The Royals are Bad at Almost Everything

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

I was having a hard time focusing on the baseball game the past couple of nights for obvious reasons, so I started sorting team statistics in Fangraphs, like you do. This did not make me feel any better than watching the baseball game as the Royals are not just bad at most things as a team, they are in the bottom quintile of almost everything. It is nearly impressive how bad they have been across the various categories of statistics, with a couple of exceptions. All of these are through games played June 6th.

Let's start with hitting. The Royals are good in only one facet here, with the 24th highest K%. They do not strike out very much relative to the rest of the league. In every other way, they are a bad hitting team. In batting average, OBP, walk rate, HR, slugging, wRC+, runs scored they are in almost all cases in the bottom quintile (25th or worse). Only average is slightly better than that at 21st in baseball. They are the worst in HR and slugging (unsurprisingly) at 28th for both.

Pitching is similarly depressing, and even slightly worse than hitting. There are again almost no categories of pitching that the team has been good at. I looked at K/9, BB/9, HR/9, ERA, FIP, xFIP, LOB%, and one more, just so we have one thing they are not terrible at, GB%. That's right, the only thing the pitching staff isn't horrible at in that list is inducing ground balls where they are 12th in the majors. The most frightening part of the pitching is that they are dead last in FIP and xFIP.

It they Royals are not good at hitting or pitching, what are they good at exactly? They are good at base running and defense. The Dayton Moore era has given rise to a love of athleticism in draft and trade acquisitions. Kansas City has plenty of fast guys who can play defense, and that is about it. According to base BsR (base running runs above average), the Royals are 7th in the league, and in stolen bases they are 11th. They are good at base running, not great, but at least it is something. Defense is really the best attribute this team has, which makes the pitching look even worse. How is the pitching that bad with a solid defense behind them? In defensive runs above above average the Royals are 15th in baseball, and every other defensive measurement has them better than this. If you go by UZR they are 3rd, UZR/150 8th, OAA 5th, and RAA 5th. In general, defensive metrics like this team, and they are solid up the middle, so this is to be expected.

Maybe I should stop watching this team play for a while and only check out the defensive highlights.

This FanPost was written by a member of the Royals Review community. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the editors and writers of this site.