Kansas City Royals’ Offense Provokes Optimism for 2014
The second game of the Kansas City Royals‘ Spring Training campaign is now complete. After an ugly outing and eventual loss to the Texas Rangers in the Royals’ first Spring Training game of the year, KC dominated the Rangers in Surprise Stadium on Friday.
Much like Billy Beane in Oakland, KC has focused on making the most out of the least-recognized assets in the game of baseball. In the power-happy American League, this means focusing on defensive skills and situational hitting. Although pitching and impressive defense are clearly KC’s biggest advantages, fans paying attention to Spring Training play could be thinking something entirely different.
KC’s offense combined for 17 runs in the first two Cactus League games, and totaled 27 base hits. This means the Royals average more than eight runs and 13 hits per game so far this season. I know, I know — the sample size is tiny and the pitching is still finding it’s groove. Still, it can’t possibly be a bad thing to see such offensive production right out of the gate for Kansas City.
Billy Butler’s three hits in five at-bats are particularly noteworthy because Billy now finds himself as the anchor of a very potent lineup. KC spent serious money and effort this offseason to bring in hitters to set the table for Butler. If his fast start is any indication, Royals ahead of Butler in the order will be circling the bases often in 2014.