Commentary

BP Daily: Youth could fuel a Royals run

Breakout seasons could lead to surprise in AL Central

Originally Published: February 27, 2009
By Christina Kahrl | Baseball Prospectus

Last week we discussed how the White Sox are BP's last-place pick in the parity-enabled AL Central. A rung ahead of them, we're pegging the Royals to win 75 games, still behind our current projection for a division-winning 84 wins for the Indians -- but within reach. Could the Royals have a shot as a dark horse?

[+] EnlargeBilly Butler
John Williamson/Getty ImagesA Butler breakout is key for the KC offense.

Stick with the math, and it doesn't take too much to conjure up a scenario where the answer is yes. The AL Central was projected to have a 18-game spread last year, with the Royals pegged for 73 wins; two years ago, it was a 23-game spread, with the Royals expected to win 67. Dial it back to 2006, and we forecasted a 27-game spread and 61 wins for Kansas City. As Dayton Moore's slowly improved the talent on the roster, the anticipated leading teams in the division have been slowly coming back to the pack, with the Royals just as slowly coming back up from the depths.