Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports
Pitcher of the Year
Once again Shields showed why Dayton Moore so desperately wanted him in this rotation. Shields threw 227 innings, by far the most on the team, had a 3.21 ERA, and did so while striking out 4 batters for every walk allowed. His durability allowed the bullpen to remain rested, and his clubhouse presence played a big part in the development of a couple of the Royals’ young starters, including the next man on this list.
Ventura has always been known for his fiery fastball, but he proved to possess much more than just one electric pitch. The development of his curveball and changeup helped him to a 3.20 ERA over 183 innings, a strikeout rate of 7.8 batters per 9 innings, and roughly 4 outstanding leg kicks per game. He also averaged 6 innings per start, which once again was incredibly important for a team with a historically great trio of relievers.
The Royals’ 8th inning
pitcher had a truly incredible season. He had an ERA of 1.00 in 72 innings. He struck out 109 batters, a franchise record for a reliever. He only allowed 38 hits for the entire season. He didn’t allow an extra-base hit until July 31. He didn’t allow a home run all year. Read that last one again. Davis faced 279 batters in the regular season, and they collectively hit as many home runs against him as I did. Even in today’s run-scoring environment, that is absurd.
Kings of Kauffman Royals Pitcher of the Year: Wade Davis