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

Minnesota
Catcher

Tyler Flowers

213/296/412

fWAR: 1.2 (51 games)

Age: 27

Carlos Santana

252/365/420

fWAR: 3.4 (143 games)

Age: 27

Alex Avila

243/352/384

fWAR: 2.6 (116 games)

Age: 26

Salvador Perez

301/328/471

fWAR: 2.6 (76 games)

Age: 23

Joe Mauer

319/416/446

fWAR: 5.0 (147 games)

Age: 30

Second Base

Gordon Beckham

234/296/371

fWAR: 0.8 (151 games)

Age: 26

Jason Kipnis

257/335/379

fWAR: 3.1 (152 games)

Age: 26

Omar Infante

257/283/385

fWAR: 0.8 (64 games)

Age: 31

Chris Getz

275/312/360

fWAR: 0.5 (64 games)

Age: 29

Jamey Carroll

268/343/317

fWAR: 2.4 (138 games)

Age: 39

Shortstop

Alexei Ramirez

265/287/364

fWAR: 1.8 (158 games)

Age: 31

Asdrubal Cabrera

270/338/423

fWAR: 2.9 (143 games)

Age: 27

Jhonny Peralta

239/305/384

fWAR: 2.6 (150 games)

Age: 31

Alcides Escobar

293/331/390

fWAR: 2.6 (155 games)

Age: 26

Pedro Floriman

219/272/307

fWAR: 0.3 (43 games)

Age: 26

Centerfield

Alejandro De Aza

281/349/410

fWAR: 2.7 (131 games)

Age: 29

Michael Bourn

274/348/391

fWAR: 6.4 (155 games)

Age: 30

Austin Jackson

300/377/479

fWAR: 5.5 (137 games)

Age: 26

Lorenzo Cain

266/316/419

fWAR: 1.7 (61 games)

Age: 27

Darin Mastroianni

252/328/350

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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