KC Royals: Top players and pitchers of the decade, 2014
The KC Royals 2014 season was one full of excitement as the team not only managed another winning season but were able to push for some postseason time.
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.
It’s likely most fans of the KC Royals remember the 2014 season well and hold those memories close. The down years, the struggling, rebuilding was finally proving to be worth it. The Royals put together a winning season for the second year in a row.
The team pressed forward and fought all year, eventually making it through a tough wildcard game and going on an undefeated streak, making it to the World Series. While they lost to the Giants in the World Series, 2014 was an important season in Royals history and will always be remembered as a great season of great players.
In 2014, the KC Royals defense was on point as always, but it also had to be, as their production wasn’t as high as one might expect from a World Series team. While many players on the team did find success throughout the year, a few players seemed to regress a bit.
That being said, there are still a few names that pop up for the top player in 2014. Salvador Perez is one, batting only .260 but hitting 17 home runs and recording 70 RBIs helps keep him in the running.
Lorenzo Cain is another option. Cain slashed .301/.339/.412, with 29 doubles and 74 RBIs. But then, there was Alex Gordon. Gordon gets the top spot again in 2014 after having another great year at the plate and defensively.
While defense was never a question for Gordon, he also produced well in 2014, slashing .266/.351/.432 with 74 RBIs, 87 runs, 34 doubles, and 19 home runs. Adding to the stats, Gordon got his second All-Star nod, his fourth Gold Glove and finished twelfth in MVP voting for the season.
Honorable Mentions: Lorenzo Cain, Salvador Perez
2014 finally had some pitchers showing up for the Royals. Taking a look at the starters, the Royals had only one pitcher that held an ERA above 4.13, Jeremy Guthrie. Jason Vargas sat at 3.71, James Shields at 3.21, Yordano Ventura at 3.20, and Danny Duffy at 2.53.
Turning towards the bullpen, the issue again arises of just picking one pitcher. With the starters really picking it up and the relievers doing even more, the decision to pick just becomes nearly impossible. So, for just this one time, we are going to bend the rules a bit.
We are going to pick one group, the legendary “HDH”. Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis, and Greg Holland, one of the most terrifying end of game scenarios in baseball. Herrara would kick things off as the setup man. He ended the year with a 1.41 ERA over 70.0 innings with a strikeout per 9 of 7.6 and gave up 0 home runs.
Not to be outdone, Davis answered with 72.0 innings recording an ERA of 1.00, a strikeouts per 9 of 13.6 and like Herrera, giving up 0 home runs. And of course, to close, Holland recorded 46 saves over 62.1 innings pitched with an ERA of 1.44, only 3 home runs given up, and a strikeouts per 9 of 13.0.
The year the starting pitchers finally all showed up, these three relievers showed up even more. There is no correct way to pick one for the top spot, so for 2014, “HDH” takes the top together.
Honorable Mentions: James Shields, Yordano Ventura, Danny Duffy, Jason Vargas
Continue to follow along and we will keep working through the decade to find the best Royals players from each year.