Mar 6, 2014; Surprise, AZ, USA; Kansas City Royals left fielder Alex Gordon (4) hits an RBI singles in the third inning against the Chicago White Sox at Surprise Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas City Royals: A need for speed

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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Tags: Kansas City Royals

  • Christian camlin

    Andrew-I like this article even if it is short on detalis. I’m trying to say this kindly.But you might want to look into how Yost has used Dyson over the last 3 years.He has primarily batted in the 9 spot though he did some lead off duties during 2012.He also has been inserted as a pinch runner numerous times.Especially in close games after a Billy Butler or Salvador Perez single.He may be the best pinch runner in the game though that really Lowers his per game range factor.But if you see it done by per innings he currently has a higher career Range factor than anyone in baseball.As good in Centerfield as Lorenzo Cain is Yost loves to shake things up by putting Dyson in Centerfield and moving Cain to right giving the most coverage to KC’s vast outfield steppe’sThing is Aoki will lead off with Infante 2nd..If Dyson and Cain play Dyson or Cain will lead off because Aoki is on the bench.And if Dyson and Aoki play then Dyson will bat 9th or 8th. Yost always flip flopped Dyson and Escobar in the last 2 spots. But yes his speed is very important to the Royals this year.The Royals have 7 players that can steal bases and 6 of them start.They will run a lot.And I have a hunch we will see more of Dyson than from a normal backup.Mainly because Cain has been somewhat injury prone .When he goes on the DL Dyson is the only guy in baseball who can cover the amount of ground Cain does.They are a complimentary pair who pretty much guarantee we will see plenty of Dyson.