Kansas City Royals: Who Is The X Factor for 2014

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Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Yordano Ventura (30) Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

With the Kansas City entrenched in the daily grind of Spring Training, and with the start of the 2014 MLB season just a few short weeks away, I wanted to examine what players will play pivotal roles in the ultimate success or failure for the Royals this year.

There are so many key players on this team, but I wanted to look at a few specifically. I’ve picked only three players. And in my opinion these players must perform at a high level if this team has any chance of challenging Detroit and Cleveland in the American League Central.

The first player on my list is right handed pitcher Yordano Ventura. This kid has an electric arm. All but locking up the number five starter spot with a spring training win last week against the A’s, Ventura has been nothing short of stellar in his limited time as a big leaguer.

He possesses amazing natural ability, and brings a lightning fastball that can consistently go over 100 mph. He can bring that heat every single pitch if he so chooses. There have already been early comparisons of Yordano “Ace” Ventura to the great Pedro Martinez.

There’s no doubt in my mind Ventura can be a star for the Royals, the big question in my mind is can he be a star in 2014? The rotation as it stands now looks solid but with some legitimate question marks as well.

The hope is that he can show maturity and poise on the mound, and realize he doesn’t have to beat everyone with raw speed. He needs to prove he can command his off speed pitches effectively, and eat up some innings for the Royals.

If Ventura can play like he is ready to be a starter, and be an effective one at that, this team will have at least filled some of the void left by Ervin Santana. It’s so exciting to think of the immense potential Yordano Ventura brings to the table. There’s no doubt that he will play a pivotal role for the Royals this season, and he is a huge potential x factor for 2014.

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