The Royals look pretty dang good again, still a lot of room to develop, but this young lineup looks very promising. Brady Singer is having a career year, Bobby Witt Jr. burst onto the scene as a big hitter and excellent fielder, Kyle Isbel came into his own, and overall it looks like the Royals have a good future ahead of them after what was a very disappointing year. The question I want to ask now is though: Is this the best Royals youth core we've seen, and will they have as more success than say, the youth of 1971-1972 or 2007-2008? Let's go down the list here to see who was on those two...
1971-1972: George Brett, Mark Littell, Steve Busby, John Wathan, Dennis Leonard
Most Royals fans under the age of 50 probably don't know 4 out of 5 of these guys, but this young core of '71 and '72 was all important in building toward the success that led to the 1985 World Series. Brett, Leonard, and Wathan were actually on the team when they won. Brett is universally known as the best Royals player ever, and Wathan recorded a .262 career average while playing catcher, outfielder, AND first baseman throughout his career. He was even 24th in MVP voting in in 1980, which you know 24th isn't anything amazing, but as someone who played 3 different positions and when you get to thinking how many baseball players there are in the MLB, it's impressive. Whit Merrifield before Whit was even born really. Dennis Leonard was a Royals all time great pitcher, being a franchise top 5 for basically every pitching category. One of the winningest right handers throughout the '70s and '80s, but gets overshadowed by guys like Brett Saberhagen. Mark Littell carved out a great career with both the Royals and Cardinals, 2.70 career ERA with 52 saves in 243 appearances, and Steve Busby was a 2 time All-Star with 22 wins under his belt as a pitcher. An underrated and underappreciated core, it's the core that propelled the Royals into greatness during the '80s, and deserves your respect.
2007-2008: Mike Moustakas, Salvador Perez, Danny Duffy, Greg Holland, Eric Hosmer (Special Mention: Alex Gordon was breaking into the majors this year, but was drafted in '05)
The '07 and '08 draft proved to be monumental for the Royals. After spending a few years in the minors for most of this crew, they took Kansas City baseball and made it into something that contended with the best. It wasn't flashy, and it was certainly ugly at times (Gordon should have gone for home in '14) but it ended up with two World Series appearances and 1 win, along with a few Royals household names etched into lore and legend. Alex Gordon and Salvador Perez are Royals franchise leaders at their positions, Greg Holland was a part of the famous "HDH" trio, Danny Duffy was one of the Royals best starters of the 2010s, and Eric Hosmer, while also being the best looking Royals player of all time, had his best years in KC. Alex Gordon led these guys to greatness, and this draft will forever live on as one of the greatest in Royals history.
Looking at this young group of guys the Royals have now, do we continue to see the potential rise into future greatness like the two mentioned above? This is certainly the most excited Royals fans have been in quite some time, and with new management I think these guys will develop well and become forces to be reckoned with. However, will we see it rise to the zenith of Royals young cores? Will we see this core win World Series like the ones listed, perhaps even multiple ones, or if you think this Royals group will end up like the ones they had in the late '90s and early 2000s let me know as well. Best answers will be featured in the ScorchCast!
Burn Notice: 9/10 Eric Hosmer, so dreamy OMG