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Can the Colorado Rockies Become the Next Kansas City Royals?

August 21st, 2014 at 5:00 AM
By Joe Lemere

The Colorado Rockies have certainly had their struggles in recent years, but can they turn things around soon. One team had similar struggle, but was able to turn things around. That team was the Kansas City Royals and are now fighting for the AL Central division crown. The Royals were synonymous with losing for about a decade until the wins started piling up the last two years. The question becomes, then, can the Colorado Rockies be the next KC Royals?

The Royals come up as they were in town for a quick tow game series that ended in a split thanks to another marvelous pitching performance from Jorge De La Rosa and grand slam heroics from Matt McBride. That and the parallels that can be drawn between the two organizations. Both from smaller markets in the middle of the country, both have stacked losses the last 20 years and both have made many a questionable decision in that 20 year or so span.

There is hope, though, as the Royals winning percentage the last two years stands at a healthy .542. In the ten years between winning seasons for the Royals, their record stood at 565-863. That's a winning percentage of just .396. They turned things around last year with an 86 win record and this year they are going toe-to-toe with the heavyweight Detroit Tigers.

Now, can the Rockies turn things around in the same fashion? The Royals did it through a few high draft picks panning out, a few smart free agent signings and trades that turned out to favor Kansas City a la James Shields and Alcides Escobar.

The Rockies actually have a good history of draft picks coming through. Troy Tulowitzki, Nolan Arenado, Charlie Blackmon and Corey Dickerson have all panned out. Unfortunately for the Rox, pitching draft picks haven't worked out nearly as well. Hopefully that changes with the arrivals of Jon Gray, Kyle Freeland and the return of Eddie Butler.

As far as the smart free agent signings, the Rockies are pretty good here, too. Justin Morneau, Michael Cuddyer certainly fit that billing. Once again, though, the franchise hasn't done too well when signing pitchers. LaTroy Hawkins has been solid, but Boone Logan has been anything but.

Trades have been similarly hit-and-miss, with a few more misses than hits. Acquiring Carlos Gonzalez, Jorge De La Rosa have been paying dividends for years while Drew Stubbs, Jordan Lyles and Brandon Barnes are working out well this season. This offseason could change this whole equation, though, so stay tuned.

The Rockies, despite the record of the last few years, have a good foundation. Unfortunately, that foundation doesn't include a whole lot of pitching. If Colorado can carry their success drafting and signing position players to pitching, they'll be in a very similar position that the Royals are in now.

For the best news now, the Rockies have some pitching draft picks that should soon be at the big league level, so they are actually fast-tracking the Royals rebuilding plan. If the young guns come through, there should be a few Rocktobers in store pretty soon.

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