The KC Royals may have struggled a bit in past years, but have no doubt, they have had plenty of players who could come up with hits.
The KC Royals are always an interesting organization to pay attention to. Even if they aren’t winning a lot of games, the team typically can work up some interest. Fans are often left wondering what direction the team is going, or why they are trying certain things, and while many years have ended in loss, there is often some entertaining aspects to games.
The Royals aren’t a typical hit the ball far kind of team, and at times, some could pose the question about how much they really care about their offense. They obviously do care about offense, but their defense and speed often take the front of the line.
What may be a hindrance most to the Royals at times, though, is that even though they employ a good portion of the MLB’s top speed, they often struggle to get on base, making speed useless. There have been some players through team history though who found their stride and provided good seasons of hitting. Let’s take a look at the top 5.
No. 5: Kevin Seitzer (1987)
Kevin Seitzer had a decent run with the Royals and from 1986 to 1991 managed to hit for a high average, over .300 in ’86-’88, and get on base consistently. In 1987, he had one of his best years for the team, and one of the best of his career.
Seitzer slashed .323/.399/.470 over 161 games and put up 207 hits to lead the league. Adding to this already great line, he attended his first All-Star game, received a few MVP votes, and finished second in Rookie of the Year voting.
No. 4: George Brett (1979)
No surprise here. It’s inevitable that George Brett ends up on these. Brett had a long, successful career with the Royals and multiple years with record numbers. But in 1979, he managed to hit enough to throw him into the record books again.
Brett slashed .329/.376/.563 in ’79 and over 154 games added 212 hits, leading all the majors. His season was also good enough for him to attend the All-Star game and finish 3rd in MVP voting.
No. 3: Johnny Damon (2000)
Just barely edging out Brett’s ’79 season, Johnny Damon was able to add his name to the record books in 2000. Damon spent 1995 to 2000 with the Royals and seemed to improve every year. Before he could leave the team, though, he left his mark.
In 2000, Damon slashed .327/.382/.495 and over 159 games, he recorded 214 hits. Damon had a good season in other categories as well, leading the league in both runs and stolen bases during this same season, allowing him to receive an MVP vote.
No. 2: George Brett (1976)
Again? Of course. It would be a top 5 in single-season records if George Brett wasn’t in the list twice, at least in a good deal of categories. Brett had multiple monster seasons, and 1976 was definitely one of them.
Brett slashed .333/.377/.462 and over 159 games added 215 hits. His hits led the majors along with triples (14). Unsurprising, and much like his ’79 season, Brett attended the All-Star game during this season and finished 2nd overall in MVP voting.
No. 1: Willie Wilson (1980)
Willie Wilson is another player that is likely not a surprise to many for this list. Wilson spent the majority of his career with the Royals and typically found himself hitting for a high average, passing .300 multiple times. In 1980, though, Wilson saw one of his best seasons.
He slashed .326/.357/.421 and over 161 games added 230 hits, leading the majors, along with triples (15), runs (133) Plate appearances (745) and at bats (705). Wilson’s season saw him getting a Gold Glove, Silver Slugger, and finishing 4th in MVP voting.
The Royals have had some great hitters play in Kansas City and will hopefully see many more. As their young players are starting to develop in the minors, the future seems to be brighter and brighter. One can only hope that as time goes, the names on these lists begin to change.