Friday, February 14, 2014

Plugging the Holes

Last week Fangraphs' Brad Johnson took a moment to analyze the Royals infield. After raving about Eric Hosmer for a paragraph, Johnson then got around to write this regarding new Royals second baseman Omar Infante. You can read the full article here.
"Infante will finally resolve the Royals second base black hole. He brings batting average to the fantasy dinner along with the odd counting stat. The quality of his season is largely determined by his BABIP."
I don't need to remind Royals fans about how dreadful the Royals' second base situation was last season, but I'm going to do it anyway. Last season Chris Getz, Miguel Tejada, Johnny Giavotella, and Elliot Johnson each received time at second and collectively that group combined for 1.2 Wins Above Replacement and hit .240/.296/.306. Yikes.

Last season for Detroit, Infante hit .318/.345/.450 and recorded 3.1 fWAR. To say that he will be an upgrade for the Royals is an understatement. There was quite a bit of criticism when the Royals guaranteed Infante $30.25 million over 4 years, but the Royals also deserve some credit for bringing in the second best option available on the free agent market to fill their gaping hole. 

The Royals had a few pretty big holes in the lineup heading into the offseason. At third base and short they are hoping for rebouds from Mike Moustakas and Alcides Escobar. They addressed right field when they acquired Norichika Aoki. With the addition of Infante, the Royals plugged the final hole in the offense. Now it is time to keep our fingers crossed that Kansas City receives what they paid for.

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