5 KC Royals chased and caught good season marks

(Mandatory Credit: Peter Aiken-USA TODAY Sports)
(Mandatory Credit: Peter Aiken-USA TODAY Sports) /

Just three weeks and a day remained in the 2022 season when we wrote a Sept. 13 story about eight KC Royals who could reach decent individual numbers before the campaign ended.

From then on, the Royals continued their losing ways. They dropped 13 of their last 21 games and finished last in the American League Central.

Fortunately, the eight games they won saved them from losing 100 … or more.

What, though, of those eight players who entered Kansas City’s final 21 contests with respectable achievements within their grasps?

Only three KC Royals didn’t reach the good numbers they were pursuing.

Center fielder Michael A. Taylor hit surprisingly well for most of his second year in Kansas City. His .280 average after play concluded Aug. 1 put his .271 career high squarely in sight and, despite a slump, Taylor was batting .269 Sept. 13.

But the slump worsened—he went 7-for-50 in his last 14 games and finished at .254.

First baseman Nick Pratto struggled at the plate as a rookie and needed a modest effort to push his .193 average to the Mendoza Line. But just two days after an 0-for-4 performance at Minnesota dropped him to .184, the Royals demoted Pratto to Triple-A Omaha Sept. 17. He didn’t see action with Kansas City again.

And Scott Barlow had already exceeded his previous career high saves mark of 16 (set in 2021) and was only four short of 25. Four save opportunities came his way over the last three weeks; he converted three for a season total of 24.

Five KC Royals achieved excellent personal marks before the season ended.

Brady Singer, clearly rounding into the ace of Kansas City’s rotation after an early-season trip to the minors, was 8-4 with a respectable 3.21 ERA as his club began its final 21 games. Two wins would give him double-digit victories for the season, and his 131 strikeouts equaled the career high he set last season.

Singer fanned Tommy Pham, the first Boston batter he faced Sept. 17, to break his personal strikeout record; his victory that day was his ninth, and he won his 10th in an eight-strikeout, seven-inning performance against Seattle six days later.

Both MJ Melendez and Salvador Perez reached their marks when the Royals beat Cleveland Oct. 1. Melendez’s leadoff double in the third inning gave him 20 for the year, and Perez got his 75th RBI by driving in Melendez with a single in the third.

Perez collected three other hits that night, including this homer in the seventh in what proved to be his last at-bat of the campaign—he left the contest with thumb soreness and didn’t play again.

Rookies Bobby Witt Jr. and Vinnie Pasquantino achieved their marks even later than Melendez and Perez. Witt stole his 30th base Oct. 3 against Cleveland, and this homer in the club’s season finale against the Guardians last Wednesday was Pasquantino’s10th of the year:

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Several Royals achieved good personal numbers in the club’s final 21 games.