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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 2014 fantasy baseball questions regarding their team. We feel this approach will be fresher, more sustainable, and require less energy consumption (for us anyway). The 2014 Royals Fantasy Baseball Preview comes courtesy of David Hill from Kings of Kauffman.

1) Alex Gordon spent the majority of the 2013 season hitting out of the leadoff spot in the Royals’ lineup. With the acquisition of Norichika Aoki, Gordon is now projected to hit fifth. Do you see Gordon’s fantasy value changing with this move?

Having four players that are essentially on base machines in front of Gordon in Aoki, Omar Infante, Billy Butler and Eric Hosmer should provide Gordon with plenty of opportunities to drive in runs. He had already displayed solid power previously as a leadoff hitter, and allowing him to hit down in the order should play more into the type of hitter that he is. The only real concern is that his hitting numbers have declined over the past two seasons.

Overall, his fantasy value should go up slightly, perhaps by a round or two. A batting line of .270/.340/.430 with around 20 home runs, 90 RBIs and double digit steals should be his expected production in 2014.

2) Mike Moustakas disappointed a lot of fantasy owners in 2013 with only 12 homers and a .233 batting average. What are some reasons you think the young third baseman will rebound in 2014?

Moustakas has struggled mightily against left handed pitching over his career. Those struggles continued in the Venezuelan Winter League, as he produced 259/.394/.296 batting line with one extra base hit against left handed pitching. While the Royals front office claims that they expect Moustakas to be an every day third baseman, the acquisition of Danny Valencia indicates otherwise. In fact, Valencia may be the biggest reason as to why Moustakas could improve this year. If he sits against left handed pitching, it is possible that his production will actually improve, even if he has fewer at bats.

3) While he struggled in the first two months of the season, Eric Hosmer really came to life from June forward, hitting over .300 with 16 homers and 8 steals. Do you think he can carry that momentum into the 2014 season and where do you think he ranks among fantasy first baseman?

The biggest change for Hosmer is that he started hitting the ball where it was pitched. Given that he was able to continue to hit that way throughout the remainder of the 2013 season, it is quite likely that his performance can carry over to 2014. Hosmer is generally considered to be ranked somewhere between sixth and tenth as a first baseman, but he may be able to crack the top five by the end of the year. If he is able to hit around .300 with 20 to 25 home runs in addition to his double digit stolen base potential and likely increase in RBIs, he could be a steal come draft day. As of now, he is likely the seventh or eighth first baseman off the board, with the potential for a lot more than expected.

4) Yordano Ventura is a really exciting young arm and Grey has already provided his outlook for him in 2014. How do you see him contributing to the Royals this year and why should he be on our radars?

Ventura certainly deserves to be on a lot of sleeper lists this season, but it is likely that any owners of the righty will need to wait until the middle of June to see their investment pay off. However, once he is recalled, he is likely to remain a fixture in the rotation through the rest of the decade. Throughout his minor league career, Ventura has struck out just under 10 batters per nine innings, while displaying solid control. In his brief time in the majors last season, Ventura averaged 97.74 MPH on his fastball, while displaying an excellent curve. If he is able to develop a third pitch that he can consistently get outs with, he could be a fantasy beast shortly after he is recalled.

5) Kansas City is known for its BBQ, and Billy Butler’s “Hit it a TON” BBQ sauce took the world by storm. Which Royals player is the next one to get their own sauce and what’ll they call it?

As a fan of spicy foods, there is nothing quite like spicy barbeque sauce. As such, Greg Holland would be the perfect candidate for a spicy chipotle barbeque sauce. Since he is a fireballer from North Carolina, a name such as “Greg’s Southern Heat” could be perfect.

From Around The Web

  1. Justin says:
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    MI has been going extremely early in our league and I have only Tulo at this point. How soon would you look at Alcides? Is 130 to soon?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      I def think you can wait longer on him, but I’m buying that he can bounce back.

