Team Strengths: Whit Merrifield is just one of baseball’s best second basemen and Adalberto Mondesi started to flash his potential at shortstop last year, giving the Royals 2 cornerstones to assemble up up the middle. Jorge Soler and Ryan O’Hearn supply promising power.
Team Weaknesses: After justifiably trading many of their best young pitching prospects in pursuit of a World Series (Mike Montgomery, Jake Odorizzi, Sean Manaea, Brandon Finnegan, Cody Reed), the Royals are understandably short of arms. They had the second-worst ERA in baseball last year, together with the rotation (4.89) and bullpen (5.04) responsible.
What They Were About It: Rather than address their pitching staff, the Royals acquired light-hitting, versatile forms like Billy Hamilton and Chris Owings. Their pitching developments consisted of Homer Bailey and Michael Ynoa on minor league deals and Brad Boxberger and Kyle Zimmer on one-year major league prices.
Final Outlook: The Royals had to rally to avoid 110 losses annually and are in a similar situation this year. With the shape of the pitching staff, a second-straight top-five draft pick probably expects in 2020.
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