The season is winding down on yet another losing effort for the Royals, but this one seems different, doesn't it? It feels like real progress was made, with the bulk of the #1 Farm System ranking now on the big league club and with positions 1B, 2B, SS, 3B, LF, and RF all seemingly locked down by young prospects or controlled players. Even centerfield either comes down to an extension of Melky Cabrera or the promotion of Lorenzo Cain.
The common wisdom is that Hosmer, Giavotella, Escobar, Moustakas, Gordon, and Butler should be good enough to compete for the division, and Francoeur probably doesn't diminish those chances. The glaring issue is now and will continue to be that darn starting rotation.
Lorenzo Cain is able, but can he find a spot with the Royals? - KansasCity.com
Lorenzo Cain is talking plainly and honestly, each sentence laced with the Southern twang he developed while growing up in rural Florida. Now a 25-year-old center fielder for Class AAA Omaha, Cain says he’s not sure of much these days. He’s spent the entire season in Omaha focused on winning and putting up numbers — the kind of numbers that might help him escape down I-29 toward Kansas City.
Baseball could put cap on Royals' draft spending - KansasCity.com
A nightmare scenario in which the Royals' single advantage (though marginal and dependent upon other teams' unwillingness to follow) could be cut off.
Alcides Escobar's Hot Streak Ends - Royals Review
"I really like Escobar for the league minimum and if there are enough hitters elsewhere in the lineup to score runs. He won't hit arbitration until 2013 and assuming he doesn't win a gold glove, he should remain reasonably cheap for years to come. The matter of the rest of the lineup, however, remains to be seen."
Making the Royals Contenders - Royals Authority
The Royals continue to score at a rate of 4.33 runs per game, which is good for 6th in the American League. They still struggle mightily with allowing runs and have dropped to 4.84 runs per game, placing them 12th in the AL.
Forever Francoeur - Rany on the Royals
"...And that’s really the question here. If Francoeur plays as well in 2012 and 2013 as he has in 2011 – no better – he will justify this contract and then some. If he regresses even a little towards his performance the last three years, he’ll be an overpriced albatross."