    • @Justin:

      I would think that he should go much later than 130. Even if he has a bounce back season, there are likely to be better options available at that point.

  2. Principle Blackman says:
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    I have my doubts about Gordon’s ability to contribute double digit steals from the 5-hole.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      that’s fair

    • B says:
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      @Principle Blackman:

      Why do you think it’s less likely he’ll steal more from the 5th spot in the order?

      • Principle Blackman says:
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        @B: Look at who is hitting in front of him. You can’t steal second when moobs is clooging up the base in front of you.

      • Principle Blackman says:
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        @B: If he was hitting 2nd behind Aoki, I would say, “no prob, bob. Gordon’s got this.” But he’s supposedly hitting behind Butler, so I’m saying “booerns” to that.

        • B says:
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          @Principle Blackman:

          Fair enough. Though, when Butler is not one base ahead, do you think that Gordon might try to attempt a few more considering (my uneducated) perception that worse hitters are behind him? He might want to give those hitters behind him a better opportunity to drive him in?

          • Principle Blackman says:
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            @B: I couldn’t say what his motivation might be, but Ned Yost likes to run, so it is certainly possible. I just would lock him in to it.

  3. James says:
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    way off topic, but i have a trade offer that has me perplexed.

    Dynasty, keep forever. My team has Wright, Headley, Bogearts and Machado as 3b (1 3b slot and 2 Util slots, I did not expect both bogerats and macado to move to 3rd, and i have owned both a few years now). h2h,30 player slots including minor leaguers. lots of SP is owned, so streaming is a poor option at best (i have in the past, and i was excited for Joe Benson favorable starts, that is how hard it is)

    The offer:
    My Macado
    for
    Zach Wheeler
    Matt Harvey

    I asked the guy for a few days, since I did not think i was going to deal Machado, but this is a tough one since i do not need him (Wright has a few more years, and bogearts has similar upside if he slides back to SS). My SP is already stacked, and would make it even more insane in the long run (likely would facilitate a trade of another SP).

    Good/bad/ugly.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      It’s a fair offer, especially considering the circumstances. I’d hold Machado though.

      • James says:
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        @Mike:

        thanks… i am going to let it sink in another day or two, i hate offers like this where it is almost pure potential for pure potential. We are also mid draft, so if a 3b prospect falls to me, or another SP prospect falls to me, it really changes a lot (i picked up Archie bradley in the first round…. we only use guys in the yahoo database)

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          Anytime…I think you’ll be really happy with Machado and Bradley

  4. Korey says:
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    Great read Mike, from a Royal’s fan here. I love what KC has done with their line up and depth, but I am pretty skeptical about the SP.

    I’m avoiding KC players as much as possible (hometown jinx), but which player do you think will provide the best value based on ADP?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Thanks Korey. I think Ventura could come up and be special. Crazy heat.

      As far as bats, I feel Escobar is going to be a good value considering his position and how late you should be able to snag him.

    • @Korey:
      I’d put Ventura in there as well. Since I’m expecting he’ll be up after June, he will likely go late. He’d be a nice player to stash until he gets the chance. And, in the event he starts the season in the Royals rotation, he could provide serious value.

  5. costaricanchata says:
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    i’m hearing that moustakas refuses to watch tapes .
    so , despite seitzer , and despite brett ,
    moustakas has gone from driving the ball into the ground (1st year)
    to lots of infield pop-ups (last year) .
    maybe this hard-headed kid can figure it out on his own .
    certainly he has the potential to become a good hitter , but ,
    right now , he’s reminding me of this :
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GshovE9F3F8

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      ha! the 2 extra ingredients are cocaine and cocaine…

  6. Brownie says:
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    I thought Ventura had no idea where he’s throwing the ball and although he throws hard, hitters make good contact with it…

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      I didn’t think his walk rates in the minors were terrible.

