Jul 19, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals center fielder Lorenzo Cain (6), left fielder Alex Gordon (4), and right fielder David Lough (7) celebrate in the outfield at the end of the game against the Detroit Tigers at Kauffman Stadium. The Royals won 1-0. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Earlier we went through and showed how all of the infielders for the Kansas City Royals were hitting so far this Spring. Now let’s check in on the outfielders. Short of injury Alex Gordon, Lorenzo Cain, and Norichika Aoki will be the starters so I’ll start with them first. Then we can get to the really fun part: the backups!
Alex Gordon has hit .306/.359/.583 with one home run, three doubles and two triples. He’s no Mike Moustakas but he’s having a good Spring doing everything he needs to.
Norichika Aoki has a line of .297/.341/.378 with three doubles and three stolen bases. His SLG is low but his value is really in his on base skills not his power. It will be interesting to see if the big gaps at The K and his speed lead to a lot more doubles for him this season.
Lorenzo Cain’s line is currently .368/.419/.395 with one double. I’m convinced he’s going to stay healthy and hit AT LEAST .368 this season….or he won’t, tough to say. If you can’t tell, I’m really just breezing through basics on the starters. I promise when the season starts that I’ll be writing a ton about them. For now the backups are just way more interesting.
Starting with the 4th outfielder, Jarrod Dyson, with the current line of .360/.529/.560 with a home run and two doubles. He has six steals without being caught. He’s also walked nine times in 34 plate appearances! Either pitchers are really afraid of Dyson or he’s somehow found a way to actually steal first base. I guess “That’s what speed do.”
I think that Dyson is one of the most underrated players on this team. In the last 2 seasons he’s posted WARs of 1.8 and 1.6 without getting to 350 plate appearances. The Royals basically have a starting quality player as their 4th outfielder.
So far Justin Maxwell has hit .419/.409/.605 with one home run, three doubles, and one triple. He hasn’t walked yet which leads to another theory about Dyson’s nine, maybe he’s literally stealing them from Maxwell. That works though, because Maxwell isn’t on this team to walk, he’s here to get the extra base hits.
I still don’t get why the Royals are keeping 5 outfielders and no middle infielder. I think I have a solution though. Since Maxwell looks to be a better player than Valencia and the Royals are trying everyone at second base, why not try Maxwell at third, or even see if he can be Mark Teahen and play second base too.
The final player trying to get a roster spot is Carlos Peguero. He’s hitting .348/.483/.522 with one homerun and one double. His biggest problem has always been that he strikes out too much without getting on base enough to offset it. For his career he has an 8/1 strikeout to walk ratio; awesome for a pitcher, terrible for a hitter. This Spring he’s walked six times and struck out six times.
If I thought that this were real, I would be jumping up and down yelling that he should make it out of camp. Sadly, this whole exercise was based on a small sample size in games that don’t matter and who knows what type of pitchers they’ve faced. I guess we’ll have to wait to see if Pegeuro clears waivers before we find out if he has figured out to hit.