Kansas City: Time To Re-Think Royals Lineup

Stats have proven that good hitters getting more at-bats do good things for your offense.  Kansas City Royals Manager, Ned Yost, has proven, however, that more at-bats for your worst hitters isn’t such a great formula for success. The top third of the Royals lineup is hitting a combined .249 this year with an on-base percentage of .297, and a grand total of four home runs between them.

At the top of the current Kansas City lineup are Nori Aoki, Omar Infante, and Eric Hosmer.  The most productive players at the plate, however, are Alex Gordon, Alcides Escobar, and Lorenzo Cain.  With a 3.9 RPG at this stage of the season, the Royals rank 22nd in the Major Leagues, which suggests a lineup shuffle might be necessary to spark a rise in offensive production.

Here are some suggestions:

Top of the Royals Lineup

Nori Aoki, known more for his slapstick comedian type of play than his all-around baseball skills, shouldn’t be a lock at the top of the order. Leading off so far this year, Aoki is hitting .256 with a .318 on-base percentage.   His notorious lack of power, however, might best be used at the bottom of the order, at number nine, which is considered the second leadoff position.

Alcides Escobar, batting .287 , with two HRs, and 22 RBIs thus far in the season, would be the best option in leadoff.  Esky’s ability to bunt, and get on base shows that his skillseTimet is best reserved at the pole position.

Two-hole

Omar Infante, hitting an abysmal .148, with only 3 extra base hits since his return from the DL, is not exactly getting it done in the number 2 spot.  Lorenzo Cain, however, with a .331 pace and two HRs this season, could assume the title of “big bopper”.   Cain’s production at the plate shows he would make for a great early lineup guy.

Three through seven:

Typically your three through seven hitters are supposed to be your power hitters. Unfortunately the Royals aren’t a power hitting team, per say, but leading the team in HRs is: Alex Gordon (6), Salvador Perez (6), Mike Moustakas (5) and Eric Hosmer (3).

Eight and nine:

The eight hitter is going to be the worst hitter in the lineup, and possibly the best place for Omar Infante until he regains his form.  Mike Moustakas could be used as a power hitter in the number seven spot. As mentioned, Aoki would be a good candidate for the number nine hole. He’s fast, can bunt runners over, turn over the lineup, but his well-known lack of power minimizes his chances to fit anywhere else in the lineup.

New Royals lineup:

The ideal  lineup for the offensively-challenged Royals  would fill out as:  Alcides Escobar, Lorenzo Cain, Alex Gordon (L), Billy Butler, Eric Hosmer (L), Salvador Perez, Mike Moustakas (L), Omar Infante, Nori Aoki (L).   Jarrod Dyson can easily be subbed for Aoki as circumstances, but with the Royals currently suffering a -8  run differential this season it’s time to rethink the batting order.

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