This week, MLB.com continued their top 10 series by listing off the top defenses in the league. Landing at the top of that list was the 2014 Kansas City Royals. Rightfully so, with three Gold Glove award winners, and two finalists who were not chosen as winners, over half of their defense has Gold Glove ability. Not to mention, Lorenzo Cain was chosen as the 2013 Defensive Player of the Year and he wasn’t even one of those five players. And their defense only looks better for 2014 after upgrading at second base and right field with Omar Infante and Norichika Aoki. The 2014 Kansas City Royals have a chance to be one of the best defenses in Major League history.
In my opinion, they have four players who are in the top five in the Major Leagues at their positions in Alcides Escobar, Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, and Alex Gordon. The best part about that for the Royals is that all of those players are just entering their prime. Like Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com said, “they don’t have a defensive weakness at any position.” This is one of the reasons why the Royals’ pitching thrived for the first time in nearly two decades in 2013. Defense has become much more important in today’s game, and the Royals’ defense, in particular, won Kansas City a lot of games single-handedly. Behind their gold glove talent, the Royals led the league in defensive runs saved.
Baltimore Orioles‘ #2 rated defense doesn’t even touch the young, raw defensive talent in Kansas City. If the Kansas City Royals are going to make a run for the post-season in 2014, it will be behind a defense that is superior to the defense they put out on the field in 2013. However, to make a run, their offense will have to take a major step up from their 2013 performance. It will be hard for opposing offenses to get a ball through a hole against this defense, that is certain.