“We’re not playing good situational offensive baseball” – Ned Yost, courtesy the Kansas City Star.
I think I will start every post (however sporadic they have become) with a quote from Ned Yost. Perhaps I’ll even begin each meeting in my office with a quote from Dayton Moore. Hey, if the Royals are going down, I’m taking all of you with us.
We have been fed the company line for a long time with regard to how the Kansas City Royals just need to hit better with runners in scoring position. Many of you have already figured out just how absolutely whacked out that line of reasoning is, but if not (and that means you are NOT spending enough time in your Mom’s basement!) let’s boil it down.
Overall, your Kansas City Royals – the team you have been waiting for, mind you – is hitting .263/.313/.374. That is good for fourth in the American League in batting average, but only 12th in on-base percentage and 13th in slugging percentage. Apparently, it is not only impossible to hit home runs in Kaufmann Stadium, but also difficult to walk as well.
The problem, remember, is not a .313 on-base percentage: it is how poorly they perform with runners in scoring position. In those scenarios, Kansas City is hitting just .262/.324/.386. Those numbers are good for 5th in batting average, 11th in on-base percentage and 9th in slugging.
So….the Royals offense is good enough, they just need to hit better with runners in scoring position, but yet they ARE better hitters with runners in scoring position then they are overall. Wait. What?
To put it another way, the Kansas City Royals have put 2,229 runners on base this season (not counting solo home runs) and scored 14.67% of those runners. In the American League, only Texas, Oakland, Detroit and the Angels have scored a higher percentage of runners. That’s right, your situationally deficient Royals are fifth in the league in actually scoring runners they put on base.
The Royals, from coaches to manager to general manager to team president to team owner, always have an explanation. They will be happy to explain to us why this team is not quite good enough, while also making us aware of just how much smarter they are than the rest of us. Listen, kid, you may have your numbers and stuff, but WE know how the game of baseball really works.
Well, guess what? Baseball is not all that complicated. In fact, it is not complicated at all. It is hard, yes, but not complicated.
If you hit about the same with runners in scoring position as you do as a team, then I am going to wager that if I could get more runners on base, I’m going to score more runs. If, by the way, I happen to find a guy or two who actually can perform the impossible and hit a ball over the fence at Kaufmann, then I will score even more runs.
The Royals are not going to the moon here. They also are not going to the playoffs.