This decade, not next decade. Damn, it's 2010...
So who will be the Royal of this decade? We don't have a clear candidate at this point.
- Zack Greinke: Will likely be awesome for 2010 and 2011 as a Royal. Although it's uncertain how much of the decade he'll spend with us.
- Joakim Soria: Has a strong foundation of performance and fan devotion already laid, and is a good bet to be with the team much longer. Could emerge as a "Player of the Decade" type on either good or bad teams, which helps his case.
- Billy Butler: Billy has timed his ascent well, primed to really hit his stride just as the decade opens. Easy to imagine a scenario in which he has a monster decade, most of it as a Royal.
- Alex Gordon: The gap between Gordon and Butler isn't that huge, if it exists at all. I'm starting to see a Scott Rolen in Philly thing here, culminating in Gordon eventually blossoming somewhere else.
- Wil Myers: Greg Schaum answered with Myers when I broached the topic on Twitter, illustrating the significant buzz surrounding Myers, who has, you know, been a professional for about six months now. In some ways, that helps Myers, who could have a 2013-2019 run that cements him as a truly a player of the Teens.
- Eric Hosmer/Mike Moustakas: Some like one, some like the other. Like Myers, they aren't close to ready yet, but overall, they are still positioned for a well-timed run.
- Mike Montgomery: The near-consensus pick for the top arm in the system. Again, setup for a middle of the decade run.
- Wild Card: Who am I forgetting?
I guess if a large sum of money or personal harm was riding on the results of a 2019 poll conducted by kcroyals.com, I would go probably go with Soria. And I would almost certainly lose. We're talking about picking a candidate that has maybe a 20% chance versus ones that are closer to 15%. And decade perspectives tend to be latter-leaning, mean the Royals will probably draft someone this year, who'll have a monster 2016-19 stretch, and become the winner of this hypothetical poll.
ps- I had meant to do a Royal of the Decade post for the '00s, and just never got around to it. I still might, but I might not.