For the past few decades, the Kansas City Royals have been little more than an afterthought in the world of baseball, but behind names such as Eric Hosmer, Billy Butler, Mike Moustakas, Aaron Crow and now Alex Gordon things are on the verge of turning around for the once forgotten franchise.
The Royals haven't enjoyed a great amount of success in recent memory, finishing in last place of the AL Central six of the last seven season. Despite the lack of on-field success however, the team has enjoyed a fair amount of early round picks in the past few MLB drafts.
With these early round picks, the team's management has chosen some quality players over the years, three of which made their debuts in Aaron Crow, Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas.
Crow has been everything the Royals could have asked for in a set-up man, posting a 1.43 ERA and 37 strikeouts in 37.2 innings of work in his first major league season. Hosmer was the talk of Kansas City upon his call up back in April of this season, and has been producing quality numbers for the team through the first few months of his career.
Moustakas, or "Moose" as he's known by his fan base, has been the only struggling member of this group, posting a disappointing .250 average in 44 major league at-bats. To be fair to Moose, not every highly touted prospect lives up to expectations right out of the gate, just ask Anthony Rizzo.
The Royals certainly don't look as if they're making a playoff run this season, but don't count them out over the next few seasons. As Moustakas and Hosmer further develop and current team staples like Billy Butler and Joakim Soria continue playing as they've proven they can there's reason to believe in this Royals team.
The only foreseeable problem in Kansas City's playoff goals is the starting pitching. Crow and Soria are a nice one-two punch to close out games, but they can only do their job if the Royals are in the lead. This problem could easily be fixed by the longtime trade deadline sellers turning the script and actually try to acquire quality pitching from other clubs.
I'll start this off by stating this is all clear speculation by me, but if I were in the Royals front office I would target pitchers such as the San Fransisco Giants' Ryan Vogelsong or Barry Zito or even the Mets' Mike Pelfrey.
Vogelsong has been extremely impressive this season and the Giants have to chose whether him or Zito is going to fill out this rotation at some point. Either would prove to be great additions for the Royals organization. Pelfrey is what he is, but the Mets need to move contracts and he's still a pitcher who could easily replace one of the Royals current starters.
As much as the casual MLB fan might not believe this, but the Kansas City Royals are on their way to climbing the ranks in the AL Central and have a strong chance at making a playoff run in the years to come.