Royals Begin Spring Training Looking to Make Playoffs

3 years 9 months 2 weeks ago Thursday, February 27 2014 Feb 27, 2014 Thursday, February 27, 2014 4:15:00 PM CST February 27, 2014 in Sports
By: Thomas Bradbury, KOMU 8 Sports Digital Producer

SURPRISE, Ariz. - Coming off their best season in two decades, The Kansas City Royals will begin their 2014 campaign, hoping to reach the playoffs for the first time since they won the World Series all the way back in 1985. The team began spring training Thursday in Surprise, Arizona.

The Royals return almost all the same starters as last season. The only change in the outfield is in right field, where consistent run-scorer David Lough has been replaced by an even more productive run-scorer in Norichika Aoki. In the field Omar Infante takes over at shortstop. He had a great season for Detroit last season hitting .318 along with 24 doubles.

The young infield trio of Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas and Salvador Perez, all enter their fourth season playing together.

First-baseman Eric Hosmer was drafted 3rd overall by the Royals back in 2008. Entering the league in 2011, Hosmer had an excellent rookie campaign that finished with him placing third in Rookie of the Year voting. He regressed in his sophomore campaign, but recovered last season as he led all starters with a .302 batting average, and was the team's third best in RBI's with 79. He was one of three Royals awarded a Gold Glove award last season.

Like Hosmer, third-baseman Mike Moustakas was another top pick, 2nd overall in 2007. But unlike Hosmer, he regressed last season. Moustakas' production slipped as he hit 60 percent fewer home runs than his sophomore season, and he had a dismal .233 batting average.

An MLB All-Star last season, the 23-year-old catcher Salvador Perez provides all-around play for the Royals. Last season he hit .292 along with 79 RBIs.

Another MLB All-Star last season for the Royals was seven-year MLB veteran Alex Gordon. He was the team leader in home runs with 20, had six triples and 81 RBIs. He has also won three consecutive Gold Glove awards and the past two Fielding Bible, award for best fielder at each respective position, awards for left-fielders. In 2012 he led the MLB in doubles with 51.

Contributing as a designated hitter is Billy Butler. Butler had an All-Star year in 2012, he hit a career high 29 home runs. Last season his home run production slowed to 15, but he still led the Royals with 82 RBIs.

In the bullpen the Royals closer Greg Holland was an All-Star last season. With his tremendous play, he set the Royals all-time single-season record for saves in a season with 47. He had a 94 percent efficiency in closing opportunities. He was successful 47 out of 50 attempts.

Another talented pitcher for the Royals is starter Bruce Chen. The 36 year old is entering his sixth consecutive season with the Royals. He finished last year with nine wins and four losses.

Atop the Royals rotation is James Shields. Shields had 196 strikeouts last season which was the team high. He finished last season with a record of 13 wins and nine losses.

Looking to make the jump out of the minor leagues at some point this season are two pitching prospects, Kyle Zimmer and Yordano Ventura.

Kyle Zimmer is, according to the SportsNation consensus top prospects list, ranked as the 24th best prospect in all of the minor leagues. Yordano Ventura is ranked as the 30th best. Zimmer was the fifth overall selection in the 2012 draft.

 

More News

Grid
List
NEVADA (AP) — Two inmates who were captured soon after breaking out of a western Missouri jail face new charges.... More >>
8 minutes ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 2:20:00 PM CST December 12, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Legislation for a primary seatbelt law has been filed by the Missouri House Transportation Committee chairman. This... More >>
1 hour ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 1:03:00 PM CST December 12, 2017 in Top Stories
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Firefighters have found two bodies while battling a blaze in a Kansas City, Kansas, home.... More >>
2 hours ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 11:53:16 AM CST December 12, 2017 in News
CARTHAGE (AP) — A former employee of a Carthage rehabilitation center was sentenced to 10 years in prison for stealing... More >>
3 hours ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 10:38:59 AM CST December 12, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Police found 23 individually vacuum-sealed plastic bags of marijuana on Monday in a package delivered by FedEx. ... More >>
4 hours ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 10:22:00 AM CST December 12, 2017 in News
ST. JOSEPH (AP) — A Missouri woman has been charged in the drowning death of her 6-month-old son. The... More >>
4 hours ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 9:54:03 AM CST December 12, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — An Illinois man has been sentenced to 25 years in prison in the fatal shooting of... More >>
4 hours ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 9:43:49 AM CST December 12, 2017 in News
JANESVILLE, Wis. (AP) — Janesville police say the victim of a homicide was stabbed at least 30 times. ... More >>
4 hours ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 9:37:00 AM CST December 12, 2017 in News
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) — Fire crews have found a woman dead while putting out a fire in a suburban... More >>
5 hours ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 9:28:02 AM CST December 12, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Jefferson City Board of Adjustment will hear from the public Tuesday morning about issuing a conditional... More >>
7 hours ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 6:42:00 AM CST December 12, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - It's a topic that many people shy away from, but one man came to Columbia to talk about... More >>
18 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 8:25:00 PM CST December 11, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Terron Wings says he considers himself blessed he can now call himself an “American taxpayer.” Wings, 37,... More >>
19 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 7:27:27 PM CST December 11, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY- A Special Olympics Missouri plan nearly a decade in the making could become a reality as soon as... More >>
19 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 7:12:00 PM CST December 11, 2017 in Sports
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Board of Education voted to approve ballot language for a $30 million bond issue Monday night... More >>
19 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 7:01:00 PM CST December 11, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – High winds and dry conditions warranted additional safety precautions for fire safety Monday in central Missouri. The... More >>
20 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 6:04:00 PM CST December 11, 2017 in News
RENICK – The Beamer family was on the porch of their Randolph County home at the beginning of the storm... More >>
21 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 5:21:00 PM CST December 11, 2017 in News
ROCHEPORT - Consolidated Water issued a boil order advisory for parts of Howard County Monday due to a water main... More >>
21 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 4:29:00 PM CST December 11, 2017 in News
ORONOGO (AP) — Homeowners living near a gun range in southwest Missouri are concerned about stray bullets that have been... More >>
22 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 3:32:30 PM CST December 11, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 35°
3pm 35°
4pm 35°
5pm 33°
6pm 33°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

2:00p
The Dr. Oz Show
3:00p
Dr. Phil
4:00p
Jeopardy!
2:00p
Maury
3:00p
The Robert Irvine Show
4:00p
The Goldbergs

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
The Voice
8:00p
Gwen Stefani's You Make It Feel Like Christmas
9:00p
Chicago Med
7:00p
Greatest Holiday Commercials Countdown 2017
8:00p
The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld