Don't Kill the Mellinger

Columnist Sam Mellinger's thoughts on sports and other important stuff

Here’s exactly how the Royals and several key players will finish 2014


05/01/2014 8:39 AM

05/16/2014 1:33 PM

As Andy points out here

, Mike Moustakas will pass the arbitrary 100 plate appearance threshold this week. Ned Yost had thrown that out there as a reasonable time to assess Moose, but using our Ned Decoder Rings, we know that was a way of defending his guy and now that the 100 are (nearly) up, Ned will find another way to defend his guy.

"Moose is third on our team in RBI and first in home runs," Yost told reporters Wednesday. "He’s a great defender at third base."

In 96 plate appearances, Moose is hitting .149 with four home runs and 12 RBIs. Small sample size disclaimers still apply, but it’s an interesting start: of his 13 hits, four are home runs and four more doubles.

Knowing that we are almost exactly one-sixth of the way through the season, that’s a pace for 24 home runs (pretty good!), 24 doubles (not as good) and 78 hits (whoa).

Moose will not keep up that pace, obviously, if for no other reason than the Royals will not give a .149 hitter 600 plate appearances.

But, (somewhat awkward transition goes here), it did get me thinking about some of the other players on the team and the paces they’re on.

This is different than the

Over-Under Challenge

we did before the season, but I do think it’s interesting to go through a few interesting numbers and try to predict if we should see improvement or regression.

The start

: Sal Perez is hitting .245/.317/.404 with nine doubles, two homers and 10 RBIs.

The pace: Same slash numbers, obviously, with 54 doubles, 12 homers and 60 RBIs.

The prediction: a higher batting average, same OBP, higher slugging, fewer doubles, more home runs and more RBIs.

Overall: slight improvement.

The start

: Eric Hosmer is hitting .301/.354/.388 with nine doubles, no homers and nine RBIs.

The pace: Slashes, with 54 doubles, no homers, and 54 RBIs.

The prediction: higher batting average, same OBP, higher slugging, fewer doubles, more home runs and more RBIs.

Overall: significant improvement.

The start:

Alcides Escobar is hitting .287/.347/.414 with eight doubles, one home run and 10 RBIs.

The pace: Slashes, with 48 doubles, six home runs and 60 RBIs.

The prediction: it’s too easy to say worse across the board, so: .260/.308/.361 with 28 doubles, two home runs and 50 RBIs.

The start:

Billy Butler is hitting .224/.284/.255 with three doubles, no home runs and eight RBIs.

The pace: Slashes with 18 doubles, no homers and 48 RBIs.

The prediction: it’s too easy to say better across the board, so: .275/.340/.408 with 30 doubles, 16 home runs and 78 RBIs.

The start:

Jason Vargas is 2-0 with a 2.40 ERA, 1.089 WHIP over 41 1/3 innings.

The pace: 12-0, 2.40 ERA, 1.089 WHIP, 248 innings and, at some point, a "What the heck is going on with Jason Vargas?" piece in Sports Illustrated.

The prediction: 13-9, 3.40 ERA, 210 innings and, at the end of the year, and very few "Hey I feel dumb for crushing the whole ‘major announcement’ thing" concessions on Twitter.

The start:

Yordano Ventura is 2-1 with a 1.50 ERA, 31 strikeouts and 11 walks over 30 innings.

The pace: 12-6, 1.50 ERA, 186 strikeouts, 66 walks over 180 innings, and a disproportionate number of the Kansas City area high school class of 2033 being named "Yordano."

The prediction: 12-10, 2.91 ERA, 199 strikeouts, 70 walks over 182 innings and a lot of "THEY NEED TO SIGN HIM TO A LONG-TERM EXTENSION YESTERDAY!" talk.

The start:

The Royals are 14-12, 12th in the league in runs, second in the league in run prevention, 1 ½ games out of the Central and tied for the wild card.

The pace: 87-75.

The prediction: 89-73, 9th in runs, 4th in run prevention, three out of the Central and winners of the second wild card.

Also, the Royals will out-homer Jose Abreu 109-44.

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