Top 5 Things Kansas City Royals Fans Want to See This Spring
With every new major league season comes new expectations.
Spring training is now in full swing for all 30 MLB teams, which means there are a whole new set of expectations from fans for each club.
The Kansas City Royals are not immune to this.
Here are some things that Royals fans will be looking out for in spring training this year.
A Winning Team with a Winning Attitude
The Royals are now known as a winning team after finishing above .500 last season for the first time since 2003. This is something that is not only foreign to this organization, but it also is very foreign to its fans as well.
That's why it's important that this team does not get cocky but continues to focus on getting better each day.
The 2014 season will clearly be a test for these young Royals to have a winning attitude throughout the entire year, no matter what the campaign brings them.
Improvement at the Plate from Mike Moustakas
There has been much said about the lackluster offensive production from Kansas City starting third baseman Mike Moustakas in 2013, as he slashed just .233/.287/.364 on the year.
He struggled in the power department (just 12 home runs in 472 at-bats) and with patience (32 walks against 83 strikeouts); he also looked very confused many times at the dish. Moose needs to find his comfort zone at the plate and build some confidence with his approach and swing this spring.
From what we saw of him in the first half of 2012 (.817 OPS), Moustakas has the talent to succeed as a major league hitter, and now it's time for him to unleash it.
Strong Competiton from the Back of the Starting Rotation
With ace James Shields, Jeremy Guthrie and Jason Vargas manning the first three spots in the Royals starting rotation, that leaves just two openings.
It seems the fourth spot would go to veteran Bruce Chen, who was recently re-signed by the team.
That leaves just one vacancy, and the competition appears to be fierce, as prospect Yordano Ventura, left-hander Danny Duffy, and veterans Brad Penny and Wade Davis are all competing for it.
Royals fans will be keeping an eye on this situation throughout spring, as they just want to see good competition from those four and others for this final spot.
Strong Leadership from the Team's Veterans
In most sports, teams that continue to have success year after year seem to have one thing in common: strong leadership from the top of the organization.
In MLB terms, they likely had even stronger leadership from their 25-man roster.
That's why veterans like James Shields and Omar Infante were brought to Kansas City—so they can provide that veteran leadership that had been lacking for many years at 1 Royal Way.
This is something that fans definitely want to continue to see as this team progresses this year, and it all starts at spring training.
All eyes will be on former first-round pick Kyle Zimmer this spring, as this is the first glimpse many fans will get of him in a major league camp.
The ex-University of San Francisco star was 6-9 last year with a 4.32 ERA but also struck out 140 batters in just over 108 innings pitched combined for Double-A Northwest Arkansas and High-A Wilmington.
Zimmer is loaded with talent and should be fun to watch when he takes the mound in Surprise, Ariz.
Although he is likely to be sent down to the minors before the end of camp, this might not be the last Royals fans see of Zimmer in 2014.