Offense puts them in the seats. Pitching and defense gets them to come back. Yes, if you score a lot of runs and have a lot of flashy offensive numbers the fans will surely come and watch your team. But wins are what fans are looking for and that is what defense achieves.
The 2011 Royals showed vast improvement in their play on the field. Having such a young team will be a test for players who are stilling learning how to play at such a high level. But by all means having those players play a full season could have even a bigger impact in the field this season.
In his first full season in left field, Alex Gordon, proved that a position change may have been exactly what he needed to give his career the spark it needed. In 1309 innings, Gordon had 20 outfield assists with only three errors, earning him a Gold Glove. Not only that, the outfield for the 2011 Royals as a whole racked up 51 total assists. Of those 51, 13 came from now San Francisco Giant, Melky Cabrera. So Lorenzo Cain has some shoes to fill in the monstrous outfield inside of Kauffman Stadium.
Now for the guys on the dirt. First basemen, Eric Hosmer, showed not only last year that he can hit but that he as skills with the leather as well. With such a young infield, Hosmer was able to save some of his compatriots a few errors of some wild throws. Something that he will have to continue to accomplish throughout his career.
One of those young guns on the diamond is Alcides Escobar. He proved to everyone last season why the Royals front office wanted him when they traded away pitching ace Zack Greinke in the winter of 2010. He was everything defensively that Royals fans heard about. Making stellar plays throughout the 2011 season as a whole.
The other two players in the field more than likely being, Mike Moustakas at third base and Johnny Giovotella at second base, need to be consistent defensively and not make many mistakes.
Behind the plate, Salvador Perez will not only need to continue to throw out runners attempting to steal bases but also become the defensive leader on the team. With his ability to play the position and call games Perez will set the tone for the team in the 2012 season.
So who will take the Gold Glove bragging rights from Alex Gordon this season? Or will King Midas touch of few of the young players on the 2012 roster?