With the exception of the second base position, the Kansas City Royals‘ starting infield looks very well set. But, the devil is in the details. In an ongoing series, we will look at the individuals in camp who are fighting for a spot in the Royals’ infield, and make a prediction as to where they will be come Opening Day.
Eric Hosmer had a relatively well-publicized down year in 2012. After showing such promise and ability when he came up in 2011 (and coming third in the Rookie of the Year vote), he started 2012 with a run of bad luck and then fell into a slump from which he never fully recovered. He ended up hitting just .232 with 14 home runs and 60 RBIs. His glove work never dipped, however, which helped ensure that his position in the starting lineup was never under threat.
Prediction: Will be back at first base on Opening Day, but probably still hitting quite low in the batting order regardless of his spring performance. I expect he’ll be batting seventh.
Mike Moustakas came up in 2011 and had a mediocre season, but started to come into his own last year when he played nearly everyday, hitting 20 home runs with 73 RBIs. He also displayed a distinct tendency to hit the ball about 150 metres and well foul down the right field line. His glove work at third base also really stood out and he made dazzling plays with regularity. This year, he will be working on being a bit more consistent with the bat while hopefully continuing to display good power.
Prediction: Starting third baseman and probably hitting sixth.
Anthony Seratelli played all of 2012 at Triple-A Omaha, and hit .299 there with 17 home runs and 66 RBIs. It was an excellent season by any definition, and he can perhaps count himself unlucky that the Royals depth is such that he will not have any real chance to force his way onto the 40-man roster for this year. Another good season at Triple-A may force the club’s hand, however.
Prediction: Really nowhere to go but back to Triple-A for Seratelli.