We at Razzball realize that exporting our views across the country has damaging consequences on the blogosphere. To help make amends, we are reaching out to leading team blogs and featuring their locally blogged answers to pressing 2013 fantasy baseball questions regarding their team. We feel this approach will be fresher, more sustainable, and require less energy consumption (for us anyway). The 2013 Royals Fantasy Baseball Preview comes courtesy Michael Engel from Kings of Kauffman.
1) Eric Hosmer followed up a great rookie campaign in 2011 with a .232 average and a dip down to a .127 ISO. We at Razzball think there’s a bounce back in the works and have an Eric Hosmer sleeper write-up to prove it. With that said, what are your expectations for Hosmer for 2013 fantasy baseball?
All of spring training and into the first month of the season, Hosmer was raking, hitting lasers all over the field. In spring, they went for hits. Once the season started, they started going right at fielders, so he got a bit unlucky. In the middle of the season, he hit a lull and there were many fans who wanted to send him back to Triple A to get right. He had a slight rebound in the second half to get his numbers into more reasonable territory, but it was a really disappointing year.
But with all that in mind, the Royals aren’t worried. He’s faced failure in the past and came out looking much better on the other side. I think he could produce similarly to the five months he spent in the majors in 2011 (except adjusted to reflect a full season of work) and he could be much better than that.
2) Second base is a bit of a question mark for the Royals right now, both in fantasy and real life. With that said, who do you see getting the most at-bats at 2B this year and will they be relevant for 2013 fantasy baseball?
Ideally, this ends up being Johnny Giavotella, but the organization loves Chris Getz. Giavotella’s made it easy on them though. He was hurt in the last month of 2011 with a torn labrum in his hip but he played through it. He struggled in spring and never got consistent playing time when he was called up. It took Getz breaking his thumb on a bunt attempt and the dispatching of Yuniesky Betancourt to get Gio regular work.
If Giavotella is hitting in spring, it should be his job, but it seems like they’re going to make him beat Getz for it. Because it’s the Royals, there’s also a fear that Miguel Tejada has a strong six weeks in Arizona and wins a larger role than he really ought to have, despite assurances that he’s going to be a utility player.
All in all, second base for the Royals is probably a black hole for fantasy purposes. If Gio hits, he could be a nice guy to toss in for AL leagues.
3) Billy Butler had a power surge last year, hitting a career high 29 HRs in 2012. Do you think this power is here to stay or will we return to the 17-18 HR average we’re used to for 2013 fantasy baseball?
I think it’s going to stick. He’s always had power, just not home run power (but tons of doubles). He’s the best hitter on the team and he’s just coming into what many consider peak hitting age. He spent a full month of the season in 2012 without hitting a homer (stuck on career homer #99) and may have been trying too hard to hit one out. If he’d have let it happen naturally, he probably could have added three or four more. Though it’s a real concern that he might not get to the upper-20s again (he never had big home run numbers in the minors other than a year in the California League, which really shouldn’t count), I think he can get to at least 25.
4) We loved Salvador Perez coming into the 2012 season as a sleeper so we were saddened when he had a meniscus tear to start the year. However, he returned with a great line in only 76 games – 11 HRs and a .301 average – so we’re really hyped for him this year. What’s your take on Perez for 2013? Do you think he can clear the 20 HR mark?
If he stays healthy, Perez is gonna be a star. Kansas City loves this guy. He doesn’t strike out (doesn’t walk either, though) and has good power. He’s more of a line drive hitter though, so 20 homers in 2013 is about as good as he can do. As he gets older, he might approach 30. He’s going to make enough contact (and HARD contact) to hit for a pretty good average and should get a chance to drive in runs, too.
5) The Royals have been in rebuild mode for what feels like forever but this off-season they made moves that seemed more like what a contender would do. With that said, what is the most likely scenario you see unfolding for these Royals in 2013:
A) James Shields heads up a surprisingly strong starting rotation and gets into Cy Young contention?
B) A bronzed statue of Dayton Moore will be hoisted up at Swope Park for the Wil Myers trade. And by that I mean, he’ll be cast in bronze with a sign that reads ‘Here lies the resting place of the last GM who tried to destroy the future of our team’?
C) Moustakas will learn the ancient Greek secret of rubbing Ouzo on your bat that jump started Kevin Youkilis’ career, leading to a 25 HR season with a decent average?
D) In a trade benefiting all baseball fans involved, Jeff Francouer – a hit with the Oakland A’s Bacon Tuesday fans – is sent to the A’s in exchange for a season’s worth of thick sliced, apple-smoked goodness.
E) Luke Hochevar changes his last name to ‘Prostitute Hair Stylist’ so as not to be so offensive to the oldest profession.
If I choose D, can Luke Hochevar go with Frenchy?
And if Myers wins Rookie of the Year or Shields gets hurt or stinks, they might not hoist a statue of Dayton Moore…they might encase him in bronze like it was carbonite and toss him up there.