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First Half Review: The Royal Offense

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The Royals have very usefully demonstrated the relative unimportance of batting average as an offensive stat in the first half. Unfortunately, we can be sure they don't see it that way. I have no doubt the Royals believe they just haven't hit well enough in the clutch, or gotten enough sac flies, or just need Rick Ankiel to return to set everything right.

The Royals are 10th in the AL in runs per game. Given that the team received a career first half from DeJesus, good work from Butler, and as good as could be expected first halves from Guillen and Podsednik, it's clear just how bad the foundation of this team really is offensively. Dayton Moore's plan worked, and the team is still below average offensively.

Gigantic chart:

Rk Pos PA HR SB CS BA OBP SLG OPS+
1 C Jason Kendall 340 0 5 7 .271 .333 .320 80
2 1B Billy Butler 375 9 0 0 .322 .389 .483 137
3 2B Mike Aviles 220 2 2 4 .305 .332 .386 95
4 SS Yuniesky Betancourt 318 6 0 1 .258 .282 .391 81
5 3B Alberto Callaspo# 348 8 3 1 .274 .307 .418 96
6 LF Scott Podsednik* 379 3 25 11 .301 .347 .369 96
7 CF Mitch Maier* 234 3 0 1 .251 .328 .367 89
8 RF David DeJesus* 370 5 3 3 .326 .395 .460 133
9 DH Jose Guillen 356 15 1 0 .279 .340 .467 118
Rk Pos PA HR SB CS BA OBP SLG OPS+
10 2B Chris Getz* 124 0 8 1 .232 .301 .268 57
11 UT Willie Bloomquist 90 2 5 3 .229 .270 .361 70
12 CF Rick Ankiel* 69 3 1 0 .210 .275 .419 86
13 UT Wilson Betemit# 59 4 0 0 .389 .441 .722 211
14 CI Alex Gordon* 38 1 0 1 .194 .342 .323 83
15 C Brayan Pena# 35 0 1 0 .172 .286 .207 37
16 1B Kila Ka'aihue* 4 0 0 0 .250 .250 .250 37
Team Totals 3380 61 54 33 .282 .337 .405 102
Rank in 14 AL teams 12 7 2 1 7 8
Rk Pos PA HR SB CS BA OBP SLG OPS+
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/12/2010.

  • The Royals lead the AL in batting average, something you've probably heard, ohh, one or two thousand times by now if you watch or listen to Royals games. This often leads to the misleading statement, "the Royals are the AL's best hitting team." If only that was how it worked.The Royals score 4.38 runs per game, the Red Sox, Yankees, Rangers, and Rays are all over 5.00. I'm fairly sure one of those teams is "the best hitting team" in the league, depending on how aggressively you want to factor in park factors.
  • Continuing a decade-long trend, the Royals just don't draw any walks (dead last in the league), which is how you end up 7th in OBP despite leading the league in batting average. Mix in a lack of power, and you've got a lineup that just doesn't score enough. But singles, oh, they'll give you singles.
  • The following players have below average OPSes: Alberto Callaspo, Mike Aviles, Scott Podsednik, Mitch Maier, Yuni Betancourt, and Jason Kendall. Oh, those were just the regulars. There's also Rick Ankiel and Mitch Maier in CF, Alex Gordon, Chris Getz, Willie Bloomquist and Brayan Pena (if you want to count him). You've done a heckuva job, Dayton.
  • If you want to get a little more advanced, here are the wOBAs for the regular guys. Betemit: .495, Butler: .379, DeJesus: .375, Guillen: .354, then a cliff... Pods: .321, Callaspo: .315, Aviles: .311, Maier: .306, Ankiel: .306, Yuni: .292, Kendall: .290, Bloomquist: .274.