Kansas City Royals' Rebuild Will Continue In 2019

Wednesday, February 6, 2019 6:19 PM UTC

Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019 6:19 PM UTC

The Royals are in what could be a long rebuilding process to try and get back to having a chance at the World Series. What can we expect from this young team in 2019 after they bottomed out last year?

World Series Odds: (+15,000)American League Pennant Odds (+12,500)Season Win Total: (69.5) @ BetOnline

Not much is expected from the Royals this season, especially playing in a division with at least two teams that are markedly better than they are. However, will that lead to them being undervalued in their season win total?

Winning With Young Guys

After winning only 58 games in a disappointing 2018 season, the Royals have spent the last several months trying to build within themselves. A small market team without much in terms of payroll flexibility doesn’t have much of a choice but to build around their young guys.

However, it might not play well into making them a contender any time soon. Most teams that are in rebuilding opt to blow everything up and build their teams over the next three to five years.

However, despite calls from fans and probably within the organization to trade Danny Duffy and stockpile picks and prospects, the Royals have yet to make that move and don’t appear ready to be. Duffy is 30 years old, but he has three years left on his contract. Despite not being in his mid-20s like most of the Royals core players, Duffy being under team control for three more years makes Kansas City likely have no rush to trade him.

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Just spotted Danny Duffy at #RoyalRumble. I told you guys this was a big deal.

(Also, the Westport T 👀, Legend) pic.twitter.com/ssta0UDFvk

— Nick Price (@NickPriceKC) January 28, 2019
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The Royals added Billy Hamilton to their young stable, too. He should give them a steady glove in centerfield and some huge speed on the base paths. Playing in Kansas City is a tough place to hit, but for speed and defense, it makes sense to ink Hamilton.

Add in the young studs of Whit Merrifield, Adalberto Mondesi, and Hunter Dozier, and there is a lot to get excited about this season for the Royals on offense. However, in order to win with defense and speed, you have to have pitching and that may be the biggest weakness for this Royals club in 2019.

Pitching Problems

The Royals finished with a 4.66 xFIP and 4.95 ERA as a team last season and I don’t see that improving too much.

Duffy and Ian Kennedy should at the very least be solid options at the top of the rotation, but neither are true number one or two starters on a playoff contender. The AL Central isn’t the best division in the league, but it’s not the worst and opponents will be able to beat up on the back half of this rotation.

They do have some young prospects in the pipeline that could plug some rotational holes, but they likely will not be call up permanently until much later in the season. That will likely mean their contributions to a potential playoff push may not come until the 2020 season.

As far as the bullpen, the Royals could have more problems in that avenue again this season. They had the second worst bullpen ERA of all 30 teams in 2018 and they have yet to do much outside of in-house moves to try and fix it.

The young pitching coming up for the Royals could have a hand in improving these numbers, but it may not be until the middle of the summer. I don’t expect the Royals to do much this season and 70 wins may be asking a lot for this club as currently constructed.

Season Win Total Pick: UNDER 69.5 Wins

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