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2011 MLB Season in Review: Kansas City Royals


I am so use to talking about the Kansas City Royals as a last place team, and a barely major league team. Much like the Pittsburgh Pirates, the KC Royals have often served as a triple a affiliate for the other 29 MLB teams at the trading deadline. Now it seems that they have a nice core of young players and if they do things right could keep them under team control and relatively cheap and become a much better organization.

The bad news of course is they did finish 71-91. They were 32-40 against the four other teams in their division, and went just 5-13 in inter-league play. They did not finish in last place, but there is still a lot of work to do. 

There is a lot of good news here. The team scored 730 runs on 1,560 hits. The team batting average was .275 and that was fourth best in the American League. Most of the regular starters are in their mid twenties, and if the General Manger is doing his job, he could effectively keep this group of players together for the foreseeable future. Royals' batters did strike out over one thousand times, and they didn't draw enough walks but with a little more instruction, this could be a very dangerous lineup.

Of course, like most of the other 29 teams, the Royals need some help with their pitching staff. Royals' pitchers gave up 762 runs on 1,487 hits. The staff ERA was 4.44 and that was the third worst staff mark in their league. They did strike out over one thousand batters, but they also issued 557 walks the most in the AL. Most of their starting five had ERA's over 4.00, and only two of them reached double digit victories. The bullpen also looks questionable as most of their relief arms had ERA's headed towards 3.00. 

What we see here is a team that has assembled a nice, young lineup that could make them dangerous for years to come. Since it takes pitchers a little longer to develop at this level hopefully, their arms catch up. If not they will need to find a few mid range free agents to come in and augment their pitching staff.

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