Kansas City Royals Countdown: Top 10 Individual Pitching Seasons

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KANSAS CITY, MO - JUNE 17: Zack Greinke
KANSAS CITY, MO - JUNE 17: Zack Greinke /
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KANSAS CITY, MO – JULY 26: Starting pitcher Zack Greinke
KANSAS CITY, MO – JULY 26: Starting pitcher Zack Greinke /

The Kansas City Royals have had a number of impressive pitchers over the years. We’ve decided to look back on the best individual campaigns in club history. Here’s out top-10 countdown.

Jason Vargas put together a shocking 2017 season for the Kansas City Royals that saw him tie for the MLB lead in wins with 18. Most of his other statistics were pretty pedestrian due to a rough second half of the season. It’s one reason why the “win” is a stat best left to showing how teams—not individuals—perform, but that’s a discussion for a different day.

Today, we’re showing why Vargas’ incredible season, which came after he missed virtually all of 2016, won’t go down as one of the best in franchise history. Surprising? Yes. Amazing? Also, yes. One of the top individual pitching seasons in franchise history? No.

It’s tough to get on this list. There is no overarching stat or list of criteria we used to select these individual seasons. Awards and honors help but they aren’t a must-have to land on this list. For one thing, awards and All-Star nods are incredibly subjective. They are selected by media and coaches, respectively, while also being influenced by how others in the league are performing at the time.

One challenge is comparing starting pitchers to relief pitchers. The game has changed significantly over the last 30 years with a much greater emphasis being placed on the bullpen.

Another challenging aspect came down to some of the players who had several or maybe just a couple of great years. We could have limited this to one season per player, but that didn’t seem to be fair. However, we did generally err on the side of caution in the hopes of recognizing as many fine pitchers as we could.

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