2015 was the peak of the KC Royals past decade. The season saw the team return to the postseason and the World Series, this time leaving as champions.
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.
This time, we are moving onto the year Royals fans will remember forever from the past decade. 2015 was a year of many emotions for the team and fans alike. After the hype of the 2014 postseason, the Royals returned to show just how good they were.
The team finished 95-67, good enough for the first place spot in the American League Central. They beat the Houston Astros in the Divisional Series and took down the Toronto Blue Jays to claim the American League Pennant.
The Royals moved onto the World Series and quickly shut down the Mets, winning 4 games to 1 and never letting up. Picking top players becomes increasingly difficult as we move into years like this one, but struggling to pick the top players is a problem that many fans would likely be ok with having.
2015 brought a year of production and some pretty good defense for the Royals. There were a lot of players who showed up offensively, and a majority of the team played a big role offensively in making it to the postseason and the World Series.
Kendrys Morales is one name that comes to mind, slashing .290/.362/.485 with 22 home runs and 106 RBIs. Morales was primarily the designated hitter, and not worth much defensively when he saw time at first, but he is still an important name to mention.
Mike Moustakas had a good year as well, slashing .284/.348/.470, adding 82 RBIs and 73 runs. Moustakas took a trip to the All-Star Game this year and found himself with a few MVP votes as well.
With a similar story, fans can find Eric Hosmer. Hosmer slashed .297/.363/.459 with 93 RBIs and 98 runs, also seeing some MVP votes and a Gold Glove, though his defensive WAR and runs saved were no match for the next player.
Taking the top spot for 2015 is Lorenzo Cain. Cain stood up with the best of them, slashing .307/.361/.477, adding 72 RBIs, 101 runs and stealing 28 bases along the way. Cain also saw the highest WAR on the team at 7.2, the next being Moustakas at 4.4. This is largely due to Cain having high offensive and defensive ratings, getting him a nod for the All-Star game and allowing him to finish 3rd in MVP voting.
Honorable Mentions: Mike Moustakas, Eric Hosmer, Alex Gordon, Kendrys Morales
2015 saw some great pitchers come through the rotation and the bullpen. While the Royals starters didn’t always keep things clean, they were typically able to control the game long enough for the bullpen to take over.
Unfortunately for the starters, the relievers again decided to show up. Greg Holland, a top pitcher of past years saw a difficult year, with a rise in his walk rate and ERA (3.83). Kelvin Herrera had a decent year, though, holding a 2.71 ERA over 69.2 innings, and following suit was Ryan Madson with a 2.13 over 63.1 innings pitched.
For any pitchers hoping to take the top spot, though, the fight wasn’t easy. Taking the top spot in 2015 is pitcher Wade Davis. While it’s hard to believe that Davis could have a year even better than his 2014 campaign with a 1.00 ERA, he managed a 0.94 in the regular season for 2015.
Davis pitched 67.1 innings over 69 games and recorded 17 saves while he was at it. He kept his walks down at 2.7 per 9, and while it dropped a bit from 2014, his strikeout rate was still a good 10.4 per 9. Davis also saw recognition in a trip to the All-Star Game and finished 28th in MVP voting, and 6th in CY Young.
Continue following along as we dive into the post World Series years of Royals baseball to see who takes the top spot.