The Royals have looked like a completely different baseball team since the trade deadline. Since July 26th, the Royals have an 8-3 Win-Loss Record, scored 68 runs vs. 52 runs scored against, have seemed to have found a new rotation anchor in newly acquired Cole Ragans, and have also seemed to have finally found some consistently good to decent batting and fielding. This is a far cry from what we've seen throughout the season so far from the Royals, which has led to their abysmal 37-78 record. The 2nd worst in the MLB, yes, but if this success continues, they could find themselves out of fighting to stay out of last place. It's about the moral victories, right?
However, let's look at the future and how this solid performance translates to next season. Let's face it, unless some miracle of God happens the Royals aren't making the playoffs and are really just playing to make sure fans have something to look forward to next year, and that may not even happen given that it is a common Royals trend to bookend a bad season with uncharacteristically good performances. More on that later though, I want to talk about what good could come of this. The Royals have a young lineup with first-year management. This is well-known, what isn't well known though is what the Royals could do with a completely fresh lineup FULL of these younger program guys. It seems like that's what the Royals are trending towards doing, as there's been talks of Salvador Perez either being traded or retiring after this season. Don't get me wrong, Salvador Perez is by no means holding the Royals back, but giving a lot of these guys a chance to develop into Major Leaguers is exactly what Piccolo has said he wanted to do. Yeah, the Royals may stink again next year, maybe even the year after that, but the Royals have a truly young lineup based on ceiling and not on MLB experience for the first time in a long time. In order to succeed as a small-market team, it's kind of what you have to do, take a look at the successes of the Tampa Bay Rays. Developing in house guys that will want to stick around because they're only getting better in the system that they're in.
That's just it though, the system that they're in can't develop guys into guys that want to stay and guys that harness their full potential. They also need to break a cycle they've been in for years now, and before the '14-'15 World Series run, years before that too. The Royals have the 28th ranked farm system according to ESPN, and though guys like Bobby Witt, Jr. and Michael Massey thus far have proven to be belles of the ball from that system, it still has a long way to go. The Royals NEED to improve their farm system in order to keep these guys developing and to keep these guys around, otherwise you're faced once again with bringing on washed up players that have little to give an ailing organization or guys that are nowhere near ready for the big leagues. The vicious cycle for the Royals continues unless something is done with the farm system, I think if you finish that Matt Quatraro actually has a good chance to prove himself as a manager. A lot of people blame him for how badly the season has gone thus far, but looking at these past few games I think if he has the talent, he wants he can excel. That, folks, is left up to the front office, a front office and ownership that is willing to put money into a good farm system and to pick up young free agents with big ceilings from bigger organizations. Learn from the successes of the '14 and '15 team like what was SUPPOSED to happen in '16 and '17, otherwise you WILL just see more of the same old, same old. Dayton Moore is gone folks, it's time for JJ to right the ship and do what he refused to do.
Burn Notice: 7/10 These guys could catch fire sooner than we think...