This is the first of a very simplistic series comparing the Royals to the rest of the Central Division. The current projected lineups are offered below with 2012 triple slash and fWAR. Use 'new' stats, 'old' stats, your guts, your grit...whatever.

To be a little different, we will start with the 'up the middle' positions, move onto the corners, then starting pitching and finally relief.

Can Lorenzo Cain stay healthy AND produce? If so, can Cain provide enough production to at least stay within shouting distance of the likes of Michael Bourn (aging as he may be) and Austin Jackson (BABIP luck not withstanding)?

Will Alcides Escober regress at the plate? Will he progress in the field - at least with respect to the metrics? Would you trade him for any other shortstop in the Central?