Royals Seasons - SS

Welcome the 2nd installment of Royals Seasons!

 

In 40 seasons, 15 different players have held down the position of SS for the Royals.  While this is actually 3 fewer players than at 2B, there is no 21 year run for Rojas/White to fall back on.  The longest tenured SS is Freddie Patek with 9 seasons as the starter (1971-1979).  Three players are tied for second in terms of tenure with 4 seasons each.  Those players are; U.L. Washington (1980-1983), Kurt Stillwell (1988-1991) and everybody’s favorite underachiever Angel Berroa (2003-2006).  Stillwell (one) and Patek (three) have the only four All-Star team appearances in the team’s history. 

 

In a single season, no Royals SS has ever:

Scored 100 runs

Accumulated 100 RBI

Hit more than 35 2B

Hit more than 21 HR

Had an OBP over 0.370

Won a Gold Glove

Received more than 3 MVP votes (Greg Gagne finished 22nd in 1993 with those 3 votes)

 

Other starters for the Royals over the years:

Jackie Hernandez (1969-1970)

Onix Concepcion (1984-1985)

Angel Salazar (1986-1987)

David Howard (1992 and 1996)

Greg Gagne (1993-1995)

Jay Bell (1997)

Mendy Lopez (1998)

Rey Sanchez (1999-2001)

Neifi Perez (2002)

Tony Pena Jr. (2007)

Mike Aviles (2008)

 

Stillwell (one) and Patek (three) have the only four All-Star team appearances in the team’s history.

 

The top 10 seasons at SS are:

#10:  Freddie Patek (1977)

Age

G

R

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

32

154

72

26

6

5

60

41

SO

BA

OBP

SLG

SB

OPS+

FP

RF9

84

0.262

0.320

0.368

53

86

0.958

4.59

 

#9:  Greg Gagne (1993)

Age

G

R

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

31

159

66

32

3

10

57

33

SO

BA

OBP

SLG

SB

OPS+

FP

RF9

93

0.280

0.319

0.406

10

89

0.986

4.85

 

#8:  U.L. Washington (1980)

Age

G

R

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

26

153

79

16

11

6

53

53

SO

BA

OBP

SLG

SB

OPS+

FP

RF9

78

0.273

0.336

0.375

20

95

0.957

4.83

 

#7:  Kurt Stillwell (1989)

Age

G

R

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

24

130

52

20

7

7

54

42

SO

BA

OBP

SLG

SB

OPS+

FP

RF9

64

0.261

0.325

0.380

9

99

0.970

4.24

 

#6:  Freddie Patek (1971)

Age

G

R

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

26

147

86

21

11

6

36

44

SO

BA

OBP

SLG

SB

OPS+

FP

RF9

80

0.267

0.323

0.371

49

97

0.968

5.43

 

#5:  Kurt Stillwell (1988)

Age

G

R

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

23

128

63

28

5

10

53

47

SO

BA

OBP

SLG

SB

OPS+

FP

RF9

76

0.251

0.322

0.399

6

101

0.976

4.41

 

#4:  U.L. Washington (1982)

Age

G

R

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

28

119

64

19

3

10

60

38

SO

BA

OBP

SLG

SB

OPS+

FP

RF9

48

0.286

0.338

0.412

23

106

0.961

4.92

 

#3:  Angel Berroa (2003)

Age

G

R

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

25

158

92

28

7

17

73

29

SO

BA

OBP

SLG

SB

OPS+

FP

RF9

100

0.287

0.338

0.451

21

101

0.968

4.79

 

#2:  Jay Bell (1997)

Age

G

R

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

31

153

89

28

3

21

92

71

SO

BA

OBP

SLG

SB

OPS+

FP

RF9

101

0.291

0.368

0.461

10

115

0.985

4.74

 

#1:  Mike Aviles (2008)

Age

G

R

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

27

102

68

27

4

10

51

18

SO

BA

OBP

SLG

SB

OPS+

FP

RF9

58

0.325

0.354

0.480

8

122

0.974

4.56

 

 

Mike Aviles hit .325 in 2008 which is far and away the highest BA at the position in Royals history.  Only one other player has hit .300 for the season at SS for Kansas City and that was Rey Sanchez who hit .303 in 2001.  Aviles’ .480 SLG is a Royals record at the position and his OBP of .354 is second only to Jay Bell’s .368 in 1997.  Much was made about Aviles lack of defensive prowess, but in his 1st season he was actually above league average. His 0.974 fielding percentage was slightly above the league average of .971 and his RF9 of 4.56 was above the league average of 4.39.

