Alex Gordon Needs Help Carrying Kansas City Royals To Success
The 2014 season is officially halfway over, so now is as good a time as ever to look back at what has transpired since Opening Day in late March. We’ll start the (over)analysis by looking at the Kansas City Royals‘ offensive numbers through the first 81 games of the schedule.
KC hitters have a handful of bright moments to look back on, but most of what transpired in the first half desperately needs to change in the second.
At the halfway point of the 2014 season, the Royals have the fourth-highest team batting average in MLB at .262. As anyone watching them with regularity through this half-season could tell you, those hits manufactured a painfully low total of runs scored. Despite their high team average, the Royals are 18th league-wide in RBI so far this year. Regular viewers of Royals baseball could also predict their struggles in regards to hitting for power.
I wrote about the need for power in the AL a seemingly long time ago, but it holds true, and KC won’t last in the playoff race for long without drastic improvement. Only six other big-league teams recorded a slugging percentage lower than the Royals’ .373. Their 46 HRs are the least in baseball, but some of those missed homers have translated into doubles. The Royals are 10th overall in doubles, but they’re tied for 27th in extra-base hits.
Alex Gordon is the only Royal who is within the league’s top 50 in extra-base hits. He’s also the league’s highest-ranking Royal in RBI (42nd with 42 RBIs) and HR, where he is actually tied with Salvador Perez at 70th with nine long balls. Gordo is an All Star-worthy producer, but he shouldn’t be the only Royals batter on these lists.
If those rankings don’t change in a big way, and soon, KC will be dealt a lot of bitter truths this summer.