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Mar 14

Opening Day Countdown: 23

Raising a brow at Tim Scott's question

Remember this Alex Gordon beard? Yeah, sorry, you had repressed it, hadn't you?

Let’s see if I can come up with a post every day of the rest of the offseason. Today, there are 23 days left until Opening Day on April 6.

23

is the number of home runs Alex Gordon hit last year. That led the Royals.

In a delightful bit of statistical harmony, check out the team leaders in homers in the Royals farm system:
Clint Robinson hit 23 for Omaha
Jamie Romak hit 23 for NW Arkansas

Wilmington, disappointingly, did not have any 23-homer-hitters. John Whittleman only hit 20 for the team lead there, and nobody in the lower leagues hit anywhere near that many.

(Football timeout: The Chiefs just signed Peyton Hillis, and this is the first time in a long time every KC-area Twitter user I follow agrees so wholeheartedly on anything. The overwhelming reaction right now is basically “Hell yeah!”)

Anyway, back to Alex Gordon. At the Royals Caravan stop back in January, a fan asked Gordon how many home runs he was going to hit this year. He shrugged, and admitted he didn’t even remember off the top of his head how many he hit last year. (I suppose I could have Googled it for him, but my phone was in my pocket and my hands were full of camera.)

Of the six available projection systems available on FanGraphs, it looks like nobody thinks Gordon’s going to top his total from last year. The fan projections have him right at 23 again, and the other five all have lower figures. Here are the averages of the 2012 Royals lineup’s projected home run totals:

Gordon: 20.5
Giavotella: 6.7
Hosmer: 21
Butler: 19
Francoeur: 16.8
Moustakas: 16.8
Cain: 7.6
Perez: 8.6
Escobar: 4.8

Of course, Salvador* Perez’s total could be different, depending on how much time he misses with his torn meniscus.

*how the heck did “Salvy” start making it in to the papers? And yet they still keep referring to Manuel Pina as “Manny,” despite the player’s own request for that to stop. I will not use “Salvy” unless Salvador himself confirms that’s what he wants to be called.

The team’s total last season was 129. If all the regulars hit roughly what they’re projected to, that will put them at 121ish, plus a few from the bench. Of all the things that the 2012 team is going to be – exciting, hyped, energetic, important, and eventually disappointing – one thing they will not be is circling the bases too frequently.

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Related posts:

  1. Opening Day Countdown: 26
  2. Opening Day Countdown: 41
  3. Opening Day Countdown: 36

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