason. There are many more games to be played, but things are looking up for the boys in blue.

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