As the Royals pushed the Twins to the brink last night, handing them loss number 99, Melky Cabrera shocked the world by picking up hits number 200 and 201 on the season. While Cabrera can bask in the glow for now, the excellent performance by the Royals outfielders should leave Kansas City fans concerned.
- En route to his 200 hits, Cabrera established career highs in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, home runs, RBI, and stolen bases.
- Jeff Francoeur also established career highs in each of those categories for any season in which he topped 300 plate appearances.
- And Alex Gordon, in his age 27 season, did the same, besting his career averages by about 60 points in every offensive category, coming in at .303/.376/.502 compared to .244/.328/.405.
While Gordon has the greatest pedigree and best chance of replicating his success, there should be a lot of concern over these three players all regressing next season. Even with another great season from Billy Butler and encouraging rookie campaigns from Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas, the team will still probably lose 90 games.
While the pitching can only improve for the Royals next season, chances are the offense will take a step back. There is plenty of talent coming through the pipeline, but the Royals will have to count on it all coalescing at once. If the pitching and offense can’t join forces, the chances of Kaufmann Field raising any kind of banner in 2013 will be pretty slim.
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