Team Strengths: Whit Merrifield is one of baseball’s best second basemen and Adalberto Mondesi began to flash his potential at shortstop last year, giving the Royals two cornerstones to assemble up up the center. Jorge Soler and Ryan O’Hearn supply promising power.
Team Weaknesses: Following justifiably trading many of their best young pitching prospects in pursuit of a World Series (Mike Montgomery, Jake Odorizzi, Sean Manaea, Brandon Finnegan, Cody Reed), the Royals are understandably short of arms. They had the second-worst ERA in baseball this past year, with both the rotation (4.89) and bullpen (5.04) responsible.
What They Were About It: Rather than address their pitching staff, the Royals obtained light-hitting, versatile forms like Billy Hamilton and Chris Owings. Their pitching developments consisted of Homer Bailey and Michael Ynoa on minor league deals and Brad Boxberger and Kyle Zimmer on one-year major league prices.
Final Outlook: The Royals had to rally to avoid 110 losses last year and therefore are in a similar situation this year. With the shape of their pitching staff, a second-straight top-five draft pick probably awaits in 2020.
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