It is early in the season, but I don’t think it’s too early to take a moment to see where the Royals stand in relation to the rest of the league. In fact, we’ll hold onto these numbers and revisit them over the next couple of months. It will help illustrate if the Royals are improving over the course of the season.
• The Royals are last in the AL in runs per game averaging 3.57. The bottom three:
Those are the only teams in the AL that are averaging less than four runs per game. League average is 4.63 runs per game.
• Is this Royals team worse that last year’s team? I know…That’s a stupid question, but let’s have some fun and look at some key offensive numbers from 2004 and compare them to this 2005:
Not surprisingly, there is a substantial drop. Maybe the 2004 numbers are skewed a bit because we did have the services of Carlos Beltran for about half the season. Let’s see how the team did post-Carlos:
The team actually maintained it’s performance when Carlos left showing a slight improvement is key statistical areas. But that’s not the point. The point is this 2005 is basically the same core group of guys that finished 2004 and they have regressed. I expected possibly some regression replacing Joe Randa for Mark Teahen, but this team should not have fallen this far, this fast.
• The Royals aren’t making good contact and we have proof. One of my favorite new stats is Line Drive Percentage. Tracked by Baseball Info Solution, this number is the percent of batted balls that are line drives. It’s a telling number because line drives fall for hits roughly 75% of the time. The Royals are last in the majors with a Line Drive Percentage of .143. League average is .175.
• The numbers from above are taken from the excellent Hardball Times Stats Page.
The numbers don’t lie. This is one bad baseball team. I shudder to think at how the numbers would look if we didn't have Mike Sweeney in the lineup everyday.
But remember, this season the wins and losses aren’t really important. What is important is the overall improvement of this team. For any kind of “youth movement” to take hold, we need to see strides and they need to be tangible.
Frankly, I just don’t see how we can sink any lower.