AL Central MLB MLB Team News — 28 February 2011
Ned Yost must be seeing déjà vu. When he became the Brewers manager in 2003, Milwaukee’s wave of impact prospects was just hitting the major leagues. Milwaukee lost 94 games in his first two seasons, but Yost remained constantly optimistic. He practiced patience with his young players, and led them past their losing ways in his third season. 

The Royals are operating with the same blueprint as Milwaukee. After suffering through his first season with the club, Yost will be rewarded with the first wave of prospects in 2011. Mike Moustakas will probably be stashed away in the minors for contractual control purposes until May, but he’s ready to take advantage of his big league opportunity. And there should be plenty of opportunities to be had, knowing Yost.

The loss of Greinke will hurt, and the Royals record could deflate even further. But the arrival of baseball’s best farm system gives something Kansas City fans haven’t had in far too long. It brings hope.

Key Additions: Vin Mazzaro, Lorenzo Cain, Alcides Escobar, Jeff Francis, Melky Cabrera, Jeff Francoeur

Key Losses: Zack Greinke, Gil Meche, Yuniesky Betancourt, David DeJesus


C:  Jason Kendall
1B: Kila Ka’aijue
2B: Chris Getz
3B: Mike Aviles
SS: Alcides Escobar
LF: Alex Gordon
CF: Melky Cabrera
RF: Lorenzo Cain
DH: Billy Butler


1:  Luke Hochevar
2:  Kyle Davies
3:  Vin Mazzaro
4:  Jeff Francis
5:  Bruce Chen
CL: Joakim Soria

Critical Players to Success:

Jeff Francis: Jeff Francis hasn’t exactly aged with grace. While he still seems to have all of the talent in the world, he simply cannot stay healthy. If he can play nearly a full season at full health, he’s probably the ace of this staff. Not that this is saying much.

Alcides Escobar: Escobar can field. There is no doubt about that. Last year, he made regular appearances on MLB Tonight for his web gems, but he botched some of the routine plays. Much of that can be attributed to being a rookie, and he’s expected to clean that up. The question with Escobar is can he ever develop into a major league hitter. This year he hopes to go from Royal disappointment to Royal greatness.

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About Author

Tim Young is a Civil Engineer away from MLBSoup, but at the site he heads the pre-season fantasy baseball draft guide and reviews each week in the big leagues with his weekly round-up report. His heavily math-based background shows up in his writing, as he likes to keep a focus on numbers, and dig deeper than the usual surface scratching.

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