Royals Begin Spring Training Looking to Make Playoffs

2 years 2 months 1 day ago February 27, 2014 Feb 27, 2014 Thursday, February 27 2014 Thursday, February 27, 2014 4:15:00 PM CST 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 The only change in the outfield is in right field, where consistent run-scorer David Lough has been replaced by an even more productive run-scorer in Norichika Aoki.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
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — There are two weeks left for the Missouri Legislature to pass bills, and some Democrats are... More >>
18 minutes ago April 30, 2016 Apr 30, 2016 Saturday, April 30 2016 Saturday, April 30, 2016 1:27:24 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA — The Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) said Saturday a man who they arrested on Wednesday has died. ... More >>
4 hours ago April 30, 2016 Apr 30, 2016 Saturday, April 30 2016 Saturday, April 30, 2016 8:53:00 AM CDT in News
MEXICO — Parents, teachers and potential foster parents are taking the opportunity to offer their kids a better life by... More >>
7 hours ago April 30, 2016 Apr 30, 2016 Saturday, April 30 2016 Saturday, April 30, 2016 6:15:00 AM CDT in News
BALLWIN (AP) — Republicans are choosing 40 of the 57 Missouri delegates to their national convention and many may not... More >>
7 hours ago April 30, 2016 Apr 30, 2016 Saturday, April 30 2016 Saturday, April 30, 2016 5:56:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - A town hall meeting to explain an updated development code for the city of Columbia was held Saturday... More >>
9 hours ago April 30, 2016 Apr 30, 2016 Saturday, April 30 2016 Saturday, April 30, 2016 4:23:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA — What was supposed to be a simple meet and greet resulted in a change of location and some... More >>
17 hours ago April 29, 2016 Apr 29, 2016 Friday, April 29 2016 Friday, April 29, 2016 8:09:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA — High school students from all over the state traveled to Columbia for the MSHSAA Music Festival, the state-level... More >>
17 hours ago April 29, 2016 Apr 29, 2016 Friday, April 29 2016 Friday, April 29, 2016 8:01:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA — Missouri residents will see more insects this Spring and Summer because temperatures did not hit below freezing enough... More >>
18 hours ago April 29, 2016 Apr 29, 2016 Friday, April 29 2016 Friday, April 29, 2016 7:07:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA — The City of Columbia utility department recently sent out 8,000 incorrect utility bills. Assistant Director Jim Windsor... More >>
20 hours ago April 29, 2016 Apr 29, 2016 Friday, April 29 2016 Friday, April 29, 2016 5:36:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA — The Columbia Senior Activity Center began its two-day spring garage sale on Friday. The annual garage sale... More >>
20 hours ago April 29, 2016 Apr 29, 2016 Friday, April 29 2016 Friday, April 29, 2016 5:35:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA — KOMU 8 News is always trying to find new ways to reach our audience. Following a fatal... More >>
20 hours ago April 29, 2016 Apr 29, 2016 Friday, April 29 2016 Friday, April 29, 2016 5:00:00 PM CDT in Your View
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Gov. Jay Nixon has signed a mid-year increase to Missouri's budget that adds more than $460... More >>
21 hours ago April 29, 2016 Apr 29, 2016 Friday, April 29 2016 Friday, April 29, 2016 4:08:53 PM CDT in News
FULTON — A student organization from Westminster College was recently recognized at the Clinton Global Initiative University meeting held at... More >>
21 hours ago April 29, 2016 Apr 29, 2016 Friday, April 29 2016 Friday, April 29, 2016 3:59:00 PM CDT in News
COLE COUNTY — Firefighters rescued a man who was trapped by floodwaters from the Missouri River on Friday morning, according... More >>
22 hours ago April 29, 2016 Apr 29, 2016 Friday, April 29 2016 Friday, April 29, 2016 3:43:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA — With moving season almost in full swing, the Better Business Bureau is warning customers to be cautious as... More >>
22 hours ago April 29, 2016 Apr 29, 2016 Friday, April 29 2016 Friday, April 29, 2016 3:42:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA — In an email to faculty, staff and students Friday, MU Interim Chancellor Hank Foley announced a diversity leader... More >>
22 hours ago April 29, 2016 Apr 29, 2016 Friday, April 29 2016 Friday, April 29, 2016 3:09:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A man accused of shooting at several people in a St. Louis park, including a park... More >>
23 hours ago April 29, 2016 Apr 29, 2016 Friday, April 29 2016 Friday, April 29, 2016 2:34:01 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA (AP) — A federal judge for now is leaving in place a preliminary injunction barring the state from revoking... More >>
23 hours ago April 29, 2016 Apr 29, 2016 Friday, April 29 2016 Friday, April 29, 2016 2:31:49 PM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 72°
2pm 72°
3pm 73°
4pm 72°
5pm 72°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

1:30p
Premier League Goal Zone
2:00p
2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs
5:00p
Paid Program
1:00p
The Principal
3:00p
Employee of the Month
5:00p
Crazy Talk

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs
7:00p
Family Guy
7:30p
Family Guy
8:00p
Bob's Burgers
8:30p
Bob's Burgers
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld