Grade Card for the KC Royals - The Hitters

The grades I'm giving are in relation to performance this season as compared to expectations we had for these players going into the season.  As a result, a player who had an ok season, but played above expectations will receive a better grade than a player that had a good season as expected.  Baseball Prospective WAR is given first followed by Fan Graphs WAR.  Triple slash numbers and Base ball Prospective WAR is from only during the time the player was with the Royals.  Fan Graphs does not seperate it if the player was with more than one team.  Grades are only being given for hitters with 100+ plate appearances or players that started on opening day.

Feel free to agree or disagree, these are just my opinions.



Brayan Pena:  .248/.287/.338   WAR:  -.1,  .5 Grade:  C

Brayan Pena performed about as expected for the Royals this season, in my eye.  He has shown to be a replacement level player throughout his career (.4 career WAR according to Baseball Prosepectus) and this season was no exception (-.1 WAR).  His triple slash numbers were only negligibly below his career marks (.251/.293/.359).  This season was really no worse or better than what Pena has shown he was capable of.


Matt Treanor: .226/.351/.306  WAR:  .8,  .7  Grade:  B-

Here is the deal with Matt Treanor, the Royals bought him from the Rangers in Spring Training, and thought so much of him they asked for their money back in August.  The only expectations I had from this addition were a ton of comments about his wife (which we got in droves) and a lot of GRIT!! (which was also provided).  He gets his above expectation grade because his OBP is ridiculous compared to career average and I seem to vaguely remember a dramatic (walk off, maybe?) homerun early in the season. 

Salvador Perez:  .331/.361/.473  WAR:  1.3,  1.4  Grade A-

When Salvador was called up, I felt like it was probably too soon, that he was being rushed, and could definitely use more time in the minors.  If memory serves he was touted as a defensive minded catcher that may struggle to hit at the major league level so soon.  However, once he got into the line-up, he never looked back.  His triple slash numbers probably surprised everyone.  His OBP and SLG rates were higher at the major league level than in any stop where he had more than 100 PAs.  The only thing that kept his grade from A or A+ level was, strangely, his defense.  His 22% CS rate was Kendall-ian.

Jason Kendall:  Injured for year - Did not play  Grade A+

Everyone believed, to begin this year, that the best way that the best way Kendall could help this team was to not play, which is exactly what he did.  He tried to comeback for opening day, and was involved in a couple Spring Training exercises, but was enough of a team player to aggrevate his injury, requiring a second surgery and a couple years off.  The Royals can finally be rid of this guy, and we can thank him for not playing the Second year of his 2 year contract.


1st Base:

Kila Ka'aihue:  .195/.295/.317  WAR:  -.1, -.1  Grade:  D-

A lot of people expexted big things of the Kila Monster this year.  Those people were sorely disappointed.  Whether he was never given a real chance, or he is just a AAAA player may not be known yet, but it will be determined while Kila is playing in a different organization. 

Eric Hosmer: .293/.334/.465  WAR:  1.4, 1.6  Grade A

Cinco De Mayo should declared a holiday for Royals fans as it marks the day Hosmer's contract was purchased from Omaha and Hos came to absolve us of our former sins.  Hosmer put himself in ROY contention despite not playing the first month of the season.  Would have liked to have seen better OBP from him, but that will come.  A 19 home run, 800 OPS rookie season certainly gives him (and us) a bright future to look forward to.

2nd Base:

Chris Getz:  .255/.313/.287  WAR:  .5,  1.0  Grade C+

I was surprised by 2 things when looking at Getz's final numbers.  First, that he hit .255, which isn't terrible for a guy that seems to only hit ground balls to middle infielders. And second that he had a positive WAR, but I'm sure the 21 steals he added, aided that somewhat.  He's never been counted on for much, and has never delivered much.

