As of this writing, the Royals have played 59 games and are once again competing with Baltimore for the first draft pick next summer (the nicest possible way to say they are nearly in last place). The Royals went into this season espousing speed, speed and more speed. And sure enough, the Royals lead all of baseball with 55 stolen bases, 12 bags ahead of any other team and lapping half of the teams in baseball. They also have speed, leading the majors in triples (26), and even have one inside-the-park home run to show for it. However, of the 256 runs scored this season, 101 have come as the result of the long-ball (excluding the ITPHR).
The Royals as a team have hit 61 home runs this season. This is not particularly impressive in the age of the totally, 100% not juiced ball, with them being tied for 25th out of 30 teams in home runs, but it is still a lot for a team that traditionally has not hit many home runs.
As most of you are likely aware, the teams current single season home run leader is Mike Moustakas with 38 in 2017. Given that the Royals, and baseball in general, are hitting quite a few home runs, I was curious about the pace of a few of the current Royals compared to Moose, and if his record was in danger.
Through 59 games, Jorge Soler has hit 15 home runs, on pace for 41 home runs if he plays in every game (which he actually has so far this season). That being said, through 59 games in 2017 Moose had hit 18 home runs. Given that Soler has never played a full seasons worth of games, and is likely to get some days off at some point, we’ll pro-rate this to 150 games (Moose had 148 in 2017). That puts him on pace to hit 38 home runs, tying Moose for the record.
No other player on the Royals currently is anywhere near the pace needed to tie or surpass Moustakas. Dozier has shown terrific power but has only hit 11 home runs so far, Gordon is at 9. But there is a chance, given continued health, success and playing time that Jorge Soler could steal the record, even though I expect him to end the season with closer to 30 home runs than 40.
All of this being said, what about the team record?
Through 59 games, the Royals have hit 61 home runs. That’s 1.034 home runs per game, or a pace of 167 over 162 games. That would put the 2019 Royals in 3rd place behind the 1987 Royals (168) and the 2017 Royals (193). To steal the record away, the Royals would have to up their current rate significantly, They would need to hit another 133 home runs in 103 games, or roughly 1.3 home runs per game.
It will be interesting to see if Soler can continue at his pace. It will also be interesting to see if he appears in all 162 games this season, as Ned is often fond of overplaying certain players (*cough cough* Salvy *cough cough*). It could come down to the number of games remaining at home (53) vs games remaining away (50), as Soler has hit nine home runs away versus six at home.
Either way, it will be fun to continue watching this and, assuming Soler is not traded (which I strongly suspect he will be), gives us something to root for in an otherwise dismal season.