Eventful July followed awful June for the KC Royals
Welcome back to Kings of Kauffman’s recaps of each month of the 2021 KC Royals season. Today we remember July.
After suffering the worst month of their 2021 season with a 7-20 June, the KC Royals needed to right their ship when they began July in the American League Central cellar.
But things still weren’t looking up when the All-Star break arrived. The Royals were 3-7 for July and two vital players were struggling at the plate—Jorge Soler reached the season’s traditional midpoint slashing .186/.279/.320 and Hunter Dozier found himself saddled with a .174/.242/.344 line.
And the pitching was abysmal. Kansas City’s 5.15 team ERA was the second worst in the American League.
That isn’t to say all things were bad, though. The Royals still had three key performers playing well at the Break.
Nicky Lopez and two repeat All-Stars were July standouts for the KC Royals.
The months of June and July were a collective turnaround for shortstop Nicky Lopez, who recovered from a .227 average at the end of May to slashing .265/.350/.326 at the midpoint. He’d hit .333 in June and was batting .281 with a .361 OBP for July when the All-Star Break came.
Filling in for injured Adalberto Mondesi, Lopez was certainly improving after his poor April and May, and although he wasn’t showing quite the pop as the club’s regular shortstop, he was doing the little things to get the ball rolling in the right Royal direction.
Kansas City’s two All-Star Game selections, Whit Merrifield and Salvador Perez, were also performing well. Merrifield had a .270 average to go along with his major league-leading 24 stolen bases, and his mega-hot June line of .351/.375/.544 undoubtedly had much to do with him making his second All-Star game.
Perez not only made his seventh All-Star appearance with a .275 average, but his 21 home runs at the time also got him into the Home Run Derby. Although his 28 home runs set a record for the most ever clubbed by a catcher or a Royal in the Derby, he lost in the first round to eventual Derby champ Pete Alonso.