Billy Butler will be asked to hit for even more power in 2013. - Jesse Johnson-US PRESSWIRE
"A change of philosophy" is coming for the Royals.
Last season, Ned Yost's Kansas City Royals hit 131 home runs and ranked 13th in the American League in that category. Next year, Yost wants "a change of philosophy" that will result in more power. Principally, that means no more hitting to the opposite field, but pulling the ball and going for broke more often. "I would rather strike out than hit a ball to the right-center field wall and have it caught -- unless there's a runner on third," Yost said. "I want to open up our offense."
Beyond the team's recent change of hitting coach from Kevin Seitzer to Jack Maloof (with assistant Andre David) it's not clear how the Royals will accomplish this change, but Yost believes that Billy Butler can hit 40 home runs, Salvador Perez can hit 20, and everyone in between can up their totals. The name "Wil Myers" was not mentioned in this context, but it seems likely he figures into Yost's thinking.
Myers did come up in the sense of trade possibilities, but Yost emphasized that while he could imagine a scenario in which the Royals got a starting pitcher so good that it would be worth dealing the top prospect, he also said it was equally possible that would not happen. For now, rumors remain just that, rumors: "We don't try to get anyone worked up over Wil." Otherwise, "We'll give him a shot to come to spring training and see what he can do."
What remains, then, is a team that will try to cease hitting from the middle of the field to the opposite side and pull away. Even Jeff Francoeur is expected to produce more (it's hard to see how he won't given how poor he was, harder still to think that the club actually wants him around after his worst-in-baseball season). No doubt Yost would also like Lorenzo Cain to turn into Mickey Mantle and for the Bill Gates Foundation to give him a magic pony, but for now, the main wish is more power from the same gang.