The Kansas City Royals have a few new additions to the team for 2021, but they won’t be enough to make them contenders this season. Our MLB predictions have the Royals struggling to catch up with the rest of the division.
The team has a few players in place, and there are a couple of newcomers that will make an impact on the team. But the effort for 2021 is about trying to build some cohesion for the future.
The Royal offense will feature two newcomers. Carlos Santana will join the team at first base from the Cleveland Indians, while Michael A. Taylor is entering the outfield from the Washington Nationals. Santana went .199 with the Indians last year, while Taylor struggled to get playing time in an already crowded outfield in Washington.
Whit Merrifield will anchor the offense. Merrifield had a .282 average with twelve stolen bases last year. Adalberto Mondesi will challenge the league’s stolen base title in 2021, although whether he will do this depends on his average. Mondesi had 24 steals last year, but he also went .256 from the plate.
Lucius Fox may also make an impact on the team’s infield this season. The utilityman prospect was acquired in a trade with the Tampa Bay Rays last year.
How the Pitching Looks
Danny Duffy will lead the Royals rotation once again. Brad Keller is also returning, and Kris Bubic will hope for some improvement over last year. It may be a while before someone can supplant Duffy at the top of the rotation.
Last Monday of 2020. pic.twitter.com/un0nlZqBzf
— Kansas City Royals (@Royals) December 28, 2020
There is one newcomer to the rotation, as Mike Minor joins the team from the Oakland Athletics. Minor hasn’t been the same player since he left the Atlanta Braves a few years back. The former first-round pick aims for a new start with the Royals after being an afterthought on the Athletics roster.
The team has some uncertainty over how the rotation looks, but it does have one of the league’s better bullpens. Greg Holland remains a talented closer, as he had a 1.19 ERA with six saves. Scott Barlow and Jesse Hahn also performed well last year, with Hahn getting a 0.52 ERA in 17.1 innings.
The Royals will still require extra help in finding long relievers. Richard Lovelady hopes to be the team’s top long reliever after missing most of last season. The rotation will also be without Kevin McCarthy, who left this offseason for a minor league contract with Boston.
Where Will the Royals Finish?
While our MLB predictions don’t see the Royals doing well this season, but we don’t think they will be as bad as the Detroit Tigers. The Royals will finish in fourth place in the AL Central.
The team’s new acquisitions may help the young players as they develop, but the Royals will still require extra help if they are going to contend or at least be somewhat competitive this coming year.
Will the Royals Make the Playoffs?
We also do not see the Royals reaching the playoffs in 2021. The team has too much competition at the top, as the Chicago White Sox and Minnesota Twins will compete for the division. The Royals will instead need to focus on what the team wants to do in the future and how it can expect to be a better contender later.
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Image by: Keith Allison