I am a bit down with my hope for 2012 Royals. Perez and Soria are on the DL. Giavotella is in AAA. Bruce Chen is our ace. To make matters worse, I looked for similar players to Luke Hochevar and All-Star Mark Redman's name showed up. I figured I didn't need to put every reader of Royals Review on suicide watch, so here are my positive biased predictions for the upcoming season.
- Two Royals will make the All-Star team, Alex Gordon and Eric Hosmer. Alex will have a similar season to 2011 and will get invited this time. Also Hosmer will make it because of attrition to other 1B. Too many good, but old, 1B in the AL. Some will be on the DL, others will want to sit out the game.
- After messing around with Broxton as the closer for a month or two, Greg Holland will step in and make the loss of Soria less painful.
- The Royals HR record (36) will be put in jeopardy by Billy Butler. I just don't see a left-handed getting the record with the way Kauffman Stadium suppresses HRs. Butler won't actually get the record, but we will talking about it in September.
- Duffy will emerge as the teams best starter. He will find the strike zone and start to work late into games.
- Paulino will continue his success from 2011.
- Brayan Pena will be a serviceable catcher and hit for the league average compared to other catchers.
- Lorenzo Cain will help us remember what a decent fielding CF is like.
- Alcides Escobar will will the Gold Glove.