First, request to RR and the people who run SB Nation: Fox Sports does one thing better than you. If you go to Fox's stats page, you can click on the statistical category at the top of the table, and the players will appear in rank order in that category. SB Nation's stats page does not do this, and it seems like something some main office computer genius oughta be able to figure out with no problem.
You probably already know that I'm an casual fan who manages to make two or three games a year and can only see the Royals' highlights through the Net. I love advanced stats (though they're well beyond my mathematical comprehension), and enjoy the debates on which ones are most accurate or significant.
But the good old counting stats and the AVG/OBP/SLG percentages are still very valuable tools for judging players' ability (though not the only way, or course). My favorite stat for hitters has always been strikeout-walk ratio, since it's a way to measure a batter's strike zone judgment and plate discipline.
This year, due to a couple of injuries and some dumb platooning at catcher, the Royals have seven guys playing as full-time starters (played in at least 29 of the 32 Royals games so far) and five more guys playing in about two-thirds of the games (between 18 and 21). Since we've now played a fifth of the season, our sample size is small - you can't form a permanent conclusion about a guy after 100 at-bats - but it's a definite indicator of how we're doing so far.
The seven starters:
Coco Crisp, 116 AB, 23 BB, 15 K, .369 OBP, 8 SB-2 CS, 4 3B.
Coco's discovered plate discipline. I think he's for real.
David DeJesus, 116 AB, 7 BB, 21 K, .278 OBP, 640 OPS.
He seems to be breaking out of his slump. Lousy plate discipline so far this year for an OBP guy.
Mark Teahen, 116 AB, 12 BB, 22 K, .386 OBP, 860 OPS.
Teahen is beating the snot out of the ball this year. Decent 1:2 BB:K. Let's hope this is the real Teabag. Only Royal to play in all 32 games.
Alberto Callaspo, 103 AB, 10 BB, 7 K, .395 OBP, 939 OPS. 13 2B.
This guy is a contact hitter with some line-drive power. He can't possibly keep this near-MVP-level pace up, but I think he's for real.
Billy Butler, 102 AB, 14 BB, 16 K, .371 OBP.
Billy's broken out of his slump. Look at those fourteen walks. I'm impressed. Breakout year?
Mike Jacobs, 101 AB, 11 BB, 31 K, .336 OBP, 811 OPS, and a team-leading 19 RBI!
Jake's playing full-time, not platooning, and isn't doing too badly. He K's a lot but at least draws the occasional walk. I'd be more than happy with an 810 OPS from Jake this season.
Mike Avilés, 99 AB, 3 BB, 21 K, .233 OBP, 506 OPS.
I fear this is the real Avilés. I hope I'm wrong. He's got to stop hacking at bad pitches. If his next 100 at-bats are this bad, a trip to Omaha might be in order.
The five who have played about two-thirds of the games:
Miguel Olivo, 70 AB, 1 BB, 26 K, .260 OBP, 617 OPS.
No plate discipline at all. Trade this guy for a case of ramen noodles. Brayan Peña can't be any worse. I don't care whether Zack loves him or not.
José Guillén, 66 AB, 9 BB, 10 K, .385 OBP, 824 OPS.
José seems to have caught the plate-discipline flu as well (Olivo's so tough his system is immune.) The opposite of hacktastic. If he can OPS 825 this year (his OBP will probably drop and his SLG will probably rise), he'll be almost worth his $12 million.
John Buck, 60 AB, 6 BB, 16 K, .299 OBP, 799 OPS.
Not great, but not bad for a catcher, and worthy of the full-time catching job. An 800 OPS from Buck for the season would be excellent.
Free Willy Bloomquist, 57 AB, 9 BB, 7 K, .448 OBP, 957 OPS.
This can't possibly be for real. He is showing plate discipline, though, with fewer Ks than walks.
Mitch Maier, 26 AB (in 19 games), 7 BB, 5 K.
Mitch's percentages are .231/.394/.260. He has more walks than hits. If I were Hillman I'd give him the permanent take sign. He's obviously being used as a late-inning defensive replacement, with barely one AB per game.