Even though 2009 has long been a wasteland for the Royals as a team, there are a few players who are chasing personal records. There has been a lot of talk about Billy Butler’s chase of the Royals single season doubles record. Hal McRae hit 54 doubles in 1977. Butler has 41 as of today which puts him on pace to hit 55. Butler is also on pace to collect more than 180 hits this season. If he steps it up a little bit and collects 184 or more hits he will have one of the 20 highest hit totals in Royals history. George Brett’s 184 hits during the 1985 World Series campaign currently holds the #20 slot in team history.
Stat Quiz (no peeking at the record books): Brett holds two of the top five slots in the Royals single season hits record list (#2, 215 in 1976 and #4, 212 in 1979). What three players hold the other slots in the top-five list?
There are several other Royals who look like they might pass personal statistical milestones or set new personal single season records this year. As we pull for the Royal’s to reach 63 wins we can also can also cheer on these individual players in the closing weeks:
Mike Jacobs is 4 homeruns away from 100 career homeruns! And 9 RBIs away from 300 career RBIs!
Miguel Olivo has already tied his career high in homeruns with 16 (twice reached before in 2006 and 2007), so the next dinger Olivo hits will be a new personal high! Olivo’s 4 triples also ties his previous career high. Isn’t it odd that Olivo hits so many triples? It is odd, isn’t it.
David DeJesus is on track to set a new career high in homeruns. He has ten. David hit 12 last year. Even though David has been less impressive this year than I had hoped he is still on track to set a new career record for total bases in a season. He projects to collect 248 total bases this year. His single season high is 234, set last year. Earlier this season David broke into the Royals’ all-time top-10 list in career doubles. His total of 159 puts him #10 on that list. While no one was watching (i.e., during 2009) DeJesus passed such Royals legends as Cookie Rojas (139), John Mayberry (139), Danny Tartabull (141), Carlos Beltran (156) and Johnny Damon (156). Next on David’s hit-list (ha ha), Mike Macfarlane (174). David is also likely to pass Lou Piniella and move into the #15 slot in the team’s career RBI list later this season. David’s 338 is 10 fewer than Sweet Lou’s total.
Willie Bloomquist is rewriting his personal record book this year. He already has career single season highs in: at-bats (335 vs. 251 in 2006); runs (42 vs. 36 in 2006); triples (7 vs. 2 set three times previously); RBIs (25 vs. 22 set in 2005); stolen bases (18, vs. 16 set in 2006); and, of course, homeruns (4, vs. 2 set in 2004 and 2007). Sadly, Willie Bloomquist is rewriting his personal record book this year… Dayton Moore and Trey Hillman are crushing hard on Willie this year. I guess we had to see that coming. Maybe the irresistible allure of Josh Anderson will draw a bit of Hillman and Moore’s attention away from "the spork" as the season winds down and prevent him from maxing out his contract’s incentive clauses.
John Buck is 2 doubles away from 100 career doubles! Buck is also .003 away from a career OBP of .300! This next bit is surprising. Buck’s 67 career homeruns puts him #15 all-time in Royals history. Yeah, who knew? Buck is the current homerun king on the KC roster. On the current roster no one has brought Royals’ fans to their feet more often than John Buck. Oh sweet Jesus hand me a bottle.
Mitch Maier is 1 homerun away from 1 career homeruns!
One last bit of fascinating information! Rankings of current Royals on the team’s all-time Runs Created list:
#13 – David DeJesus (442)
#18 – Mark Teahen (334)
#36 – John Buck (215)
#43 – Billy Butler (176)