MLB Pre Season Power Rankings: #21 Kansas City Royals

Projected Record: 76-86 3rd In The AL Central

Potential Lineup: SS Escobar #2, 3B Moustakas #8, CF Cain #8, 1B Hosmer #35, C Perez #13, LF Gordon #4, RF Soler #12, DH Cuthbert #19, 2B Mondesi JR #27

Potential Rotation: 1.Duffy #41, 2.Kennedy #31, 3.Vargas #51, 4.Karns, 5.Strahm #64

Potential Bullpen: CL Herrera #40, 8th Soria #48, 7th Flynn #33, McCarthy #61, Flynn #33, Minor #66, Young #32

Potential Bench: C Butera #9, IF Colon #24, IF Merrifield #15, OF Orlando #16

 The Kansas City Royals will come into 2017 with very heavy hearts. The pitcher they called “ACE” Yordano Ventura passed away in a tragic car accident on January  22nd of 2017 which leaves the Royals will wholes on and off the field. The Royals are just one season removed from winning the World Series in 2015 and two years removed from a 2014 where they won the AL Pennant. After a frustrating 2016 the Royals will turn the page to 2017. Offensively it is a very similar offense but  has a few changes. The same core of Alcides Escobar, Lorenzo Cain, Eric Hosmer, and Salvador Perez are back to lead the charge. They also will get back Third Baseman Mike Moustakas a piece of that Royals core group who missed most of 2016 to injury. The Royals however will not have a big bat of there’s from a year ago Kendrys Morales as he will be playing for the Blue Jays this season. The team brought in young Cubs Outfielder Jorge Soler whom they traded bullpen ace Wade Davis for to replace Morelos at DH along with playing some Right Field. Soler was stuck on the bench for most of 2016 playing just 86 games. In 2015 however he hit three postseason home runs for the Cubs hitting .262 in 101 regular season games. In 2017 he will be a full time player and big part of the Royals offense. The team will really need once top prospect Raul Mondesi JR to come through with the bat and speed as Jarrod Dyson is on his way to Seattle. Mondei JR struggled in his 47 big league games but has a lot of upside with the bat and glove and will be an X Factor for the Royals 2017 success. The Royals starting pitching struggled in 2016. They finished 22nd in starting ERA. With Yordano Ventura gone it won’t get any easier for the Royals. They will hope Danny Duffy who had a great 2016 can take another step forward into become an ACE. Also the Royals will need veteran Ian Kennedy once a cy young runner up to be much better than the Ian Kennedy who lost 11 games a season ago. Jason Vargas a veteran along with youngsters Nathan Karns, and Matt Strahm will round out the rotation but all have question marks which makes the hopes to have a good rotation in 2017 bleak for the Royals. The Royals bullpen is not even close to the pen that was by far the majors best back in the 2014 and 2015 World Series years. Only one member of that big three is still around being Kelvin Herrera. They do have Herrera to close and Joakim Soria who has a ton of closing experience to set up though which should lock down the 8th and 9th. However they lack the bullpen depth they’ve had in the past which will makes things difficult. Unfortunately the Royals after two great seasons run is over. At least they got a World Series ring out of that.

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The late Yordano Ventura will serve as the Royals motivation in 2017. (Getty Images)



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