TORONTO -- Led by Gold Glove winner Alex Gordon, Royals outfielders were a sensation last season when they accumulated a Major League-high 51 assists.
Well, apparently the opposition didn't learn to be cautious against them. The Royals again are leading the Majors with 20 assists through Monday, three ahead of Oakland, Arizona and Toronto.
Left fielder Gordon and right fielder Jeff Francoeur each have six assists, and center fielder Jarrod Dyson has five. In addition, Jason Bourgeois, Lorenzo Cain and Eric Hosmer (remember Pittsburgh?) each has one.
"It just reaffirms the job that [coach] Doug Sisson does with the outfielders," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "This isn't an accident. He's got them throwing every three days. When we come in for early batting practice at the beginning of every series, the outfielders throw."
Many teams seldom have their outfielders practice throwing once the season begins, but Sisson works the Royals at it regularly and it has paid off.
Dyson has been a capable successor to Melky Cabrera, who had 13 assists last year behind Gordon's 20 and Francoeur's 16.
"Dyson has a very good arm," Yost said. "[He's] above average for a center fielder."