Monday, May 23, 2011

Dear Royals: New Lineup Proposal

The Royals have shown bursts of offense, but the search for consistency continues.  With Ned Yost's recent shakeup of the lineup, going as far as trying Alex Gordon at leadoff, it would be a good time to look at what could be the best chance for production and consistency for the rest of the season.

1. Melky Cabrera (CF)
-          It is somewhat odd that he hasn’t been tried at leadoff yet.  Melky doesn’t have the speed of Dyson or Getz, but he does have above average speed.  The Melk Man is a very good contact hitter who knows how to battle pitchers.  His OBP could use some work, but his clutch bat more than makes up for it.

2. Mike Aviles (2B)
-          A Prototype number two hitter.  Aside from his very below average start to the season, Aviles is generally good at moving and driving in runners (as shown by his team leading 28 RBI’s).  He has slightly above average speed and a surprising amount of pop in his bat.
3. Alex Gordon (LF)

-          He has cooled down a bit from his blazing start to the season, but Gordon is still hitting a smooth .281 with a .343 OBP.  He has had a knack for scoring (27) and driving in (25) runs.  One of the more consistent hitters on the team so far this year.

4. Eric Hosmer (1B)
-          Handling the majors about as well as Royals fans could have hoped.  Maintaining a high average (.288) and on base percentage (.348) while hitting three home runs in only 59 at bats.  Had a clutch hit against the Rangers to lead off the 11th which ended up being  the game winning run.  He can only get better from here.

5. Jeff Francoeur (RF)
-          The best overall hitter on the team this season.  Has hit a whopping nine home runs while maintaining a solid .282 average.  Francoeur would provide some much needed insurance to Hosmer that would allow him to see better pitches.

6. Billy Butler (DH)
-          Best pure hitter on the team, however, has struggled with runners in scoring position up to this point.  Butler has a near .400 on base percentage but still hits into far too many double plays.  Statistically hits better when he doesn’t bat cleanup.

 7. Wilson Betemit (3B)
-          Fantastic bat to have hitting 7th.  Betemit would hit in the middle of the lineup for quite a few teams.  He has only hit two home runs, but made up for it by hitting 13 doubles.  Yost can’t be mad at a .379 OBP from the seven spot. 

8. Brayan Pena/Matt Treanor (C)
-          Both Pena and Treanor have hit for a terrible average.  They are producing behind the plate, so their offensive production can be overlooked for now, but it would be nice for at least one of them to heat up a little bit.

9. Alcides Escobar (SS)
-         Gives the Royals some speed to work with at the bottom of the order, but not much else.  He makes up for his lack of offense by doing far more than the average shortstop on defense.   Expected to eventually produce on offense to solidify his spot in the lineup and prevent him from being the next Tony Pena Jr. 

*    This of course is excluding Chris Getz.  The order changes slightly with him inserted in place of Betemit or Aviles.  Getz would most likely move to the 8th or 9th spot, pushing the catcher up to 7th.