The Royals announced the 2021 candidates for induction into the Royals Hall of Fame. This year’s ballot includes first-timers Carlos Beltrán, Billy Butler, Kyle Davies, Jeremy Guthrie, and Luke Hochevar. Appearing on the ballot for the second time are Johnny Damon and Yordano Ventura.
Introducing the 2021 class of eligible players for the #Royals Hall of Fame.— Kansas City Royals (@Royals) March 2, 2021
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Let’s take a look at the candidates:
Carlos Beltrán 1998-2004
795 games, .287/.352/.483, 24.8 WAR
Beltrán exploded on the scene in his first season, becoming the eighth rookie ever to score 100 runs and drive in 100 runs, and winning Rookie of the Year honors. Beltrán was named American League Player of the Week three times with the Royals, and won American League Player of the Month in April of 2004. Beltrán had a unique blend of power and speed, finishing top ten in steals three times with the Royals, and hitting 123 home runs. His 164 stolen bases are seventh-most in club history, and he had an amazing 87 percent success rate.
Billy Butler 2007-2014
1,166 games, .295/.359/.449, 12.5 WAR
Butler was a first-round pick in 2014 and designated hitter for several years, including the pennant-winning season in 2014. He enjoyed his best season in 2012, hitting .313/.373/.510 with a career-high 29 home runs, earning the Silver Slugger Award. He also made his only All-Star Game appearance, in front of hometown fans at Kauffman Stadium. Butler finished in the top ten in the league in doubles three times, and finished sixth in RBI in 2012. He is tenth in club history in games played, eleventh in home runs, eighth in hits, and seventh in doubles. His .295 batting average is tied for fifth-highest in club history for anyone with at least 1,000 plate appearances.
Kyle Davies 2007-2011
99 games, 5.34 ERA, 4.74 FIP, 2.4 WAR
Davies was acquired by the Royals in a trade with the Braves for Octavio Dotel in 2006. He showed promise in 2008 with nine wins and a 4.06 ERA in 21 starts, giving Royals fans hope for an “MGD” rotation with Gil Meche and Zack Greinke. Davies would win eight games in each of the next two seasons, but with an ERA over five, and he was released in 2011. His 5.34 ERA is the highest in club history for anyone with at least 500 innings pitched.
Johnny Damon 1995-2000
803 games, .292/.351/.438, 17.3 WAR
Damon was a first-round pick in 1992 and was hyped as the face of the franchise. His career started slowly, but before long he established himself as one of the top leadoff hitters in baseball. He led the league in runs with 136, setting the single-season club record. He also led the league with a career-high 46 bases year, and hit .327/.385/.495, earning MVP votes. He is ninth in club history in stolen bases and 12th in runs scored.
Jeremy Guthrie 2012-2015
109 games, 4.38 ERA, 4.70 FIP, 3.6 WAR
Guthrie was an innings-eating pitcher and fan favorite on the pennant-winning clubs in 2014 and 2015. He was acquired in a trade from the Rockies for Jonathan Sanchez in 2012 and immediately turned his career around, finishing with a 3.16 ERA in 14 starts with the Royals down the stretch. He led the team with 15 wins the next year, and won 13 games for the pennant-winning club in 2014. He gave up just one run in five innings in a win over his former team, the Baltimore Orioles, in the ALCS, and made two starts in the World Series, including the pivotal Game 7.
Luke Hochevar 2007-2016
279 games, 4.98 ERA, 4.31 FIP, 3.8 WAR
Luke Hochevar was the first overall pick in 2006, the only time the Royals have selected that high in club history. He had mixed results as a starter, but won 11 games in 2011 with a 4.68 ERA and 4.29 FIP. He moved to the bullpen in 2013 and found much more success, posting a 2.1 WAR season, and his 1.92 ERA that season was the 13th-best season ever by a Royals pitcher with at least 50 innings pitched. Hochevar rebounded from Tommy John surgery to pitch 49 games for the 2015 championship club with a 3.73 ERA, and he did not allow a single run in 10 2⁄3 innings that post-season. He is 14th in club history in games pitched.
Yordano Ventura 2013-2016
94 games, 3.89 ERA, 3.98 FIP, 7.7 WAR
Ventura exploded on the scene in 2014 with a fastball that was regularly clocked at 100 mph. He finished sixth in Rookie of the Year voting with a 3.20 ERA and 14 wins, and turned in a sensational World Series performance in two starts, including seven shutout innings in a must-win Game 6. “Ace” Ventura would be a key part of the championship rotation as well, winning 13 games and leading the team in strikeouts. Ventura tragically died in the winter after the 2016 season in a car collision.
Players are eligible for induction in the Royals Hall of Fame if they have been active with the Royals for at least three (3) seasons and accumulated a minimum of 1,500 plate appearances or 300 innings pitched. Players must have been retired from baseball for at least three seasons. You can vote for your candidate until March 10 at www.royals.com/hofvote.
Who would you vote for induction in the Royals Hall of Fame?
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