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The Impact of the Offseason for the KC Royals

With baseball season in full swing, it is becoming obvious how much work many teams put in during the offseason. One of the teams with the most obvious improvement is the Kansas City Royals. At the end of last season, the Royals were ranked last in the American League Central and as of May 28th, they are ranked second in the American League Central. Showing that, during the offseason, they made many improvements.

One of the biggest improvements has been in their pitching. They signed Micheal Wacha and Seth Lugo (who currently leads the American League in ERA, which means Earned Run Average). The Royals have also improved their bullpen by bringing in Will Smith, Nick Anderson, John Schreiber, and Chris Stratton. Brady Singer has also emerged as a more consistent and effective starting pitcher. Singer's ability to go longer into games and keep control has been very important in the rotation. Daniel Lynch is another player who is stepping out more. He has shown a lot of improvement and has become a more reliable part of the starting lineup due to having better commands and more strikeouts. Scott Barlow has so far been a reliable arm in the bullpen and has been utilized in a lot of high-leverage situations. His consistency has been a strong point for the Royals. Josh Staumont has also become key as a reliever in later innings with his high-velocity fastball.

The Royals also have a lot of developed hitters on the teams such as Bobby Witt Jr., Vinnie Pasquantino, Maikel Garcia, Nelson Velasquez, Micheal Massey, and more. Catcher Salvador “Salvy” Perez is having a great year, maintaining a solid batting average of 0.325. He also has 9 home runs this season. MJ Melendez has shown tremendous growth in his hitting with increased home runs and RBIs.

Overall the Royals have made a lot of offensive improvements this season and a lot of it is due to key player performances, enhanced team metrics, and strategic versatility. Some of the key players including Bobby Witt Jr., MJ Melendez, and Vinnie Pasquantino have contributed to the Royals' success thus far. The versatility and depth in the lineups have allowed the Royals to keep at it consistently offensively.

Defensively the Royals have also gotten a lot better. Their fielding percentage has improved, showing fewer errors and more successful plays. The Royals’ Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) has also increased, proving their ability to prevent runs. They have also seen improvements in Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR). UZR measures a fielder's range and the number of runs they save. Players like Bobby Witt Jr., Michael A. Taylor, Salvador Perez, and Nicky Lopez have all been key in improving the team’s defense. Lopez has been reliable at second base, Perez has improved pitch framing which helps the pitchers get more strike calls, Taylor's speed and instincts make it easy for him to cover a lot of ground and make great catches, and Witt Jr. can play both shortstop and third base, which allows for defensive flexibility and he has a strong arm and great range which allows him to make difficult plays. Overall there have been enhanced fielding percentages, increased defensive runs saved, and a better ultimate zone rating that all reflect the team’s improvement across the board.

All in all the Kansas City Royals have shown a significant amount of improvement since last season. Hopefully, the season continues to go well for them as the year goes on.

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