The Royals (17-11, 10-5 home) maintained a 1-0 lead throughout most of the afternoon, after an RBI double by Billy Butler scored Alex Gordon in the first inning. The Royals outhit the White Sox (13-17, 6-10 away) 9-7.
If they continue to develop, the team will have outfield depth with Hawkins and also Trayce Thompson and #Jared Mitchell. Mitchell may be the best athlete in the organization. He was a two sport star in college, can run, hit, and play good defense. Another name to keep an eye out for is first baseman Keon Barnum. He is another left hand hitter with good power. But is it enough to turn around the franchise?
For Chicago, the sale jerseys are going to need Paul Konerko to rebound from a subpar year in 2008, in which he hit only .240 with 22 home runs and 65 RBIs, his lowest offensive output since 2003.
He’s on the 40-man roster and is a slightly-lesser version of Lucas Harrell without the major-league experience. Marquez, touted as a groundball phenom when acquired from the Yankees in the Nick Swisher [REDACTED] trade, had a 46 percent ground ball rate in Charlotte-good, but not Harrell’s 52 percent grounder rate. He’ll have a shot at the rotation this spring, but it’s tough to see Marquez separating himself from the pack. Then again, that can be said for all these pitchers.
Certainly, it wasn’t a weakness on the 2010 team, but with a better bullpen, the A’s can certainly challenge for a playoff spot in the AL this upcoming season. Perhaps the biggest issues were managerial mismanagement and injuries, in truth.
He made his Major League debut in 2002 with the Rangers, going 1-3 in 15 games at the age of 22. He also played with Texas in 2003 and 2004 but missed the 2005 season with an injury.
Two huge holes remain in Boston’s lineup with David Ortiz listed as doubtful and Kevin Youkilis still on the DL with a sore back. None the less, the Red Sox continue to lead the Majors in hitting with a .278 team batting average and scoring with an average of 5.32 runs a game.