Johnny Giovatella  .247/.273/.376  WAR:  -.1, 0  Grade B

I wasn't expecting Johnny G to be called up this year so he automatically gets a boost there.  His numbers aren't anything to write home about, but it is a rather small sample size.  He has been regarded as a better offensive than defensive 2nd baseman and that has continued to this point, and will in the future.  No matter how you look at it though, he is an upgrade over Getz and should be around for the fore-seeable future.

3rd Base:

Mike Aviles  .222/.261/.395  WAR:   -.1,  .3  Grade F

This was supposed to be Mike's year.  He was given the opening day start at 3rd base and had a good first couple of weeks.  After that, his play went straight to the tank.  It seemed like he could never get on base, and if he did, he was immediately picked off.  Mike was eventually sent to Omaha and then traded to the Red Sox.  I think we all expected more from him this year.

Wilson Betemit  .281/.341/.409  WAR:  .9,  1  Grade B-

Betemit's numbers while with the Royals were slightly off what they were the year before, but he still had a respectable season.  He was more than servicable at the plate and didn't seem to completely embarrass himself in the field.  I wasn't completely sold that he should be brought back  for this season, but he performed adequately and was then traded to Detroit.

Mike Moustakas.  .263/.309/.367  WAR  .7, 1  Grade C-

Moose was a tale of extremes in his rookie campaign.  On the bad end his .160/.198/.223 for the month of July was attrocious.  On the positive, his .352/.380/.580 September was about as good as it gets.  I expected a bit more from Moose in his rookie year, especially in the power numbers, but his late season surge certainly shows promise.


Alcides Escobar  .254/.290/.343  WAR:  1.5,  2.2  Grade C+

Alcides pretty much matched his triple slash line from last year (.235/.288/.326) without having the benefit of hitting in front of a pitcher and in an arguably tougher league.  He could be the best defensive shortstop the Royals have ever had,  at least better than any that I can recall.  Did well on the base paths as well stealing 26 bases in 35 attempts. 


Alex Gordon  .303/.376/.502  WAR:  6.9,  6.9  Grade A

This is the type of season we have been waiting (and waiting, and waiting) for from Alex Gordon.  We can say we expect this from him all we want, but I don't think any of us really expected the type of season he had.  Gordon had a great year in every aspect of his game.

Melky Cabrera  .305/.339/.470  WAR:  2.9,  4.2  Grade  A+

Remember how you felt when the Royals signed Melky Cabrera?  It didn't make sense at the time and it made even less sense after the Royals traded for Lorenzo Cain.  Needless to say no one saw his season coming.  We saw him as a borderline 4th outfielder and he came in and had an almost all-star type year.

Jeff Francoeur  .285/.329/.476  WAR:  3.3,  2.9  Grade B

No one was surprised when the Royals signed Jeff Francouer and it was almost universally derided.  Frenchy managed to surprise us by posting a triple slash that was above his career average while posting a walk rate under his already low career average.  All told he performed better than, I think, we expected him to posting a career high WAR.  As expected, he got a contract extention.

Mitch Maier  .232/.345/.337  WAR:  .3,  .7  Grade C+

Mitched served adequately as the 4th outfielder for the Royals.  He only had 113 PAs this season, compared to 400 or so over each of the last two season, presumably because of the good seasons of the starting outfielders.  His season was pretty typical of Mitch Maier.  He gets bonus points for shattering Jason Varitek's bat in his inning pitching against the BoSox.

Designated Hitter

Billy Butler  .291/.361/.461  WAR:  2.4,  1.8  Grade C+

Billy Butler was pretty much what we have come to expect from Billy Butler. Triple slash is right in line with his career averages even though his BABIP was a bit lower than average.  Billy seems to be a hitter that will hit around .300 with 20 HRs, 40+ doubles, and around 100 RBI. He'll walk in about 10% of his PAs and strike out in about 13%.


Feel free to argue my grades in the comments below.

This FanPost was written by a member of the Royals Review community. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the editors and writers of this site.

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