For the KC Royals to succeed in 2012, they need some help from two of their younger players: third baseman Mike Moustakas and catcher Salvador Perez. These two are expected to hit somewhere in the 6-8 range of the Royals batting order in 2012.
The Royals need more hot streaks than cold streaks from Moustakas. He is a streaky hitter, but he needs to limit those slumps so fans will remember why he is such a coveted player. Moose didn’t show power last season (ten homeruns last year in Triple-A and just five in the big leagues), so he’ll need to produce in other ways until the power returns.
He ended up hitting .263 for the season, as his average climbed after a .400 last ten games of the season. However July was a nightmare for him, as he hit just .160 (after hitting .263 over his first month in the big leagues). The slump carried into early August before he turned it around.
What the Royals need from Perez is the solid defense that he is known for. He showed the same defense he showed in the minor leagues last year when he was finally promoted. It should only get better as he matures in the Majors. Catchers’ defense has declined in the big leagues as more focus has been on offense, so maybe Perez can sneak in and win himself a Gold Glove.
He made a huge jump in 2011, as he reached higher than A-ball for the first time. He flew through both Double-A and Triple-A before reaching the big leagues in August. Perez hit at the big league level a lot better than most people thought. He hit .331 with an on-base percentage of .361. He hit three homeruns, eight doubles, and two triples to go along with his 21 RBIs and 20 runs scored.
I’m not saying he needs to hit .330 in 2012, but hitting .270 or better would be a definite plus.
The rookie status rules confuse me. A rookie is only still considered a rookie if he has not
(a) exceeded 130 at-bats or 50 innings pitched in the Major Leagues; or (b) accumulated more than 45 days on the active roster of a Major League club or clubs during the period of 25-player limit (excluding time in the military service and time on the disabled list).
Well, Perez played in 39 games in 2011 and accumulated 148 at-bats. Thing is, only 68 of those at-bats came prior to September 1st when rosters expanded from 25 to 40. So if the LA Angels Mike Trout can regain rookie status, I believe that Perez is still a rookie. If so, he has a really good chance at winning the American League Rookie of the Year award.
The Royals need every player on their active roster to contribute in some way in 2012 for them to contend for a playoff spot (or to at least finish with a winning record). Young players are sure to have some bumps in the road, but these two need to limit their bumps.