Royals Versus the AL Central: Up The Middle

Lorenzo Cain has to stay healthy...and, you know, hit. - Hannah Foslien

A discussion of how the Kansas City Royals stack up against their American League Central competition.

This is the first of a very simplistic series comparing the Royals to the rest of the Central Division. The current projected lineups are offered below with 2012 triple slash and fWAR. Use 'new' stats, 'old' stats, your guts, your grit...whatever.

To be a little different, we will start with the 'up the middle' positions, move onto the corners, then starting pitching and finally relief.

Chicago Cleveland Detroit

Kansas City


Tyler Flowers


fWAR: 1.2 (51 games)

Age: 27

Carlos Santana


fWAR: 3.4 (143 games)

Age: 27

Alex Avila


fWAR: 2.6 (116 games)

Age: 26

Salvador Perez


fWAR: 2.6 (76 games)

Age: 23

Joe Mauer


fWAR: 5.0 (147 games)

Age: 30

Second Base

Gordon Beckham


fWAR: 0.8 (151 games)

Age: 26

Jason Kipnis


fWAR: 3.1 (152 games)

Age: 26

Omar Infante


fWAR: 0.8 (64 games)

Age: 31

Chris Getz


fWAR: 0.5 (64 games)

Age: 29

Jamey Carroll


fWAR: 2.4 (138 games)

Age: 39


Alexei Ramirez


fWAR: 1.8 (158 games)

Age: 31

Asdrubal Cabrera


fWAR: 2.9 (143 games)

Age: 27

Jhonny Peralta


fWAR: 2.6 (150 games)

Age: 31

Alcides Escobar


fWAR: 2.6 (155 games)

Age: 26

Pedro Floriman


fWAR: 0.3 (43 games)

Age: 26


Alejandro De Aza


fWAR: 2.7 (131 games)

Age: 29

Michael Bourn


fWAR: 6.4 (155 games)

Age: 30

Austin Jackson


fWAR: 5.5 (137 games)

Age: 26

Lorenzo Cain


fWAR: 1.7 (61 games)

Age: 27

Darin Mastroianni


fWAR: 1.5 (77 games)

Age: 27

Can anybody play second base anymore?

Can Lorenzo Cain stay healthy AND produce? If so, can Cain provide enough production to at least stay within shouting distance of the likes of Michael Bourn (aging as he may be) and Austin Jackson (BABIP luck not withstanding)?

Will Alcides Escober regress at the plate? Will he progress in the field - at least with respect to the metrics? Would you trade him for any other shortstop in the Central?

This will sound crazy, but would you trade Salvador Perez for Joe Mauer? I doubt there are many Royals' fans who would. I don't know that it is completely logical given that we are talking about a guy with a plus .400 on-base percentage, but I would not trade Perez.

The Royals are not horribly outclassed up the middle if you truly believe that Perez is about to assume the mantle of one of the league's elite catchers and also hold out hope that Cain, should he manage to play 140 games this year, could be a 2.4 to 3.0 WAR player.

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