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Royals Look to Stolen Bases for More Offense

Cody Tapp
February 12, 2019 - 3:26 pm
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Just the Beginning

Plenty of time to get to know each other over the next few weeks but I have arrived in Surprise and baseball is finally here.

 

Sure Fanfest gave us a taste of a few favorite players back but hearing the mitt pop and the bat crack has me ready to talk baseball the rest of the season.

 

There are no shortage of story lines for spring including a pitching staff that could go a hundred different directions. Who will land in the pen and how that 7th, 8th, and 9th innings roles will look will be a major factor in how well this team compete this year.

 

I will spend more time on the pitching staff a little later but I will give you this as a teaser for later on. I can’t speak everyone but at the very least Salvador Perez thinks Brad Keller is a number one and is only going to get better

 

I am ready to see what Keller can do and if it wasn’t for Duffy’s long history with the team I would have pegged Keller as the opening day starter. Enough about the pitching for now, as we need to talk about how the Royals attacked the offseason.

 

Speed.

 

Can this system work for the Royals as they try to bring the stolen base back like we haven’t seen in years?  Whit Merrifield, Adalberto Mondesi, Billy Hamilton, and Terrance Gore would have been a hell of a 4x100 relay team and PECOTA projections have them at 110 total and Gore didn’t make the projection list.  Merrifield, Mondesi, and Hamilton are all projected over 30 stolen bases.

 

So what’s the problem, right?

 

The problem is you can’t steal first. This isn’t a unique saying this is the commentary I hear from most Royals fans and a sentiment that Billy Hamilton echoed today when asked why his stolen base numbers were down last year

We know Whit won’t have a problem getting on base but the others will be a work in progress. I think Mondesi will show some improvement there but that might just mean a OBP that hovers around .320. Hamilton has at least shown flashes and has topped out above a .350 OBP in his younger years. Gore is not one to count on for the on base game but if he does make the roster, and I think the early thought is that he will, then the late inning pressure that put on teams will be a lot of fun

 

Perez said today it would be in his head “all game” if it were happening to him. I think he is just thankful he will get some extra practice this spring trying to throw out runners.

 

Trying to steal as often as the Royals will this season will not be “boring” which was the word manager Ned Yost used when describing the current play in baseball. I can only hope this Ned makes the most of the speed and I pray that we get at least one 40 yard dash race this spring.

 

Cody Tapp

 

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