Royals Begin Spring Training Looking to Make Playoffs

3 years 11 months 3 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 The only change in the outfield is in right field, where consistent run-scorer David Lough has been replaced by an even more productive run-scorer in Norichika Aoki.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
COLUMBIA - People from the community put on their bowling shoes to help raise money for a local high school.... More >>
3 hours ago Saturday, February 24 2018 Feb 24, 2018 Saturday, February 24, 2018 8:24:00 PM CST February 24, 2018 in Continuous News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A popular Asian elephant at the Saint Louis Zoo has died. The zoo... More >>
3 hours ago Saturday, February 24 2018 Feb 24, 2018 Saturday, February 24, 2018 8:23:00 PM CST February 24, 2018 in News
FAYETTE - Black History Month is coming to an end, but there's still a lot to celebrate. Members of the... More >>
6 hours ago Saturday, February 24 2018 Feb 24, 2018 Saturday, February 24, 2018 5:58:00 PM CST February 24, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Having a healthy heart was a lesson for people of all ages on Saturday. People attending “Be... More >>
8 hours ago Saturday, February 24 2018 Feb 24, 2018 Saturday, February 24, 2018 4:05:00 PM CST February 24, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia police have taken a 13-year-old male into custody Saturday in connection with a social media post community... More >>
9 hours ago Saturday, February 24 2018 Feb 24, 2018 Saturday, February 24, 2018 2:38:00 PM CST February 24, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Police say a pedestrian has been hit and killed in a southeastern section of St. Louis.... More >>
10 hours ago Saturday, February 24 2018 Feb 24, 2018 Saturday, February 24, 2018 1:39:04 PM CST February 24, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Cradle to Career Alliance hosted a symposium Saturday on what strategies they recommend to help increase your... More >>
11 hours ago Saturday, February 24 2018 Feb 24, 2018 Saturday, February 24, 2018 12:24:00 PM CST February 24, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS — Two men convicted in a 2015 drive-by shooting of a St. Louis police sergeant have been sentenced... More >>
13 hours ago Saturday, February 24 2018 Feb 24, 2018 Saturday, February 24, 2018 10:44:00 AM CST February 24, 2018 in News
SPRINGFIELD — A 75-year-old man has been found guilty of financially exploiting an older Springfield woman. Howard Roberts of... More >>
13 hours ago Saturday, February 24 2018 Feb 24, 2018 Saturday, February 24, 2018 10:43:00 AM CST February 24, 2018 in News
Chesterfield, MO - Nearly two weeks after a shooting in Parkland, Florida that killed seventeen students and teachers, students... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 23 2018 Feb 23, 2018 Friday, February 23, 2018 10:18:00 PM CST February 23, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Some veterans living in or near the Truman VA clinic often have to make the drive to... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 23 2018 Feb 23, 2018 Friday, February 23, 2018 8:07:00 PM CST February 23, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Ameren Missouri proposed an incentive program to install more charging stations for electric cars across Missouri. The program,... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 23 2018 Feb 23, 2018 Friday, February 23, 2018 7:28:00 PM CST February 23, 2018 in News
ST. CHARLES - The man accused in the death of trooper James Bava is facing lowered charges as his second... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 23 2018 Feb 23, 2018 Friday, February 23, 2018 5:45:00 PM CST February 23, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department spent the morning investigating a possible threat against Columbia Public Schools. The post... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 23 2018 Feb 23, 2018 Friday, February 23, 2018 4:27:00 PM CST February 23, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Show-Me State Games isn't officially until June, but the competition is already underway. More than 90... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 23 2018 Feb 23, 2018 Friday, February 23, 2018 4:22:00 PM CST February 23, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Mary Ratliff grew up in the small community of Ripley, Mississipi. It is a community where she said... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 23 2018 Feb 23, 2018 Friday, February 23, 2018 1:52:00 PM CST February 23, 2018 in News
UPDATE COLUMBIA - Columbia Public Schools sent out a release Friday afternoon to the families of CPS, clarifying... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 23 2018 Feb 23, 2018 Friday, February 23, 2018 1:46:00 PM CST February 23, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri has never removed a governor through impeachment. But after Gov. Eric Greitens' felony indictment yesterday, some... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 23 2018 Feb 23, 2018 Friday, February 23, 2018 12:55:00 PM CST February 23, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 36°
1am 38°
2am 37°
3am 36°
4am 36°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

11:30p
2018 Olympic Winter Games
2:30a
Paid Program
3:00a
Paid Program
11:00p
Shark Lake
1:00a
Seinfeld
1:30a
Paid Program

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
2018 Olympic Winter Games
9:30p
A.P. Bio
7:00p
It Could Happen to You
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Family Guy