If there is any team in Major League Baseball in 2017 that feels they have something to prove, it’s the Kansas City Royals. After the Royals won the World Series in 1985 they never saw the post season again till almost 30 years down the road in 2014. K.C. almost finishing at the bottom of the AL Central every season built the team from the ground up to what looked like to be a dynasty. In 2014 the Royals made it back to the World Series but lost in a thrilling game 7 to the San Francisco Giants. In 2015 the team in blue returned to the post season and became World Champions by beating the New York Mets in 5 games. The 2016 campaign did not go as planned, just 81-81 on the season and not reaching the post season.
The 2017 Kansas City Royals do have some returning starters. One big problem is four major pieces to the franchise are in their final years of contracts and not a lot has been done to resign them. If this were to happen this could be the last chance of winning baseball for the Royals for quite some time.
1B, Eric Hosmer: 25 Home Runs in 2016 and drove in 104 runs which was best on K.C. This first baseman was also an All-Star last season and was the MVP for the American League. Hosmer has been quoted if a deal is not reached by opening day to renew his contract the former World Series Champion will be looking for another club in 2018.
CF, Lorenzo Cain: Injuries limited this 2014 ALCS MVP to only 103 games last season. Cain looks to be healthy and brings a lot of speed to the lineup stealing 28 each bases in 2014 and 2015.A career .287 batter. Cain is also entering his final year of his contract with Kansas City.
3B: Mike Moustakas: Moose had a very short 2016, he tore his ACL at the end of May and was out for the rest of last season. This young third baseman has his best year in 2015 being All-Star and played a big role in the Royals World Series win. Mike is also in the last year of his contract
SS, Alcides Escobar- Heart of the Royals appeared in all 162 games last season, he was an All-Star in 2015 and an ALCS MVP that same season. If Escobar is not returning that will be a huge whole to fill.
The pitching staff for Kansas City looks to have a good one two punch, Danny Duffy will return as the teams ace, and Ian Kennedy will be the number 2 starter, the two combined for 23 wins in 2016. The Royals also signed free agent and 2016 World Series Champion Jason Hammel from Chicago to help the staff. The Royals will go will new closer Kelvin Herrera as Wade Davis the team’s previous closer was traded to the Cubs.
Kansas City has to overcome a tragedy in the club house. Young pitcher Yordano Ventura was killed in a car accident his home country of the Dominican Republic over the winter. Ventura was a key piece to the Royals World Series run in 2015. The late starting pitcher posted 11 wins in 2016.
The 2017 Kansas City Royals could have a bumpy road but will have some key players to win games. The team looks to be healthy and are hoping to make the post season once again.