Every year various websites, sports groups, writers and networks come out with player rankings for the upcoming season. The Kansas City Royals are coming off a World Series defeat in 7 games, essentially doing everything in their power to play until the very last day of the season. Coming into the 2015 season, here at the players ranked in top 10 of their respective positions.
CBS Sports Rankings:
# 5 Catcher– Salvador Perez. Perez was a work horse playing in 150 games as a catcher. That is a lot of games for a catcher per season. One of the main reasons why the pitching staff was so sound, and the backstop position was well represented for the Royals was because of this guy. Salvador will continue to improve his offensive game.
# 10 Shortstop– Alcides Esobar. Escobar played in all 162 regular season games last year, thus reiterating the term work horse for a player. Alcides had a good offensive year hitting .285, driving in 50 and stealing 31 bags. Many would suggest that he is in the prime of his career, which is good for the Kansas City Royals, especially if they want to make a run back at the postseason, and the World Series.
# 5 Left Fielder– Alex Gordon. Alex, and the Royals, including third base coach Mike Jirschele might still be wondering the outcome of World Series Game 7 if Alex attempted the inside-the-park homerun with 2 outs in the 9th inning. That doesn’t take away from the outstanding season that Gordon and the Royals had though. He hit 19 homers and drove in 74 on a team that really only had one of two consistent contributors. Alex’s best of his game is his glove, which he showed us quite often in the 2014 postseason. He will continue to be the rock of the lineup in 2015.
# 10 Center Fielder– Lorenzo Cain. Cain brought excitement to the KC lineup as he hit .301, stole 28 bags, drove in 53, and also played versatile roles in Center and Right as the game got into the later innings and Jarrod Dyson came in defensively for Aoki. With the addition of Alex Rios and Kendrys Morales in the lineup, it should better protect Gordon and Cain.
# 1 Relief Pitcher– Greg Holland. Holland anchored what was one of the best bullpens in baseball, and probably one of the most significant pieces to the Royals’ success. Although Holland is ranked first, the two others of the three headed monster, Wade Davis and Kelvin Herrara, are ranked # 12 and # 27, respectively.
# 4 Team– Kansas City Royals. Kansas City is ranked fourth for a few reasons. Besides making it to the World Series, there overall rankings for relief pitching, outfielders and starting pitching are ranked # 1, # 8, and # 9, respectively. Although the Royals lost Shields, they strengthened their lineup with addition of Alex Rios and Kendrys Morales. Look for the Royals to be more offensively consistent in 2015, while trying to make a run at the World Series in consecutive years.