  7. Ghost of the Disappeared says:
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    Mike: Before I answer your questions, I must admit, I have a soft head when it comes to the Royals. They are not my team. But, I always predict – every year – this is their year. I cannot explain the source of this attachment or inner drive to wish them well. I have no connections to West Central Missouri or Kansas in my past at all – none – zip – zero – nada.

    1: Gordon: He took a good while to be the player everyone thought him to be. I think, this move improves his value. We should see more power and certainly more core numbers – SBs may drop a little – not much. It has raised his value in the preseason player rankings and they are correct in doing so. We may be looking a another level out of his this year. He is the right age to become a true MLB star. He could move up into the heart of the order as well.

    GORDON = BIG YEAR

    2: Mous: What we expect out of young players. He is in position for a breakout. That he sits for against the wrong sided arms is missed as sometimes being a really good thing – even in fantasy (Harold Baines was a much better player hitting that way – even in fantasy)(good catch by you). Still, if he breaks out, he could see 500 plus ABs this year. Doubt he is drafted in ESPN much. He is a fella to keep on your radar if you are in Plug in Plug off mode with your 3rd baseman.. As I might be.. He’s a 25 YO most of this season. He has been learning on the job. His apprenticeship may be about over.

    SOLID YEAR EXPECTED!

    3: Hosmer: No surprise last year for me. I believed last year and had him on almost all my teams… Won’t this year as his price is just too high. He should have a great year, I rank him at 4th best behind Goldie, Votto, Pujols and ahead of the rest – Yep…

    Burned to many times by Edwin in the past – never forgive. Fielder (Could be wrong here – The Texas jet stream is hard to bet against). Freeman – not a believer. I’ve getting a real bad somethings dead smell coming off Davis in 14 (BUST ALERT).

    This should be seen in the context of ESPN play. Where, I feel other positions are more important to fill early SP and the 5 man OF.- IMO Though, I’m loving Puloj in the mid 30s if folks aren’t LE mind melded thralls at draft as they usually are.

    I’m not with the LidLess Eye on grabbing 1st base early either. It is full of helpful bats even in the puddle – esp. this year… I’m liking Cuddyer at the ~ century mark along with Hart ~#170 and Carter ~#200. Their OF/1B plays bigger for ABs when all is said and done – maybe. Then you PLUG IN PLUG OFF from the puddle on light schedule days at first – Alonzos and Loneys and Others who are hot in the ESPN universe.

    HOSMER A BIGGER YEAR!!

    4: YorDano: With a name like that, how does he miss… He has a couple/few probs IMO.. A) Chen and Duffy and Vargas throw backwards too. B) Duffy is worthy of one more look at starter (I like him for a good year in Deep AL ONLY and spot ESPN starts until proven) and Chen had a solid year last. C) Finally, YorDano clock has not begun, I think, Sept. play is exempted from the clock last time I looked p they may cheap out with him.

    He may make the team out of the BP or he might not be brought up until the June for a partial clock year or he makes the team SP. ST will tell the tale. He looks good and Zimmer is there too – nice place to be in for the Royals.

    5:

    A Dante’s Infante Hot as Hell BQ Sauce -On the bottle “””They yearn for what they fear for”” or “””Abandon hope all ye who enter here” – Gates of Hell”””. .

    Aoki’s Smoki Teriyaki BQ Sauce

    6) ROYALS HAVE A MASSIVE YEAR THEY TICKLE 100 WINS AND THEY WIN THE CENTRAL!!! You heard it here first.

    PS: Old Nullification Calhoun is screaming up the charts.. He went far ahead of Garcia last night in one ( ??? that – I have them about even for now – Garcia has top of the charts potential that Calhoun lacks for keeper leagues IMO). Your late speed-boy Revere – was near to a Top 100 pick in some drafts this week.

    Keep’m Com’n Mike

    • Ghost of the Disappeared says:
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      @Ghost of the Disappeared:

      Funny; E Young is getting little to no love at all. Got him far above 250 the other night… And he may bat lead-off for them. Largares is looking to start down this year… If he can play solid and find 500 ABs, MOLLY!!! MOLLY!!!! BAR THE FFFF’n DOOR!!!! … 50 SBs plus and rising are possible… He could make early picks for Segura and Cabrera look weak and wasted.

