Outside of being a baseball fan and loving the game, there are four primary reasons to consider watching the Royals this season.
- The maturation of Bobby Witt Jr. The hopes and dreams of Royals fans are pretty much the same in 23′ as in 22′. Youth reigns supreme. Bobby Witt Jr. had a solid rookie campaign hitting 20 home runs and driving in 80 total runs. The question remains, can he take the next step to hit the 30-40 home run mark? The remaining young guns, such as MJ Melendez and Vinnie Pasquantino, will need to take their next steps to make the season worth it.
- This could be the year pitching steps up. If there was a year, it’s this year that the class of college pitchers drafted needs to come alive. This offseason, the Royals, among everyone else, did not see many opportunities to supplement the pitching staff. The time is now for Bubic, Singer, Lynch, and Keller to step into their roles.
- Salvador Perez continues his push to the Hall. Your favorite catcher and mine continues to build on his numbers to become the hopeful second Royal to grace the Hall of Fame. Is there another 30-40 home run season in that bat of his? We’ll see.
- Stadium debate. Bias alert! I love The K and don’t want to see it come down. But, ownership wants a downtown park. I’d venture to say if that’s what you want, you need to start winning a bit more. Early designs are less than spectacular, in my opinion: no Crown Vision or much of a fountain which is a standard in ballpark design.
Check back throughout the season to see if some of these predictions come true.