 

Best Royals SS Seasons by Category:

Games

159

Angel Berroa

2005

At Bats

608

Angel Berroa

2005

Runs

92

Angel Berroa

2003

Hits

167

Jay Bell

1997

Doubles

35

Kurt Stillwell

1990

Triples

11

U.L. Washington

1980

 

11

Freddie Patek

1971

Home Runs

21

Jay Bell

1997

RBI

92

Jay Bell

1997

Walks

77

Freddie Patek

1974

Strikeouts (fewest)

29

Onix Concepcion

1985

Batting Average

.325

Mike Aviles

2008

On Base %

.368

Jay Bell

1997

Slugging %

.480

Mike Aviles

2008

Stolen Bases

53

Freddie Patek

1977

Fielding %

.994

Rey Sanchez

2001

 

.994

Rey Sanchez

2000

Range Factor 9

5.91

Freddie Patek

1973

 

The worst 10 seasons at SS are:

#10:  Angel Salazar (1986)

Age

G

R

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

24

117

24

20

2

0

24

7

SO

BA

OBP

SLG

SB

OPS+

FP

RF9

47

0.245

0.266

0.326

1

59

0.978

4.38

 

#9:  Mendy Lopez (1998)

Age

G

R

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

24

74

18

10

2

1

15

12

SO

BA

OBP

SLG

SB

OPS+

FP

RF9

40

0.243

0.286

0.325

5

59

0.955

5.15

 

#8:  Jackie Hernandez (1970)

Age

G

R

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

29

83

14

4

1

2

10

15

SO

BA

OBP

SLG

SB

OPS+

FP

RF9

50

0.231

0.281

0.282

1

57

0.951

4.88

 

#7:  Jackie Hernandez (1969)

Age

G

R

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

28

145

54

14

2

4

40

38

SO

BA

OBP

SLG

SB

OPS+

FP

RF9

111

0.222

0.278

0.282

17

58

0.954

5.50

 

#6:  David Howard (1992)

Age

G

R

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

25

74

19

6

2

1

18

15

SO

BA

OBP

SLG

SB

OPS+

FP

RF9

43

0.224

0.271

0.283

3

55

0.976

4.79

 

#5:  David Howard (1996)

Age

G

R

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

29

143

51

14

5

4

48

40

SO

BA

OBP

SLG

SB

OPS+

FP

RF9

74

0.219

0.291

0.305

5

52

0.982

4.86

 

#4:  Angel Berroa (2006)

Age

G

R

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

28

132

45

18

1

9

54

14

SO

BA

OBP

SLG

SB

OPS+

FP

RF9

88

0.234

0.259

0.333

3

52

0.969

4.47

 

#3:  Neifi Perez (2002)

Age

G

R

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

29

145

65

20

4

3

37

20

SO

BA

OBP

SLG

SB

OPS+

FP

RF9

53

0.236

0.260

0.303

8

44

0.972

4.85

 

#2:  Onix Concepcion (1985)

Age

G

R

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

27

131

32

5

1

2

20

16

SO

BA

OBP

SLG

SB

OPS+

FP

RF9

29

0.204

0.255

0.245

4

38

0.959

4.67

 

#1:  Angel Salazar (1987)

Age

G

R

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

25

116

24

7

0

2

21

6

SO

BA

OBP

SLG

SB

OPS+

FP

RF9

46

0.205

0.219

0.246

4

23

0.981

5.06

 

Not only did Mike Aviles save the Royals from themselves and post the best season at SS in the team’s history, he also saved Tony Pena Jr. from posting the worst season ever by a Royals SS. 

 

How bad was Tony Pena Jr. in 2008?  How does a line of .169/.189/.209 with an OPS+ of 7, yes freaking SEVEN, strike you?  Take a look at Salazar’s 1987 season and then look again at Pena’s line, then let it sink in for a while.  More food for thought, in 2008 Aviles had a better fielding percentage and range factor than Pena who was below league average by both measures. 

 

Apparently someone needs to send the Royals a memo, not only should Pena not have remained on the roster last season, he should not have even been invited to spring training this season.

 

Worst Royals SS Seasons by Category:

Games

74

David Howard

1992

 

74

Mendy Lopez

1998

At Bats

206

Mendy Lopez

1998

Runs

14

Jackie Hernandez

1970

Hits

49

David Howard

1992

Doubles

4

Jackie Hernandez

1970

Triples

0

Angel Salazar

1987

 

0

Freddie Patek

1979

Home Runs

0

Angel Salazar

1986

 

0

Freddie Patek

1972

 

0

Rey Sanchez

2001

RBI

10

Jackie Hernandez

1970

Walks

6

Angel Salazar

1987

Strikeouts (most)

111

Jackie Hernandez

1969

Batting Average

.204

Onix Concepcion

1985

On Base %

.219

Angel Salazar

1987

Slugging %

.245

Onix Concepcion

1985

Stolen Bases

0

Kurt Stillwell

1990

Fielding %

.947

U.L. Washington

1983

Range Factor 9

4.19

Kurt Stillwell

1990

Kurt Stillwell has the 3 worst and 4 of the bottom 5 range factor seasons, it is a good thing that his bat put in into the top 10 twice and just missed a third time.

 

I haven’t completed my research on the other positions, but I am fairly certain that SS is worst overall position in the franchise’s history.  Hopefully Mike Aviles can do something about that over the next several years.

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