The Kansas City Royals organization is as talent-rich as any in Major League Baseball. But an overwhelming amount of youth and inexperience, starting pitching prospects hardly ever panning out, and a lack of a financial commitment from owner David Glass have all held the franchise back for quite some time now.
As the Baltimore Orioles, Oakland Athletics, Pittsburgh Pirates and the Washington Nationals continue to show really well in the standings in 2012, the Royals must find a way to keep up with other franchises that used to also call the cellar their home.
But is staying the course of general manager Dayton Moore's process enough to eventually allow the Royals to compete in the American League Central and to ultimately be within reach of a World Series title?
Is building an organization through the draft and patiently waiting until all of the talent navigates its way from Idaho Falls to Omaha, then finally to Kansas City going to work?
As bad as the Royals have been for the better part of two decades now, there are signs that the future is bright in Kansas City. Most of the lineup is set for the foreseeable future and the young bullpen is absolutely lights out.
The next step is filling the starting rotation with competent arms that can protect the bullpen from the rigors of the long MLB season and who can pick up the offense when long slumps occur.
The Royals have had their share of top pitching prospects. But whether it is the result of a serious injury or a puzzling lack of development at the major league level, the majority of those arms have yet to pan out.
The key is getting the ownership, the front office, team management and the players all on the same page. The ultimate goal is always to win, but the various ideas as to how that will happen is what has gotten in the way recently.
The Royals must obtain front-line pitchers in order to take the next step in becoming a competitive franchise again. While it may be a deviation from the original plan, the only way Kansas City does this is by spending considerably more money or trading away guys that are considered part of the future.
If Glass, Moore and Ned Yost have total trust in the process, a by-any-means-necessary approach in finishing the puzzle is imperative.
It is obvious that Moore's plan has worked on some level. It is also apparent that it is time for the Royals to try something different before their grip in Kansas City's sports landscape loosens even more.