KC Power Rankings: Royals, Sporting Fill Void


Kansas basketball: gone.

The early exit for the Jayhawk basketball program left the top spot in the KC Power Rankings up for grabs. Let’s see which area team picked up the slack Kansas left behind.

5) Kansas State Wildcats

A WNIT “Final Four” for the K-State women’s basketball team is now on their resume. The only area basketball team to advance past the third round of their tournament, the Wildcats deserve consideration for power rankings even if they didn’t make the NCAA tournament.

Their 68-48 victory over Illinois this weekend punched ticket to the semifinals in Manhattan…Kansas. THey’ll host Utah at 7 p.m. on Wednesday.

December 12, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals general manager Dayton Moore speaks during the press conference at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

4) Dayton Moore

Under scrutiny by many for his trade of Minor League Player of the Year Wil Myers, Moore has quietly put together a playoff contender in in Kansas City. Bolstered by mainstream media pundits and front office people around the league, Moore has constructed his best team in his time in Kansas City and seem on their way to having their first winning season in a decade.

Sure, it hasn’t been pretty but it is hard to look at the state of the Royals heading into 2013 and not notice how massively the organization has improved since Moore’s arrival in 2006.

This was made a bit more clear this morning when the Texas Rangers signed shortstop Elvis Andrus to a 8-year, $120 million deal. Andrus, a career .274/.342/.352 hitter and elite defender, dwarfs the contract Moore gave to Alcides Escobar who has a similar skill set. The 6-year, $18.75 million deal, of which two years are club options, can now be considered grand larceny compared to Andrus deal. And lets not forget Salvador Perez is locked up to a longer and cheaper deal than Escobar’s.

What the Royals intentions are for James Shields moving forward, how they intend to replace Ervin Santana, and their ability to adjust their minor league system to better develop starting pitching is certainly still a question for the Royals. But on a day like today, and remembering the Royals’ past, it is hard not to think the organization is not better off with Moore at the helm.

Of course, I’ll be eating these words if Kansas City goes on another 12-game April losing streak…

3) Mavericks

The Mavs dropped the first two games of their first round playoff series on the road to Rapid City over the weekend, putting them into a deep hole heading into game three.

Goal scoring has been an incredible issue for the Mavericks, netting just one goal in the first two games of the series. Missouri had been one of the higher scoring squads in the Central Hockey League during the season, and cannot afford to lose their biggest strength in the playoffs.

2) Royals

Today is Opening Day and the sense of optimism around the franchise is the highest it has been since 2004. This is probably the best Royals team the franchise has produced since 1994 (potentially) and, unlike previous years, the offseason moves the Royals have made are far more serious than one’s made in offseason’s past (see: Juan Gonzalez, Mike Jacobs, and Rick Ankiel).

Be careful about reading too much into spring training – the Royals have finished .500 or better eight of the last 10 years in Arizona. The expectation shouldn’t be for the Royals to blow through the league. But if the Royals stay healthy and players play to their potential, Kansas City is good enough to be in it until the end.

Mar 30, 2013; Kansas City, KS, USA; Sporting Kansas City forward Graham Zusi (8) celebrates with his teammates after scoring against the Montreal Impact during the second half at Sporting Park. Sporting Kansas City defeated Montreal 2-0. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

We have previews for the Royals season from myself, Joel, and Jacob.

1) Sporting KC

What an impressive win for Sporting KC on Saturday night. Just a complete dismantling of the previously undefeated Montreal Impact. With international play on hold for a few months, hopefully Sporting can stay in sync and go on a big run through the spring.

Oh, and Graham Zusi? You are a bad, bad man.