Its been a given the last two years that the Royals defense has been sub-par. On one hand, this is not shocking; what, you thought the Royals were good at something? On the other, its pretty damning: yea, there are lots of guys out there who can't hit, but how many players can't hit or field? That takes real effort.
As bad as the offense has been, I've often wondered how much different the results would be if the Royals just threw in the towel and fielded a team of minor-league level hitters (wait, isn't that...) who were all great fielders.
Anyway, according to the Defensive Efficiency (ugliest word ever) numbers ran at BP the Royals are actually not that bad this year. Not good, but not bad, holding onto 9th place in the AL.
Most surprisingly, the Royals are actually a tick better at turning balls-in-play into outs than the Devil Rays, who last season fielded one of the better defenses in baseball. The Royals are about smack dab in the middle, just as far from the best (ChiSox) as the worst (NYY).
So at least something vaguely positive is going on, at least in small samples.