FanShot

BPro: Royal Pain? Bouncing Back in Kansas City

Christina Kahrl examines the chances of the Royals winning the division. Clay Davenport puts it at 13.8%. Median PECOTA projections for Butler have him slugging .450, but it's a volatile forecast; ratchet him up to his 75th-percentile forecast, and you've got a 23-year-old who's slugging .500 and fostering a bunch of favorable comparisons to Hal McRae. Gordon's projected .258/.342/.457 line is more stable, but here again, heading into his age-25 season, you're talking about a lefty power source just entering into his peak seasons. If Mike Aviles lives up to anything like last year's performance—PECOTA's reservations aside—that's a threesome. There's plenty of promise on the staff as well. The Mexecutioner, Joakim Soria, is the best closer casual fans might not yet recognize. If Greinke lives up to comparisons to top comparables like Alex Fernandez or Kevin Appier, the Royals have the ultimate must-have item for small-market success: an under-contractual-control staff ace. Young starters Kyle Davies and Luke Hochevar will both be turning 25, just as Greinke will be, and both might be ready to settle into solid rotation roles. So you're saying we have a chance?

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