The Royals will wrap up the month of April on the Wednesday, and with only two games remaining in the month, the Royals have just ten home runs, by far the fewest in the Majors and equalled by White Sox rookie slugger Jose Abreu all on his own. It has been a severe power outage for the Royals, but where does it stand in franchise history as far aw powerlessness?
Out of all full months in Royals history (with "full month" defined as 20 games or more), only four have featured fewer Royals home runs thant the ten the Royals have hit in April. They are:
The 1974 Royals were having a pretty good season until September/October, when they dropped 22 of their last 30 games to finish 77-85. The club hit just .240/.300/.289 over the month, the worst OPS in franchise history for a full month. They had two power hitters in John Mayberry and Hal McRae, but got only two home runs from rookie third baseman George Brett, and had little power elsewhere. They would finish last in the league in home runs, hitting just 38 dingers at spacious Royals Stadium.
The 1976 Royals were a first place ballclub that coasted in September. They came into the month with a seven game lead, then dropped 19 of their final 31 to hold onto their first division title. Only two Royals finished in double digits in home runs (Amos Otis with 18 and John Mayberry with 13), and they finished second-to-last in home runs. They would fare better in July (17-12) despite hitting just seven home runs.
The 1970 club finished dead last in home runs with over a quarter of the team's home runs coming from one man - first baseman Bob Oliver. Oliver would just just one home run in September as the club went 14-16. The team spent their road games in Milwaukee, Minnesota, and Chicago, which may have depressed power numbers.
April 1992 was a disastrous month for the Royals as they dropped fifteen of their first sixteen games with just ten home runs (matching the 2014 Royals), but they actually hit fewer home runs in the month of June. The club would finish dead last in the league in home runs with just 75. Gregg Jefferies led the month of June with just three, although the club would tread water with a 13-14 mark that month.
What was the greatest home-run hitting month in franchise history? That would be a tie between the August 1987 and August 1997 Royals - each hit 43 home runs. Chili Davis'12 home runs in August of 1997 outpace the entire 2014 Royals in April.
Despite the lack of power, the 2014 club has held serve thus far, splitting their first 24 games. Cool weather has depressed home run numbers a bit, and we should expect more power from guys like Billy Butler, Alex Gordon, and Eric Hosmer going forward. And if not, well, we can always rotate hitting coaches again, right?