When Did The Royals Success Started?
In 2010, the Royals were devoid of talent and nothing promising in the minors. So general manager Dayton Moore traded ace player Zack Greinke to Milwaukee in exchange for four prospects who painted as potential pillars in the revival of Kansas City. Two of them were pitchers Jeremy Jeffress and Jake Odorizzi. The other two? Lorenzo Cain and Alcides Escobar.
Five years later, Cain and Escobar are key figures and have been selected to the All-Star break. Cain became one of the best center fielders in the majors, while Escobar is a sure bet to win multiple Gold Gloves at shortstop.
Both have been selected MVP of the ALCS. Cain received the award last year, and Escobar did Friday night, when he helped in the 4-3 defeat over the Toronto Blue Jays to advance to the Fall Classic.
“Pretty good,” George Brett summed up, the Hall of Fame and now special assistant manager of Kansas City, who helped mentor players in recent preseasons. Brett watched the game from a box at Kauffman Stadium on Friday night, and someone asked for his opinion on who would be the most valuable. Before it was announced, Brett said, “Escobar wins. He was much better than everyone else. “
In fact, Escobar set a postseason record one hit the bat in the first inning of the game in the first four games of the series. In all, he hit 11 hits in 23 innings against the Blue Jays. “For me it was a surprise,” said the Venezuelan. “I know I’m playing well and my team is playing well … I was happy when I got the news.”
Manager Ned Yost was not surprised. After all, he had followed the development of Cain and Escobar for the Brewers in the minors, when he was the leader in Milwaukee.
“I used to bring Esky (Escobar) to the training camps of the major when he was in class, because I loved watching him play,” said Yost. “I am delighted he became the most valuable. I’ve always known that has the ability to be that kind of player in these situations. “
If Escobar had not received the award, the other alternative was to give it to Cain. He was again a magnet for any homer to the gardens, and once again proved to be the fastest driver of the Royals’ offense. Cain had five hits, drove in five runs and scored seven series in six games against Toronto. But no run was as important as the very last one.