5 Things We’ve Learned From Kansas City Royals’ First 35 Games

Kansas City Royals: What We Have Learned

Royals
Getty Images

The Kansas City Royals were a team in 2014 of which a good bit was expected. While not likely to overhaul Detroit for the American League Central Division title, a berth in the Wild Card Game shouldn't have been out of the question. That may still happen for the Royals, but currently, Kansas City is 17-19 and has a good bit to work on over the next few months to be the contender some thought the Royals would be.

5. Salvador Perez Might Be Durable After All

Perez
Getty Images

5. Salvador Perez Might Be Durable After All

Perez
Getty Images

In his first two seasons behind the plate in Kansas City, Salvador Perez managed just 115 games total, frustrating fans and fantasy owners alike because of his offensive potential. He backstopped 138 games last season and so far in 2014, he's showing that his 2013 durability was no fluke, appearing in 34 of K.C.'s 36 games. His numbers have slipped a bit, but he's a career .296 hitter who will likely be in that range again by season's end.

4. Closer Greg Holland's Control is Ridiculous

Holland
Getty Images

4. Closer Greg Holland's Control is Ridiculous

Holland
Getty Images

Holland, who won the closer job last year and tallied 47 saves, put up gaudy numbers with 102 strikeouts and only 18 walks in 67 innings. This season, he's been just as precise. Holland has worked 13 innings in 14 appearances, collecting eight saves. In those innings, Holland has walked a mere two batters, while striking out 20. His stuff is some of the nastiest in the American League. He can close for a playoff team if the Royals get that far.

3. Alcides Escobar Will Set a Career High in Stolen Bases

Escobar
Getty Images

3. Alcides Escobar Will Set a Career High in Stolen Bases

Escobar
Getty Images

Alcides Escobar isn't new to baseball or to the Royals, this is his fifth full season and fourth with Kansas City. But early on, his success stealing bases has given the Royals offense a needed dimension given their lack of power. Escobar is 11-for-12 on stolen base attempts this season, putting him on pace for 50 steals this season, which would shatter his previous career high of 35 (2012).

2. Billy Butler's Offensive Ability May Be Gone

Butler
Getty Images

2. Billy Butler's Offensive Ability May Be Gone

Butler
Getty Images

A big question mark for the Royals entering the season was would Billy Butler get himself turned around and be a huge power and RBI threat again for Kansas City. So far, that answer is absolutely not. Butler, who should be in the prime of his career at age 28, has struggled mightily in 2014. Butler has a career-low batting average of .244, has just one home run, and 14 RBIs. By comparison, in 2012, Butler hit .313 with 29 HRs and 107 RBIs.

1. Kansas City's Power Has Disappeared

Power
Getty Images

1. Kansas City's Power Has Disappeared

Power
Getty Images

By the numbers, the Royals have the meekest bats in all of the American League. The Royals have hit just 14 home runs in 36 games, a season pace of just 63 for a full season -- a number unheard of for an American League team in this offensive era. Mike Moustakas leads the club with four homers, and amazingly, only three Kansas City batters have more than one homer (Perez (3), Omar Infante (2)). K.C. can't succeed with such futile hitting.

Around the Web