Douglas Benton. 21st August, 2005 - 4:27 pm
Even with their 2-1 victory in Oakland on Saturday, the Royals are far from out of the wilderness. With a 39-82 record and no phenom waiting in the wings to take them back to respectability, the Royals find themselves looking at the light at the end of the tunnel, only to find out it is an oncoming train.
Now, the Royals have tiny building blocks to work with, but these blocks will only take them from awful too mediocre. Nevertheless, the Royals can look to first baseman Mike Sweeney, shortstop Angel Berroa, and pitchers Mike Wood and Mike MacDougal to lead them in the coming years. While these players aren?t your typical club leaders, they will have to fill the role for the foreseeable future.
Other players who could step up in the future for this franchise are pitchers Zach Greinke and Andrew Sisco, as well as catcher John Buck. While Greinke has struggled mightily this season, the potential of being named the Royals? best prospect in 2004 is still there. The Royals just need to be patient with him as he develops as a big league pitcher. Sisco on the other hand has had a good year, going 1-2 with a 2.72 ERA in 50 appearances. At 6-foot-10 and only 22 years old, the future looks very bright for Sisco in the bullpen.
Shifting to the back of the plate, John Buck is another player that comes with great potential. He was acquired by the Royals as part of the Carlos Beltran deal last summer and came with high marks. However this year has been a struggle for Buck, but he is worth hanging onto because there is a lack of catching talent at the big league level, so it is good to hold onto on when you can.
So while the Royals hope and pray that these young players can develop under their watch, they have already taken the first step in hiring Buddy Bell. Bell is well respected around the league, which will help the Royals in the free agent market if they ever decide to spend their money on ballplayers. Only time will tell now if one of baseball?s better franchises can write the ship and at least start their voyage toward respectability.