The Kansas City Royals have been home to lots of great players over the past decade, but some stand out above the rest. Let’s see who gets the top spot.
The Kansas City Royals have had a decent decade. At times, the greatness of the two World Series runs is overshadowed by the poor beginning and ends of the decade, but the fact that the team made it to back to back World Series, winning won, says the past 10 years was pretty good otherwise.
One positive for the Royals over the past decade has been the number of great players running the fields at Kauffman. Even in the years where the record didn’t reflect so great, there were players on the roster who deserve mention.
Over the next few weeks, we will attempt to go through the past 10 years and pick out the top player and pitcher of each year. It is likely this will be difficult for some years, as there will be multiple players deserving of the top spot, but of course, this list will be subjective.
*Note: This is all based on opinion and it’s inevitable some will disagree. If you do, please let us know in the comments who you think should have taken the top spot! We always appreciate more commentary, and love to see what other Royals fans think!
So, let’s get started and travel all the way back to 2010 to see who the top position player and pitcher were that year.
2010 was an interesting year for Royals batters, with four players batting over .300. Even so, there still wasn’t a lot of production coming from the Royals that year, and they finished fifth in the American League Central, with a record of 67-95. Sounds about like the Royals of recent years.
While this creates some likely candidates for the top spot, in 2010, Billy Butler takes the cake. Butler had a good year offensively, slashing .318/.388/.469 over 158 games with 189 hits, 45 doubles, 15 home runs, and 78 RBIs. While 31 of his games came as the designated hitter, he saw 127 games at first base, turning a .995 fielding percentage, helping him achieve the top spot honor
The early 2010s for the Royals seemed to be the years of the reliever. Their bullpen was typically dominate, and often showed up the starters. The Royals did have Zack Greinke in the rotation in 2010, though, who had just won a Cy Young in the previous season. Greinke looked a bit displaced from that form though and held a 4.17 ERA on the year over 220 innings pitched.
While none of the Royals starters in 2010 had an ERA below 4.17, the bullpen was a different story. Of their more dominate relievers, the Royals had a few with an ERA under 4.00, one under 3.00 and one lone reliever with an ERA of 1.78.
Taking the top spot for pitchers is Joakim Soria. Soria was a terrifying closer to face and one that many batters knew they didn’t stand a chance against. Over 65.2 innings, Soria held that ERA of 1.78, with a strikeouts per 9 of 9.7, walks per 9 of 2.2, and recording 43 saves on the season.
While the Royals had a few other decent reliers, it would be hard for anyone to rival the dominance that Soria showed in 2010.
Continue to follow along as we work our way through the past decade to pick out the top players from each year!