Heading into this season, the Kansas City Royals, who are looking to build off the success of last season’s successful third place finish, look like they have a need, a need for speed…on the base paths. Yes, the most important aspect of the Royals offense this season and possibly going forward as well, is on the base paths as the team looks to build with players who can run on a moments notice, or even hustle down the base line to extend a hit.
It also puts Kansas City in a unique position as well. With power numbers slowly dipping, the slow return of the hit and run, speed baseball that was more common twenty to thirty years earlier, could see a rebirth in powder blue with a cast of players at the top of the lineup to make up for a possible dip in power numbers, or just more reliant on the single than the extra base hit. Among them is Jarrod Dyson, who could potentially be one of the more important Royals this season as a lead off man. Last year Dyson played in eighty-seven games for Kansas City, swiped thirty -four bags while only being caught six times. He has the potential to the lead off man for the Royals or even in the secondary role behind the recently acquired Norichika Aoki. Combined with Aoki and Dyson, is a batting order that features several others who can motor on the paths. Among them is Alex Gordon, who also has a bit of pop at the plate as well.
If the Royals can make this work, it will provide an added boost to the lineup and can potentially stall off offensive sagging, an issue that hit the Royals hard midway through the season. A reliance on base running, could also allow for greater creativity on the base paths, whether it be creating a diversion or just being a nuisance in general. They are going to be a fun team to watch this season, and this can only add to the excitement even more.
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