Kevin Seitzer makes a name for himself at the plate
Seitzer's rookie year in 1987 was excellent. There are no other word to describe it. And in his first season at his new position, Brett put up typical George Brett numbers in 115 games with a slash line of .290/.388/.496, 22 home runs, 78 RBIs, 18 doubles, and an .884 OPS. Seitzer, on the other hand, missed only one game and outperformed Brett in practically every statistical category, posting a .323/.399/.470 slash with 15 home runs, 83 RBIs, 33 doubles, eight triples, and an .869 OPS.
Seitzer also made the first of two career All-Star Game appearances (alongside Brett) and in early August had one of the best individual games in Royals history. In a 13-5 victory over the Red Sox, Seitzer went 6-6 with 2 home runs, 7 RBIs, and a double. Along with Bob Oliver (1969) and Joe Randa (2004), he is one of only three players in club history to record six hits in a nine-inning game.
The rookie third baseman's good performance was undeniable, and he was one of a handful of players whose gameday experience was chronicled on an episode of This Week in Baseball covering the last day of the 1987 season. Seitzer, not Jackson, finished second in AL Rookie of the Year voting, losing out to Oakland's Mark McGwire, who set a rookie record with 49 home runs.
The Royals finished 83-79, two games behind the eventual world champion Minnesota Twins in the AL West. The spotlight was locked on Jackson, despite the holes in his game, and Brett still demanded his share of attention. But, Seitzer and newly acquired right fielder Danny Tartabull were the true revelations that season.
Now they had to put it together and make the jump to legitimate contender once again.