Wow, this question will make you think. Who on this team is likely to dominate the game for a long stretch of time as George Brett once did? Only two names really come to mind as possibilities: Eric Hosmer and Salvador Perez. I keep thinking that Hoz will blossom into a 25-30 homer guy who can hit .320 year in and year out. He'll certainly have a string of Gold Gloves on his resume when his career ends. Perez, too, will have plenty of gold on his shelf. But Perez will have to develop much better offensively to ever be regarded among the all-time greats. Hey, there's a reason it's tough to get into the Hall.
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Well, the Royals are hoping it will be Jarrod Dyson, who, as of now, is your starting right fielder. They also are crossing their fingers that this will be the year Yordano Ventura matures and becomes an ace. I'm going to go with Ventura. He pitched much better in the postseason than his numbers indicated (0-2, 6.43 ERA), and he held up emotionally on the game's biggest stage. Maybe he's ready for that next step.
The Royals' timetable for pitchers coming off Tommy John surgery is about 14 months before they are back in the big leagues. That would put Tim Collins on pace for around May (just as Luke Hochevar did last year). Jason Vargas had his procedure at the very end of July, which effectively wipes out his 2016 season. Vargas could be back pitching in the Minors in August and September, and he could theoretically pitch for the Royals again if they made the postseason. But at that point, I'm not sure how much he would bring to the table.
Keep an eye on right-handed prospect Miguel Almonte, who could steal a spot in the bullpen. Manager Ned Yost loves his stuff and would love yet another power arm in the bullpen. Don't forget about left-hander Brian Flynn, who had a terrific spring a year ago but missed almost the entire season with a lat injury. He's healthy again.
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This will be the big battle in camp. Wade Davis, Joakim Soria, Kelvin Herrera and Hochevar are obvious locks. Then you'll have numerous guys fighting for the final three or four spots. The versatility of Christian Colon means the Royals likely will carry one utility infielder, allowing them to carry an extra reliever or an extra outfielder. We must also consider that whoever loses the battle for the final two rotation spots among Chris Young, Kris Medlen, Danny Duffy and Dillon Gee will head to the bullpen. For argument's sake, let's say Duffy and Gee wind up in the bullpen. That gives you six spots. The final spot or two comes down to Flynn, Almonte and/or perhaps another non-roster invite such as David Huff or John Lannan. Collins won't be ready for the big leagues, as mentioned, until May.
I'm sure you meant between Drew Butera and Tony Cruz. I would think based on last year, Butera has the inside track. They're both solid defensively, but they both bring little offensively. Cruz has options.
The only wrestling advocate on this beat [Andy McCullough] left for L.A.
Keep in mind that the Royals won't have a first-round pick, losing it for the Ian Kennedy signing. In three of the last four MLB Drafts, their first pick was a pitcher. The guess here is that trend will continue throughout the early rounds of the Draft, especially because they traded five pitching prospects to acquire Johnny Cueto and Ben Zobrist (well worth it to land a world championship).
Colon will get every chance this spring to win the job from Omar Infante. It will be entirely up to Colon. This is his moment.
This was yet another intriguing and possibly low-risk-high-reward signing by the Royals. Travis Snider, 28, was the Jays' first-round pick in 2006, and he has shown flashes of his potential (13 homers two years ago for the Pirates). But he has yet to take the next step. Wouldn't it be just so Royal-like if Snider seizes the right-field job and breaks through with a career year in '16? Oh, and to answer your question, general manager Dayton Moore no doubt will keep searching for roster additions throughout Spring Training. He doesn't stop.
Thanks again, everyone. We'll do this again from Surprise, Ariz., in a couple weeks.