The KC Royals 2013 season brought them a winning record and for many fans, brought confidence in the direction the club was moving.
Welcome back to the KC Royals top players and pitchers of the decade. As a quick reminder, we are traveling our way through the past decade of Royals teams, and attempting to pick out the top position player and pitcher from each year.
In this article, we reach the 2013 season. In 2013, the KC Royals did something that Kansas City fans hadn’t seen in years, they put together a winnings season. The Royals finished 3rd in the American League Central, with a record of 86-75. While they were still behind some of their AL Central rivals, the Royals were well on their way to continue improving and eventually make the push for the postseason.
While offensive production as seen in runs scored was down from the previous year, runs allowed also took a decline, going from 746 allowed in 2012, to just 601 in 2013. While the defense played a role in this, the pitching seemed to take a step in the right direction this year as well.
Let’s take a look at some of the players from the 2013 Royals and find out who takes the top spot. As always, if you agree or disagree with the pick, let us know in the comments. It’s always important to keep the conversation going with different opinions.
As was stated above, offensive production took a bit of a hit in 2013. Eric Hosmer was the only player to bat over .300. Mike Moustakas and Alcides Escobar struggled at the plate and couldn’t seem to get on base, and Billy Butler had lost some power as well, only hitting 15 home runs.
Lorenzo Cain was seeing more time at center field, but still not hitting his stride offensively. Alex Gordon continued a decent steak, struggling at the plate some, but still scoring 90 runs and recording 81 RBIs. Along with Gordon, Salvador Perez and Eric Hosmer managed to put up decent numbers as well.
2013 is where the decision starts to get even more difficult. Gordon, Perez, and Hosmer all had good seasons in 2013, each one receiving a Gold Glove. While the race for top spot is tight, it falls to Salvador Perez.
All three players listed above are deserving and the decision ultimately comes down to matter of opinion. Salvy finished the season with a slash of .292/.323/.433 with 79 RBI’s and 13 home runs. As stated above, he won a Gold Glove this year, but he also received a trip to the All-Star Game, and his abilities were noted as he received some MVP recognition. While he ultimately finished 22nd in voting, the recognition is telling of his abilities and the year he had in 2013.
Honorable Mentions: Alex Gordon, Eric Hosmer
2013 finally brought some much-needed consistency in the starting rotation. While there was still a lot of reliance on the bullpen, there were a few starters that held it together a little better than past years. Jeremy Guthrie again did well, holding an ERA of 4.04 over 211.2 innings. Ervin Santana recorded an ERA of 3.24 over 211.0 innings, but James Shields led the starting pack with an ERA of 3.15 over 228.2 innings.
On the other side, the relievers continued to dominate, mostly all holding ERAs under 4.00. A bulk of the innings seemed to fall to two relievers though, Greg Holland and Luke Hochevar. Holland held an ERA of 1.21 over 67.0 innings and recorded 47 saves, while Hochevar held an equally respectable 1.92 ERA over 70.1 innings.
As with the position players, the choice is difficult for the top pitcher in 2013. While Shields, Holland, and Hochevar are all deserving and there is not a bad choice from this list, Holland takes the top spot again in 2013.
Holland ended the season as stated above with an ERA of 1.21, a FIP of 1.36, a walks per 9 of 2.4, and a strikeouts per 9 of 13.8. Over his 67.0 innings pitched, he struck out 103 batters. Holland also received recognition for his great year, finding his way to the All-Star Game, finishing 15th in MVP voting, and 9th in Cy Young voting.
Honorable Mentions: James Shields, Luke Hochevar, Ervin Santana
Continue to follow along and we will keep working through the decade to find the best Royals players from each year.