Well, Spring Training is just days away for the Royals. That being said, it is time for me to unveil my "gut instinct", non-statistical-yet-based-on-past-performance-projections! Enjoy.
We'll start off with the starting rotation.
Zack Greinke- 17-9, 2.56 ERA, 247 K, 230 IP. I expect Zack to regress, if you can call it that, due to the fact that I think the league will somewhat key in on him after watching mountains of tape. It probably won't help that much. I think his strikeouts will also go up just a bit.
Gil Meche- 13-12, 4.03 ERA, 162 K, 203 IP. As I have said in the past, I think we've seen the best of Gil Meche in a Royals uniform. He's getting older, but not old enough to warrant a big regression this year. I think Trey learned his lesson last year and Gil will stay relatively healthy.
Brian Bannister- 12-10, 3.57 ERA, 152 K, 210 IP. Banny is going to turn into a work horse this year. A REAL innings eater. I think he'll throw several good games for the Royals this year.
Luke Hochevar- 10-14, 4.38 ERA, 163 K, 187 IP. Luke is a guy who I think will finally start putting it together this year and will start climbing his way up to the top half of the rotation heading in to 2011. I really have faith in him because he showed us some brilliance in a handful of starts last year.
Kyle Davies- 2-8, 5.67 ERA, 102 K, 140 IP. I think he'll be relegated to bullpen duty by the All Star Break. He's got a world of potential, but I'm not sure if the mental makeup is there.
1. RF David DeJesus- .283/.356/.440, 12 HR, 76 RBI, 10 SB. I think he's been the most consistent player on our roster in the past few years. If he puts up numbers like this with the Royals cellar dwelling in July, I expect him to be traded.
2. LF Scott Podsednik- .270/.325/.387, 4 HR, 48 RBI, 26 SB. I am not as gloomy about Pods as I was when we acquired him, but I think he'll provide average to decent numbers for a light hitting, poor baserunning 2-hole hitter.
3. 1B Billy Butler- .315/.385/.460, 28 HR, 105 RBI, 1 SB. I was looking forward to this projection all week. Really excited to see what Billy will do this year.
4. CF Rick Ankiel- .254/.312/.425, 16 HR, 56 RBI, 12 SB. All I want for him to do is gun people down and not strike out with runners in scoring position. I think he'll play well enough for people to like him.
5. 2B Alberto Callaspo- .298/.345/.425, 15 HR, 67 RBI, 6 SB. I think 'Bert will continue hitting. Most baseball people think he's a .300-.310 career hitter. I put him in the .285-.300 range. His RBI numbers will slip as he probably will not be hitting behind DeJesus' hefty OBP and rather Ankiel's sluggish OBP.
6. Alex Gordon- .265/.345/.450, 18 HR, 70 RBI, 13 SB. A season like this would have us all optimistic that he could really be a special player, but time is running out on him. I hope his real numbers are better than this projection.
7. DH Josh Fields*- .242/.320/.432, 20 HR, 53 RBI, 2 SB. I think we could see him succeed in a new environment.
8. SS Yuniesky Betancourt- .265/.289/.376, 4 HR, 38 RBI, 6 SB. I am actually thinking about taking these numbers to Vegas and seeing what the odds are. I'm guessing they're less than 50:1.
9. C Jason Kendall- .245/.325/.320, 0 HR, 37 RBI, 5 SB. Pretty weak way to round out a lineup, but I doubt we see better numbers than this. Hopefully his defense behind home plate will lead to more wins and he won't strike out in big situations.
*I did not put Jose Guillen's projection up because I believe he will play in very few games this year.
1B/DH Kila Ka'aihue- .238/.356/.420, 10 HR, 45 RBI, 2 SB. This may be a pipedream, but I think that the Kila Whale (nice, right?) deserves his shot. Another year in AAA turns him into Justin Huber 2.0. He needs a chance to develop.
C/DH Brayan Pena- .276/.330/.390, 5 HR, 29 RBI, 0 SB. I like him alot. I really hope that he gets a real look in Spring Training. My hope is 50 starts for him, especially if Kendall breaks down.
SS/2B/OF/3B/DH/Janitor Willie Bloomquist- .260/.307/.325, 3 HR, 36 RBI, 15 SB. Willie is a valuable player, if he only starts every fourth day.
OF Brian Anderson- .278/.350/.385, 3 HR, 27 RBI, 12 SB. He really broke out in Boston in 21 games where he hit .280. If he doesn't impress in Spring Training, then he has options left.
RHP Kyle Farnsworth- 4.75 ERA, 35 K, 35 IP. MOP UP DUTY ONLY. MOP UP DUTY ONLY. MOP UP DUTY ONLY
RHP Juan Cruz- 3.67 ERA, 67 K, 57 IP. I think he struggled last year due to injury. I could be wrong and he could be yet another NL pitcher who can't hack it in the Junior Circuit.
LHP Edgar Osuna- 4.13 ERA, 27 K, 40 IP. Our Rule-5 pick could surprise us this year and provide decent lefty help.
RHP Robinson Tejeda- 3.06 ERA, 56 K, 60 IP. I think he will be our primary set up man. I also think that he will challenge Kyle Davies for the 5th starter in Spring Training.
RHP Matt Herges- 4.67 ERA, 28 K, 35 IP. Another guy who will be a mop up man.
LHP Dusty Hughes- 3.98 ERA, 37 K, 48 IP. For a bullpen that needs incredible help from a lefty, Dusty could be a nice surprise.
Closer Joakim Soria- 43 Saves, 2.06 ERA, 70 K, 69 IP. I have a feeling it will be another All Star type season for the Mexicutioner.
There you have it.