Ned Yost can barely contain his excitement.
The reason is quite simple: After a year of growth, when several prized young prospects finally broke into the major leagues, Yost believes Kansas City has the pieces in place to contend for its first playoff berth since winning the 1985 World Series.
''They're going to be a vastly improved team,'' Yost said. ''How good can they be? I don't know. I think they're going to be pretty darn good, but time will tell.''
Fans in Kansas City have grown accustomed to needing patience, going through numerous so-called youth movements over the past three decades.
The Royals had the worst record in the majors from 2000-09, losing 100 or more games in four downtrodden seasons.
Their only winning record since 1994 was a modest 83-79 in 2003.
There is a different feeling surrounding this youth movement, though, as if this one will finally pay off.
The Royals have 22-year-old Eric Hosmer at first base, 23-year-old Mike Moustakas at third and 21-year...