The 2010 Royals hit their best hitter #3 most of the time, which is right in line with standard baseball thinking. Other than that...
Baseball-reference nicely lists the batting order positions throughout the season. The number 3 slot was mostly Butler and DeJesus, with dashes of six other players thrown in. And yes, the leadoff and number two hitters were some of the more out-producing spots on the team.
There's all kinds of interesting stuff in the data here, but for me, the thing that stands out is the number of PAs. When I think about lineups, this is always what it boils down to for me. Over the course of a season, the top of the order guys simply hit more. Hitting Butler, for example, second in the order (or even God forbid leadoff) would be anathema to old school baseball thinking. Yet the difference between hitting second and fourth (where he spent much of the year while) is roughly 40 PAs. That's something like 10 hidden games in there.
- I like how the #9 slot, despite the presence of pitchers hitting during interleague, was able to out-perform #8 and ... gasp... #2.
- Why was the second-spot in the order so weak? Do I even need to say it? Even getting Aviles's insanely hot September wasn't enough to save the second spot.
- The most stable lineup position was cleanup, where only six Royals hit all season. Butler had 70 starts there, followed by Guillen's 44. Next was Kila was 23 and then a handful of Betemit, Ankiel and Fields starts.