September 24, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Kansas City Royals left fielder Alex Gordon (4) receives congratulations from designated hitter Billy Butler (16) after hitting a home run during the fourth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE

Year Six Series: The Hitters

A couple weeks ago I looked at individual starting pitching performances during the Dayton Moore era and compared the results to  all the six year periods in team history. Unsurprisingly, Dayton’s rotations sat near the bottom of the list. Today I’ll tackle the offense. Specifically I was looking for seasons where players put up an OPS+ of 110 or higher in 500+ plate appearances. With the success of Billy Butler the last four seasons, and Alex Gordon the last two, I figured the hitters would fare better than their mound brethren. Which they did, but not overwhelmingly so.

There were eleven seasons the past six years that matched the above criteria. That number placed them 25th among the 34 time periods. Only the offensive ineptitude of the 1990’s kept them from being closer to the bottom. And of course, Butler and Gordon. Those two account for the top six seasons under Moore, which is interesting, since they were already in the organization when Moore was hired.

Rk Player OPS+ PA Year
1 Billy Butler 140 679 2012
2 Alex Gordon 140 690 2011
3 Billy Butler 134 678 2010
4 Alex Gordon 125 721 2012
5 Billy Butler 125 673 2011
6 Billy Butler 125 672 2009
7 Melky Cabrera 121 706 2011
8 Jeff Francoeur 119 656 2011
9 Eric Hosmer 118 563 2011
10 David DeJesus 118 577 2008
11 Alberto Callaspo 115 634 2009

Criticize the lack of a Moore acquisition or draftee in the top six all you want but Butler and Gordon have been really, really good. Seven of the seasons came in the last two years thanks in large part to the 2011 offensive explosion. The five seasons put up that year tied the 1980 and 1982 teams for the most in Royals history.

Rk Year Tm Lg #Matching
1 2011 Kansas City Royals AL 5 Billy Butler / Melky Cabrera / Jeff Francoeur / Alex Gordon / Eric Hosmer
2 1982 Kansas City Royals AL 5 Willie Aikens / George Brett / Hal McRae / Frank White / Willie Wilson
3 1980 Kansas City Royals AL 5 Willie Aikens / George Brett / Hal McRae / John Wathan / Willie Wilson
4 1999 Kansas City Royals AL 4 Johnny Damon / Jermaine Dye / Joe Randa / Mike Sweeney
5 1989 Kansas City Royals AL 4 George Brett / Jim Eisenreich / Bo Jackson / Danny Tartabull
6 1978 Kansas City Royals AL 4 George Brett / Hal McRae / Amos Otis / Darrell Porter
7 1972 Kansas City Royals AL 4 John Mayberry / Amos Otis / Lou Piniella / Richie Scheinblum

The top time period was 1975-1980 with 21 seasons. Butler and Gordon’s 140 OPS+ would have placed 9th on that list which is testament to how talented those teams were offensively (Speaking of really, really good, George Brett occupies 6 of the top 15 spots).

Here’s the complete rundown.

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Tags: Alex Gordon Billy Butler Dayton Moore Kansas City Royals

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