Kansas City Royals: Where Will the Power Come From in 2014?
On Saturday afternoon, the Kansas City Royals lost their spring training matchup with the Milwaukee Brewers by a score of 7-6. Kansas City had a solid day at the plate with 12 hits, but fell short of the win because their biggest weakness from 2013 reared its ugly head — a lack of power hitting. Christian Colon was the only Royal to manage an extra base hit with a second-inning double.
Kansas City had a decent offseason with the additions of Norichika Aoki, Omar Infante, and Jason Vargas, but they did next to nothing to aid their lack of power. The team seems to be hoping for several of their players to bounce back from down years, and possibly for Justin Maxwell to add a little boost.
Maxwell was acquired from the Houston Astros late last season to bump up the power, and he did a good job in his limited opportunities. With Aoki, Lorenzo Cain, and Alex Gordon in the outfield, he won’t be an everyday starter, but manager Ned Yost will likely work his powerful bat in whenever possible.
It doesn’t seem like much of an answer for their biggest question mark from 2013, but the Royals should be okay. GM Dayton Moore did a great job this offseason adding quality personnel without breaking the bank. Power is one of the only weaknesses in their lineup. The Royals have solid pitching, good speed, great defense, and they can hit for contact pretty well.
On top of that, they still have five, possibly six players who are capable of hitting 20-plus home runs. All of them were with the team last year, but only Gordon did it. If they can find a way to tap into their power more often, the Royals could be a very scary team this year.