I haven't completely come around on the Royals, however. Now that the season ending stats are in, you can make a case that the Royals are the hardest working team in baseball. I say that because of two statistics: home runs, and strikeouts.
Home runs make run scoring much easier. When you can hit the ball out of the park, you don't have to string as many hits together to score runs. The Royals were 27th in the league in runs scored, and they were dead last in home runs. They hit 102, which was 16 behind the next closest team (Minnesota) and roughly 100 less than the top five teams (of which 4 were NL teams oddly enough).
Strikeouts make run stopping easier. The less the ball is put in play, the less chance something bad will happen. The correlation between K's and runs allowed isn't as strong as the one between home runs and runs scored, but it exists. The Royals finished 26th in strikeouts.
The other thing about these stats are that they seem to be two pretty good indicators of physical talent. Batters who hit home runs are physically gifted. Pitchers who strike batters out are usually physically gifted. The Royals would seem to have a paucity of physically gifted players. I think there is reason to be cautiously optimistic about the Royals future, but until we see more physical talent it will be hard to expect too much.