What the Dodgers Can Learn From the Royals
What The Dodgers Can Learn From The Royals
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

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Kansas City’s world championship did not come easy. The Royals forged a comeback which spanned an entire season after they were defeated in seven games by the San Francisco Giants in the 2014 World Series.

Never down and out, the Royals, who have won two consecutive American League pennants, march to the beat of their own drum. The Royals’ success came from the perfect combination of aggressiveness and patience.

The Los Angeles Dodgers could learn a thing or two from the Royals’ aggressive approach offensively, an important factor being swinging on the first pitch more often.

Alcides Escobar’s leadoff inside-the-park home run in Game 1 of the World Series came on the first pitch he saw from Matt Harvey, a 95-mph four-seam fastball.

Escobar swung at the first pitch more than 33 percent of the time during the regular season, batting .364/.367/.477 in such instances. The ALCS MVP collected six hits in the World Series, but the leadoff inside-the-park homer was the offensive starter that set the tone and revved up the Kansas City attack.

There was a time when the productive Kansas City lineup was experiencing growing pains. There were lofty expectations for Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas. Moustakas, who at one point looked like a total bust, finally came into his own in 2015 while carrying over his postseason success to the regular season.

The Royals did not go out and sign a free agent to replace Moustakas, and their patience paid off as Lorenzo Cain, Hosmer and Moustakas not only met but exceeded expectations in 2015, culminating in the first championship for the franchise in 30 years.

The Dodgers saw Joc Pederson slump mightily in the second half, Corey Seager was thrust into the postseason scene just weeks after getting called up from Triple-A Oklahoma City and young hurlers Yimi Garcia and Alex Wood hit roadblocks as well.

The Dodgers have the talent in their system to compete for years to come, but finding the patience to wait for the prospects to be ready to compete at such a high level as the big stage of the World Series takes some time.

A Dodger team with Cody Bellinger at first, Seager at shortstop, Jose Peraza at second base, Pederson in center field, Scott Schebler in left field, Austin Barnes behind the plate and Julio Urias on the mound is not too far away.

It’s not all about the home runs. Finding different ways to score has been a key weapon of the Royals. The Dodgers cannot rely solely on the long ball. With a lack of speed and poor base running throughout the first half of the season, the Dodgers need to find alternative ways to produce runs moving forward.

The Royals have an uncanny ability to come from behind, and most of the comebacks have been thanks to stringing together base hits and incorporating speed.

The Royals finished 25th in the Majors with 139 home runs, while the Dodgers hit the most homers in the National League and sixth-most in baseball with 187. 

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