The Kansas City Royals were one of the biggest surprises of the offseason. They were one of the few teams to actively sign players in free agency, aggressively pursuing players that fit a specific mold. With the Royals still seemingly a year or two from contending, these moves seemed as though they would help teach the younger players how to win.
Meanwhile, the Royals felt they were ready to compete this year. So far, they have been correct. Not only do they lead the AL Central, but the Royals and Dodgers are the only teams that have not yet lost a series in 2021.
Kansas City Royals continue to surprise
The season certainly did not start out well for Kansas City. Brad Keller allowed hits to the first six batters he faced, and the Royals were in a 5-0 hole before they even set foot in the batter’s box. However, they battled back to win that game, and have yet to let up.
Sometimes, all it takes is that type of game to build confidence. The Royals took two of three from Texas, then split their series with the Indians and White Sox, two teams that were expected to contend for the division. Their surprising start continued as they took two of three from the Angels, and then won the first game in their series against Toronto.
With each win, the Royals gain more confidence. One can see it in their performance and demeanor on the diamond; they expect to win and feel that they can compete with anyone. There is a swagger there that has not been seen since their success in the middle of the 2010s, a belief that the brighter future is at hand.
In some ways, this Royals’ squad feels like the 2013 team. Veteran players had been brought in to teach the younger players how to win, just as the likes of Carlos Santana and Mike Minor were brought in this offseason. Maybe the Royals are not there just yet, but each win leads them to believe otherwise.
The Kansas City Royals and Los Angeles Dodgers have yet to lose a series this season. Maybe the Royals were right that they can contend after all.