The Kansas City Royals are one of the biggest laughingstock franchises in all of sports and things don’t look much better as we enter the 2011 season. The team is almost totally bereft of stars after trading ace pitcher Zack Greinke in the offseason but they do have some promising youngsters coming up which we will get to. As far as fantasy baseball is concerned, like with all teams there are a few guys that are helpful but nothing that will serve as a season-changer for your roster. As always the fantasy baseball relevant players are graded from 4 stars to 1 star.
4 STAR PLAYERS:
Joakim Soria: The diamond in the rough, Soria has been a top 3 closer for the last three seasons and seemingly is only getting better. Rumors of him being traded are an annual tradition but until he is moved, he should be drafted as a number one closer.
3 STAR PLAYERS:
Billy Butler: Many are still waiting for that power burst but Butler still is a very good hitter who will help you a bit in all the 5 X 5 hitting categories except steals. His mammoth body screams out 30 home run hitter but remember Sean Casey as a guy who had a similar build but who never hit for a high number of home runs. I think Butler is still growing in that department however so a run at 25 home runs could be on its way.
2 STAR PLAYERS:
Mike Aviles: Aviles has the chance to build on what was a fabulous end of the 2010 season where his great September helped clinch fantasy baseball titles. Aviles was very aggressive on the basepaths during that month and he already has 2 steals this spring which portends to him carrying that over for this season. He is almost a given as a .300 hitter and he could very well threaten 15 home runs. He also qualifies at both SS and 2B so there is a great appeal to the guy.
Wilson Betemit: Betemit was a guy that many always expected more from but he always let us down. Last season though he got a chance and ran with it with 13 home runs and a .297 batting average at the shallow third base. He could very well turn back into a bust this season which I suspect he will but if you are desperate than this could be your guy.
Alcides Escobar: A bust in Milwaukee after the team stupidly moved him to the 8th spot in the order, Escobar will have a great chance to show off his top end speed that netted high steal totals in the minor leagues for years. Escobar can also crack the odd home run in addition to posting a good batting average so this is another guy to look at if you pass on SS early.
1 STAR PLAYERS:
Jeff Francoeur: A lot more was expected of Francoeur after he busted out one year in Atlanta at a young age but his lack of any kind of plan at the plate other than to swing at anything in the zip code ruins his value. He could pop 15 home runs but with a poor average.
Alex Gordon: It seems like this team is filled with former prospects gone bad and Gordon should be at the top of that list. He has no clue how to hit and he has looked like a completely different player than the one who raked in the minors. Someone will give him another chance but I don’t think this is another Delmon Young comeback.
Bruce Chen: He made a nice return to relevancy last season but he has been with 1687369 teams for a reason.
Luke Hochevar: Its amazing that this guy was the number one overall pick. Must have been a bad year. He is garbage plain and simple.
Jason Kendall: He hasn’t been relevant since Bill Clinton was in office.
Jeff Francis: Missed all of last season with injury and did some good things beforehand. A desperation pick.
Melky Cabrera: Just go on to the next guy.
Kyle Davies: Yeah it really is not much better here.