2016 brought the KC Royals an unfortunate year of regression. Though the Championship team was still largely together, the team struggled greatly.
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.
For Royals fans, 2016 is not as happy of a year to remember. The team didn’t tank, but it seemed as though they had lost all of their steam from previous years. Their winning record was now down to 81-81 and was only good for third in the American League Central.
Luckily for fans, while 2016 may have been a year of struggle the players that everyone loved were still primarily on the team. Unfortunately, the production for these players had seemed to decline. Still, a few players saw some production and some award nods come their way.
It was surprising the KC Royals regressed so quickly after winning the World Series, but many of the key players from previous years were struggling to produce.
Lorenzo Cain was one of the few who saw a decent 2016. He slashed .287/.339/408 and added 114 hits, 9 home runs, 56 RBIs, and 14 stolen bases. As always, he was also great defensively.
Eric Hosmer was another Royal that had a decent year. Hosmer slashed .266/.328/.433, added 161 hits, 25 home runs, and 104 RBIs. Hosmer looked to be a great fit for the best position player of 2016, but defensively he saw some struggles. In looking closer at his WAR ratings, his defensive WAR almost entirely negates that of his Offensive ratings, causing his production to drop a bit.
This brings us to the top player of 2016, Salvador Perez. Salvy saw a decent year all around. He slashed a little low at .247/.288/.438, but added 127 hits, 28 doubles 22 home runs, and 64 RBIs. His defense was also on point, as usual, making his defensive and offensive production both positive. Salvy also got an All-Star nod in 2016 along with a Gold Glove and the Silver Slugger Award.
Honorable Mentions: Eric Hosmer, Lorenzo Cain
KC Royals pitchers, like the rest of the team, also saw some regression. Edinson Volquez had lost some steam along with Chris Young. The young Yordano Ventura saw a rise in his ERA and struggled on the mound. The newly acquired Ian Kennedy was showing some life in the rotation, though, holding an ERA of 3.68 over 33 starts.
As many of the starters struggled, the once dominate bullpen started to see some regression as well. While many still up decent numbers, Royals pitching as a whole seemed to be entirely inconsistent. Still, Kelvin Herrera produced decently, holding a 2.75 ERA over 72 relief innings pitched and Wade Davis saw a slight ERA jump, holding at 1.87 over 43.1 innings with 27 saves.
The tops pitcher spot for 2016, though, goes to Danny Duffy. Duffy has seen his share of inconsistency, but in 2016 he saw great production from the mound. Duffy was the winningest starter on the team with at 12-3 record, recorded 179.2 innings with an ERA of 3.51, saw 42 games with 26 starts and held a walks per 9 of 2.1 and a strikes per 9 of 9.4.
Honorable Mentions: Ian Kennedy, Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis.
Continue to follow along as we move deeper into the years of the rebuild.