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Kansas City Royals Hope Mike Aviles Finally Finds His Rhythm With Promotion

The Royals middle infield picture can't get any worse, and Aviles' history of success at the plate warrants another chance.

The Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde back and forth of Mike Aviles' hitting career has to drive the Royals crazy. With the widely known issues the Kansas City Royals have had with a lack of any notable contribution from their middle infielders over the years, having Aviles' spotty success provides the Royals with hopes of what could be -- yet the lack of consistency that never allows the front office to get comfortable. Now with another shot at the major league roster, the Royals hope this last stint in the minors will provide the adjustments needed to stay at the ML level.

This last time around, Aviles hit .307 at AAA Omaha with 25 RBI in only 35 games -- including a tremendous power display of 19 extra base hits for a .586 slugging clip. In his rookie season (2008), Aviles displayed that same ability to hit for average with solid gap power with a .325/.354/.480 line. In 2010, Aviles hit .304 in 110 games while playing around the diamond. But it's the time in between that drives the Royals crazy. This year, Aviles has a .647 OPS in 47 games with a .213 average. In 2009, Aviles hit .183 in an injury shortened season due to Tommy John surgery.

If Aviles can turn the corner and find some consistency at the ML level, he'll provide competition for Alcides Escobar and give the Royals a better option at the plate if Escobar can't make good on his potential. And if the Royals bring up Johnny Giavotella from Omaha, the Royals could have solid batters at both middle infield positions for the first time in recent memory. For Royals fans who have suffered with the likes of Tony Graffanino, Angel Berroa, Neifi Perez and Carlos Febles, solving the middle infield picture would go a long way.