Kansas City Royals: What Can Go Right In 2014

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Milwaukee Brewers right fielder Norichika Aoki Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports


This off season, Dayton Moore went out and found legitimate major league hitters to fill out the top two slots in the batting order. He traded pitcher Will Smith to Milwaukee for right fielder Norichika Aoki to bat lead off, and he signed second baseman Omar Infante to bat second.

While neither have a powerful bat, which the Royals cannot afford, they  are veteran hitters who can get on base with some regularity, and they will allow some of the Royals’ bigger bats, namely Alex Gordon, to move down in the line up.

Neither strike out much by today’s standards. Aoki has only whiffed 95 times in his 2-year major league career. Infante has struck out 109 times in the last 2 seasons, and has only struck out more than 67 times once in his 12-year career.

Aoki will take a few walks and sports a career On Base Percentage of .355, while Infante has a career OBP of .319, though it was .345 last season.

If things go right, these two will be consistent table setters for Eric Hosmer, Billy Butler, and Gordon. This deepens the line up so the Royals at least have real hitters in the batting order.

If Aoki and Infante can do what they were brought in to do – get on base for the big bats in the middle – then Kansas City’s offense should take a nice step forward.