      He sure would be a nice one pick repair job for someone in desperate need of speed at around #200 – if they are powered up already

      • Mike

        Mike says:
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        well, we need some of these guys to stay under the radar so I have something to write about in-season for my steals posts ;)

      • Wake Up says:
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        @Ghost of the Disappeared:
        @ Michael Jack S.

        6) “ROYALS HAVE A MASSIVE YEAR THEY TICKLE 100 WINS AND THEY WIN THE CENTRAL!!! You heard it here first.”

        this is exactly what I was coming here to say…except maybe I wasn’t gonna label it #6 but essentially it was my intention to click here and post nearly the same thing (exactly if you don’t count 6))…

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          Haha nice. Maybe KC should be my next ball cap purchase

          • Wake Up says:
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            @Mike: in my opinion…I would go…
            1) Merkin
            then
            2) ball cap

            PS a little birdy told me that the Storm Chasers have a pretty sweet ball cap

            • Mike

              Mike says:
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              Hahaha! I can get those at the MLB.com shop, right?

              • Wake Up says:
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                @Mike: not sure…I got mine from a little starling…

            • Ghost of the Disappeared says:
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              @Wake Up:

              Wake: You can take full credit for #6) as my endorsements and predictions of the Royals yearly chances come with a massive discount – see above.

              I say, this is the Royal’s year, every year.

              I will assume, your statement is based in a more grounded review of MLB landscape, when it comes to your prediction for the Royal’s chance this year.

              • Wake Up says:
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                @Ghost of the Disappeared: Credit’s all yours…but I do agree with the prediction…

                My Royal optimism is mostly based on liking the AAA logo…

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Thanks, great stuff as usual Ghost…bummed to hear my boy Revere went that high.

      I agree on Garcia if Calhoun is starting to gain that much steam.

      As far as Yordano’s clock, makes sense for KC to wait. I could see Ventura getting drafted nowhere but winding up on everybody’s team by the end of the year.

      Aoki Smokey…love it.

  8. Los locos says:
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    10 team keeper

    Do I take posey machado gomez Zimmerman Donaldson ?

    My keepers
    Hosmer
    Rios
    Heyward
    Han ram

    Kershaw
    Struasburg
    Verlander

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Zimm

  9. griff says:
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    in a dynasty league, what do you think about this trade?

    I get Felix Hernandez for Jose Reyes. Similar salaries.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Love it.

  10. Greg says:
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    I have Hosmer under contract for 2 more years at $23…can he be my #1 first baseman this year or should I pick a 1B high in the draft? Unrelated to the Royals…if you had to choose between Hamels, Greinke, or Bailey to be the ace of your fantasy team…who would you choose and why? I plan on picking my ace with my third round pick and all the elite pitching is gone already aside from Wainwright and King Felix…but I imagine both will be gone by round three. (I do not have a 2nd round pick).

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Yeah I think you can roll with Hosmer as your starting 1B.

      I’d go with Bailey. I think he’ll land you more K’s and he’s 3 years younger than the other 2.
      (since you mentioned contracts I’m assuming it’s a keeper and I’d value the youth plus the fact that he’s trending in the right direction)

      • Greg says:
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        @Mike: Thanks. In another-slightly related question-it is a keeper league and I am coming back with Tulo, Hosmer, Longoria, Craig, Gordon, and Harper…I have the 5th pick in the draft and no second round pick. I have been planning on taking Stanton with my first pick yet there are few aces left in the player pool–all locked up by other teams. Do I pick Stanton or Felix Hernandez with my first pick? Or…I could trade Tulo for the 6th pick and draft both Stanton and King Felix…what scenario/lineup would be better to have after the first round?

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          Since it sounds like you can grab Bailey with a later pick, I’d go with Stanton and stack your bats.

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