The Kansas City Royals had an active off season thus far as they have made several moves that will have an impact on the major league roster. Let’s take a quick peek at what the batting line up may look like with no more roster moves.
Hitting Lead Off
RF – Norichika Aoki – The Japanese transplant won’t be flashy but he should be a solid all around player, and traditional type lead off hitter. His On Base Percentage for his two-year Major League career is .355, and he seldom strikes out. He has gone down on strikes just 95 times in his two seasons with Milwaukee. Last season, he walked 15 more times than he struck out (55 to 40), a very rare feat in this day and age.
He won’t hot for much power, he can belt out some doubles, and he averaged 25 stolen bases so far in his career. He should fit right in to what Ned Yost likes to do.
2B – Omar Infante – The freshly inked Infante probably isn’t the ideal number 2 hitter because his OBP isn’t great. He doesn’t walk very much at all but he doesn’t strikeout a ton either. He does have more career palate appearances at the second slot than any other line up position so he will be comfortable.
He handles the bat pretty well, and he will rip out some doubles as well. He’s not much of a base stealer but he should be able to move batters up a base when necessary. He is a solid veteran who will be comfortable hitting high in the batting order.
1B – Eric Hosmer – The big left-handed first baseman rediscovered his stroke, and returned to the level of play he displayed as a rookie in 2011. He is still has improvements to make, especially in the power department. He did strike out 100 times in 2013, way too many for someone who only hit 17 home runs.
Hosmer still shows promise of being a beast. He flashed a Gold Glove defensively, and pounded out 34 doubles and three triples to go with his 17 round trippers. If he can get to about 25 home runs, and stay close to his career highs in Batting Average (.302) and OBP (.354), then he will be the star the Royals need him to be.