The Royals suffered their second consecutive 100+ loss season, but that doesn’t mean the year was all negative. There were a few bright spots to give us some smiles, so let’s look back on the best moments from the 2019 season.
April 10 - Whit Merrifield sets the club record for longest hitting streak
We knew Whit could hit, but Merrifield put his name in the franchise record book early in the season. He had ended the 2018 season with a 20-game hit streak as play ended, and picked up right where he left off with a hitting streak to begin the 2019 season. By the second week of the season he was approaching the longest hitting streak in club history, a 30-game streak by George Brett in 1980. Merrifield tripled on April 9 to tie Brett’s record, and in his last at-bat the next night, he lay down a beautiful bunt to set the club record with a 31-game hit streak. The streak would end the next day, but it was the longest hitting streak by any American League hitter since Paul Molitor in 1987.
Laying one down straight into the record books. pic.twitter.com/6IpvDIibmc— Kansas City Royals (@Royals) April 11, 2019
July 9 - Whit Merrifield is an All-Star
Whit Merrifield has always played with a chip on his shoulder, and deservedly so after he was overlooked so much early on his career. That’s why it was so rewarding to see him recognized as an All-Star this year, and it was much deserved. Merrifield was tied for second in the league in hits at the time he was named to the team. He entered the Midsummer Classic in Cleveland in the sixth inning and went 0-for-2 with a flyout and strikeout.
July 12 - Ovation for Bubba Starling debut
It was a long, winding road with plenty of setbacks, but former first round pick and area native Bubba Starling finally reached the big leagues this year. The Gardner-Edgerton grad had plenty of friends and family on hand when he made his Major League debut at Kauffman Stadium and a standing ovation to welcome him. Starling would go 0-for-3 with a walk, but would make a heads up play on the bases and score the first run of his MLB career.
August 26 - Alex Gordon pitches
Getting blown out stinks, but one silver lining is the possibilty of a position player taking the mound. It is just so absurd, so silly, so amazing to see a position player out there lobbing 75 mph fastballs, sometimes to the bewilderment of the hitter. So it was cool to see Alex Gordon take the mound in a rout against the Athletics in late August. Gordo had been bugging Ned Yost about it for awhile, and finally the skipper relented. And while he gave up three runs in an inning of work, it was enough to convince Ned to use him again just a few days later in a blowout loss to the Orioles.
September 3 - Jorge Soler sets the club single-season home run record
Steve Balboni’s single-season club home run record stood for over 30 years, but just two years after Mike Moustakas broke his record, Jorge Soler zoomed past both of them. It took Soler just 139 games to surpass Moustakas with his 39th home run of the season, a blast off Tigers lefty Daniel Norris. Soler would end the year with 48 home runs, becoming the first Royals hitter ever to lead the American League in that category.
September 29 - Ned’s last game
There were smiles and some tears as Ned Yost brought out the lineup card to manage his final game in a Royals uniform. The longtime Royals skipper had announced his retirement earlier that week after ten seasons in Kansas City that included two pennants, a championship, and more wins than any other manager in Royals history. The Royals would send him off in proper fashion, with a walk-off win in the ninth.
What was the best Royals moment of the 2019 season?
This poll is closed
Whit Merrifield hit streak
Whit Merrifield All-Star selection
Bubba Starling debut
Alex Gordon pitches
Jorge Soler sets the home run record
Ned Yost’s last game