Bats Needed

More of this, please. - David Banks

Dayton Moore knows he needs to improve the offense, but does he realize just how much?

The only way to score a run without getting a runner on base is to hit a home run.  The Royals, for all their improvements in 2013, lack the ability to a) hit the ball over the fence and b) at least get on base and hope the next guy drive you in, at a number of positions.

Almost universally, Royals' management, fans and baseball people in general will tell you that the Kansas City Royals need to upgrade their offensive production at second base and rightfield, but what about center...or short...or third?  Let's take a look at where Kansas City ranks with regard to positions when it comes to both getting on base and hitting with power.   The rankings below are just for the American League.

Catcher:

OBP - .321 - 10th

SLG - .422 - 6th

First Base:

OBP - .345 - 5th

SLG - ..444 - 7th

Second Base:

OBP - .296 - 13th

SLG - .304 - 14th

Shortstop:

OBP - .255 - 15th (that's last if you are scoring at home)

SLG - .295 - 15th

Third Base:

OBP - .284 - 13th

SLG - ..359 - 12th

Left Field:

OBP - .324 - 6th

SLG - .415 - 6th

Center Field:

OBP - .322 - 8th

SLG - .367 - 13th

Right Field:

OBP - .304 - 13th

SLG - .392 - 11th

Designated Hitter:

OBP - .377 - 2nd

SLG - .412 - 8th

There is nothing really new or earth shattering in any of the above ranks, but they do show that the Royals are, at best, a middle of the pack offensive team: both position by position and overall.   Frankly, 'middle of the pack' is charitable and likely optimistic.

Last night, Bob Dutton tweeted that no one, prospect or on the major league roster, was untouchable in trade talks this off season.  If true, that is maybe the smartest idea Dayton Moore has had since being General Manager.  Starting from that mindset, the Royals need to progress towards not finding a bat to play second or right, but simply finding the best bats available.   The position should not be the overriding concern.

Perhaps that last statement is the lingering effect of the Carlos Beltran trade.  You know, where the Royals had to have a catcher and third basemen and, in the process, reportedly turned down a deal that included Robinson Cano.  Or worse, Dan Glass' insistence that a major league shortstop be the return for Jermaine Dye which led to the Nefii Perez experience.

Outside of catcher and first base/designated hitter, do you really turn down any idea?  Is there any reason Alex Gordon could not be a Gold Glove rightfielder if the an on-base machine who can only play left was available?  Are we so certain that Moustakas and Escobar are destined to improve at the plate that the Royals should not listen to offers (or pursue free agents) that happen to play on the left side of the infield?  Does anyone, ANYONE, believe Lorenzo Cain can stay healthy for 150 games a year and, by the way, hit the baseball consistently if he did?

On-base percentage and slugging tell only a piece of the overall story, but the above tells us enough to think that Dayton Moore's shopping list for the off-season should contain more than just two items.

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