Kansas City Royals 2017 Fantasy Recap
Two years ago, the Kansas City Royals were coming off their second World Series appearance in as many years, and winning their first World Series in three decades. But for the past two seasons now, they’ve been watching the baseball postseason from the last place in the world they want to view it: from the comforts of their own home, on the outside looking in.
In 2017, the bright spot in the Royals’ rotation that was somewhere near the middle of the pack in the American League was Veteran 34-year old Jason Vargas. He led the American League with career-best 18 wins. He couldn’t cap off his season with a 19th win, as he fell flat in his finale against the Arizona Diamondbacks, allowing six runs on six hits with four walks and four strikeouts over four-plus innings to take the loss. In the month of September, though, Kluber had a 4-1 record, allowing one or less run in three of his five starts. To say that he finished the year with the same amount of wins as Corey Kluber and Clayton Kershaw is obviously nothing to scoff at.
Left-hander Danny Duffy finished with the second-most wins for Kansas City (nine), but his 10 losses overshadow that win total. As his record would indicate, Duffy had a largely up-and-down season in 2017, after dealing with loose bodies that caused inflammation in his elbow during the second half of the season. Ironically his results were actually a tad better in the second half, so it was hard to tell that he was pitching hurt. A handful of pitchers typically undergo a similar procedure every offseason, and Duffy should be ready for spring training. He finished 2017 with a 3.81 ERA, 1.26 WHIP and 130 strikeouts in 146.1 innings.
The batting order for Kansas City was probably the biggest problem area for the team in 2017, as the finished somewhere near the bottom of the American League in most major categories. They didn’t have a single player with more than 100 RBI, but had four different guys register more than 100 strikeouts.
First baseman Eric Hosmer led the team in runs, RBI, and batting average; the question is, will the impending free agent return back to Kansas City? If he doesn’t, he had a fitting ending to his productive tenure with the team. He finishes the season slashing .318/.385/.498 while tying last year’s career best of 25 home runs. The three-time Gold Glove winner finished third in the American League in batting average as well.
Third baseman Mike Moustakas helped fantasy owners down the stretch in the batting-average department, bringing his mark up to .324 over his last 10 contests. But with only three home runs in 82 at-bats in September, Moustakas’ power production dipped down the stretch, though it was still enough for him to establish a new franchise record with 38 long balls on the campaign.
But, again, the biggest problem will be focused around how many of these guys will be back in a Kansas City uniform last year. Moustakas joins Hosmer as an impending free agent, as does centerfielder Lorenzo Cain and shortstop Alcides Escobar. They were instrumental in the Royals success over the past few seasons, and their departures could signal yet another rebuild in Kansas City.