The Royals are the new model of success, writes Scott Miller of Bleacher Report. Kansas City is headed back to the World Series thanks to a combination of home grown talent, prudent free agent additions, and the help of advance scouts. The core group competed together in the minors and now has a second chance at a pennant. Other clubs like the Cubs, Astros, and Mets will hope to channel similar success in the years to come.
Here’s more from the back-to-back American League Champions:
- Three unlikely contributors helped to set up some of the Royals biggest plays, reports Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated. Tim Conroy, Paul Gibson, and Mike Jirschele were responsible for some key scouting discoveries. The Royals picked up when David Price was using his change-up and how to run on his first movement. They also anticipated where Jose Bautista would throw when fielding a ball to his left – leading to the go-ahead run. Verducci does an excellent job taking a closer look at how the Royals incorporated advance scouting.
- The relationship between GM Dayton Moore and owner David Glass has provided the foundation for the Royals success, writes Richard Justice of MLB.com. Many questioned Moore’s competency after the 2012 season, but Glass fully trusted him. More predicted that it could take some time for players like Alex Gordon, Mike Moustakas, and Eric Hosmer to adjust to the majors. Other clubs might have sold low.
- A pair of smart trades have also helped the club, per Justice. Rather than lose Zack Greinke via free agency, Moore traded him for Lorenzo Cain, Alcides Escobar, and Jake Odorizzi. Cain and Escobar have played huge roles over the past two seasons while Odorizzi (along with oft-injured Wil Myers) were used to acquire James Shields and closer Wade Davis.
- In addition to hiring Moore and trading Greinke, signing Salvador Perez to a team-friendly five-year, $7MM extension has helped the club immensely, writes Dan O’Dowd of MLB.com. Perez provides critical cost certainty for a mid-market club. He also does yeoman’s work behind the plate with more games caught than any other catcher over the last two seasons.