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MLB Preview 2011: Kansas City Royals

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MLB Preview 2011: Kansas City Royals
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

9 Innings Blog will be bringing you previews of every Major League Baseball team for the next 30 days. This is in accordance with our 30 teams in 30 days series.

Today, we are going to give you two previews since I missed Friday’s preview. The first preview I am going to give you is the 2011 Kansas City Royals.

The Royals finished last season in last place of the American League Central division with a record of 67-95, a mere 27 games back of the Minnesota Twins.

The Royals only highlight during the season was the firing of Trey Hillman towards the beginning of the season. Hillman was replaced by former Milwaukee Brewers’ manager Ned Yost.

The Royals did make a splash trading ace Zack Greinke to the Milwaukee Brewers for SS Alcides Escobar, OF Lorenzo Cain, RHPs Jeremy Jeffress and Jake Odorizzi. It was one of the big trades during the offseason and it's still giving out aftershocks to this day.

The Royals have an alright team but they’re not going to climb anywhere in the division. At least not this season. The Royals will finish fourth at best. However, the Royals do have some good prospects that will come up in the near future and more than likely will help the ball club.

Key Addition: Jeff Francis, RHP

Breakout Player: Kila Ka’aihue, DH

Prediction: Fourth AL Central

Starters
CA: Brayan Pena
1B: Billy Butler
2B: Chris Getz
3B: Mike Aviles
SS: Alcides Escobar
OF: Alex Gordon
OF: Melky Cabrera
OF: Jeff Francoeur
DH: Kila Ka’aihue

Pitching Rotation
SP: Luke Hochevar
SP: Jeff Francis
SP: Kyle Davies
SP: Bruce Chen
SP: Vin Mazzaro

RP: Kanekoa Texiera
RP: Jesse Chavez
RP: Jeremy Jeffress
RP: Tim Collins
RP: Robinson Tejada
RP: Blake Wood
CP: Joakim Soria

Bench
CA: Lucas May
INF: Wilson Betemit
OF: Gregor Blanco
OF: Mitch Maier

Top Prospects
1). Mike Moustakas, 3B
2). Eric Hosmer, 1B
3). Wil Myers, DH
4). John Lamb, LHP
5). Michael Montgomery, LHP

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