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KC Royals Fantasy Heroes: Mike Moustakas Solves Shift

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We’re going to start a new type of KC Royals game report here at KC Kingdom. Rather than do a re-cap, which is common across the web, we have decided to do a “Fantasy Heroes” report.

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The emphasis is not only on outstanding performances in each game, but also on significant performances. We intend to focus on important trends are going on with mostly Kansas City Royals players, (because we watch them every day) that are important for fantasy players to know but aren’t necessarily obvious from the box score.

This kind of information is intended to help fantasy players make decisions that might help them pick up a valuable KC Royals player that has been ignored in their draft, or spot a short term solution for an injured player. Or, maybe jump onto a guy who is just getting hot that can be useful while they’re on a tear.

The interesting fantasy developments in Wednesday’s 7-5 victory over the White Soxc came from the KC Royals corner infielders:

MIKE MOUSTAKAS

1 – 3, 1 2B, 1 Hit by Pitch, 2 runs scored.

The big news here is that Mike Moustakas‘ performance in his first two games against the White Sox forced Chicago to ditch the shift in the 6th inning of Wednesday’s game.

Not only did Moose slam an opposite field home run and infield single on Monday, he followed it up with a double slightly to the left of dead center on Wednesday against a left-handed pitcher.

The White Sox quickly abandoning the shift makes it more likely that Moustakas will hit for a significantly higher average than projected this season.

Right now, you should run don’t walk to pick up Moustakas if he’s a free-agent in your league. There are, of course, no guarantees. But, with Moose appearing to have figured out how to use the opposite field this offseason, he becomes a breakout candidate worth parking on your bench.

KC Royals manager Ned Yost‘s unusual choice to hit the low on base percentage Moustakas (career .291 OBP) no. 2 in the lineup seems to be paying dividends. Or, at least, isn’t hurting the team so far. It may have helped Moose focus on getting on base rather than pulling everything like a true slugger.

ERIC HOSMER

2 -5, 1 single, 1 home run (1), 2 runs scored, 3 RBI’s (4).

Eric Hosmer mashed a 3-run shot in the third inning against White Sox starter Carlos Quintana. His moon shot was a no doubter that he pulled to right center.

Not only did Eric Hosmer hit a home run, he smashed a hard grounder down the first base line in the 6th inning that unfortunately turned into a double play.

No matter. The important thing here is that the ball is jumping off the KC Royals first baseman’s bat in early play—much like it did during Hosmer’s playoff surge. Right now, Hosmer looks poised to hit for a lot more power than any year of his KC Royals career.

He’s another guy you want to grab if he’s still available in your league.

AT THE PLATE

The Kansas City Royals continued to hit in the second game of the season, following Monday’s 10-run deluge with 7 runs on Wednesday.

The team rapped out 14 hits, including home runs by Eric Hosmer and a 2-run bomb from Lorenzo Cain in the 8th that broke a 5-5 tie.

Alcides Escobar went 3-5 with 3 singles, and 1 runs scored. He looks comfortable at leadoff in the early going, picking up where he left off after moving into the no. 1 spot during the 2014 playoffs.

Lorenzo Cain went 3-4, with 2 singles, 1 home run, 2 runs scored, and 2 RBI’s (3). Though I don’t expect Cain’s power to continue, it was nice to see.

The other development of note was that the Kansas City Royals pulled two delayed steals in the game, including one by catcher Salvador Perez. Clearly, the KC Royals are committed to making things happen on the basepaths.

ON THE MOUND

Danny Duffy struggled through 5.0 innings, giving up 5 earned runs on 8 hits (including a 3-run home run to Tyler Flowers). Duffy came out after giving up a leadoff double to Jose Abreu in the 6th and a single to Avisail Garcia. Duffy got a no decision.

Jason Frasor pitched a clean inning with 2 strikeouts, but allowed an inherited baserunner to score the tying run on Alexi Ramirez’s sacrifice fly.

Kelvin Herrera pitched the 7th while giving up 0 runs, 1 hit, and notching 1 strikeout.

Wade Davis entered in the 8th allowing 0 runs, 1 single, and striking out 2. Davis got the win (1-0) after Lorenzo Cain broke the 5-5 tie with a 2-run home run.

Greg Holland recorded his first save of the season with a clean inning.

The KC Royals HDH trio looks like they did last season in the early going of 2015.

Next: KC Royals Deliver On Opening Game Expectations