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MLB Kansas City Royals

5 Kansas City Royals Storylines to Follow During Spring Training

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5 Kansas City Royals Storylines to Follow During Spring Training

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When it comes to the beginning of Spring Training which is technically just days away from the publishing of this article, it is really all about the stories. Sure there are games and scores but for the spring season those things take a back seat to the stories of each individual team and really of each individual player. It is much the same way as that for one of Major League Baseball’s 2013 surprises; the Kansas City Royals.

For some teams making the playoffs one year is worth making it every year for a perennial contender. That goes even a step further back for the Royals however. Their winning season in 2013 and more so how they went about winning during the season, shined rays of hope on the 2014 season and beyond. Sure they have a long way to go but they are actually going places beginning last year and continuing during Spring Training.

Like most teams, for the Royals and their attempt to achieve a winning season and possibly step up to playing in the postseason, it will come down to the stories that begin in the spring. What follows will be but five of the many stories that we can all enjoy following as the Royals attempt to place their name firmly among the other smaller market teams that contend year in and year out. Last year they were winners but they have to repeat that this year. Here are five storylines that will be critical to that process.

David Miller is a Senior Writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @davidmillerrant, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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5 – What Impact Will Norichika Aoki Have?

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Aoki should jump right into the number one hole in the batting order. The idea is for him to consistently set the table for the improved line-up the Royals will have behind him. Manny suggest this is one of the main keys to the entire season for the Royals. It all will start during Spring Training.

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4 – What Impact Will Omar Infante Have?

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If many believe that Aoki will be the key factor in the entire season, I believe just that strongly that the addition of Infante will be huge. Aoki is bound to get on base a good bit and the big swingers will be lined up after the second spot in the order. Infante likely being slotted second will be a big factor in how the offense runs.

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3 – How Good Will Starting Rotation Be?

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There are some familiar names like ace James Shields but the biggest additions this offseason might have been here in the rotation. Re-signing Bruce Chen is a huge move for this team as he will be a flexible and stabilizing force wherever he is placed. Jason Vargas should be able to get a fresh start where he isn’t expected to win a Cy-Young Award but just go out and eat innings. Considering the loss of Santana and expected loss of Chen, this rotation could look a great deal stronger than they were expected to.

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2 – Can Alex Gordon Come Through With Huge Season?

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If the Royals are going to be at their best this year they will need big seasons from two guys. One to look out for during the spring as they get ready for the year is Gordon. He could be in MVP voting if all goes well for him. If it does, things begin to look really good in Kansas City.

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1 – Will Eric Hosmer Produce like MVP Winner?

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I don’t pretend to know if Hosmer will be voted as an MVP at the end of 2014 or not but he certainly is capable of producing like an MVP candidate. There is little doubt about his ability. The new additions of Aoki and Infante should hopefully increase his production even though he is going to be required to make a line-up adjustment as well. Spring Training will definitely matter to these situations.