MLB - AL CENTRAL
Stadium: Kauffman Stadium
Manager: Mike Matheny
2021-2022 TEAM LEADERS
Kansas City Royals
Kansas City Royals Summary
The Kansas City Royals have been in a downward spiral since their first-place finish in the AL Central in 2015. Since then, they have only had one season at .500, and every other season has seen the Royals with a losing record. For the Royals to turn things in 2022, they will need to look at their top prospects from the 2021 season. The good news for the Royals is that they have some top talent hitters in their minor league system.
The Royals had four prospects that had talent evaluators looking closely at them. Those players are shortstop Bobby Witt Jr., catcher MJ Melendez, first baseman Nick Pratto, and first baseman Vinnie Pasquantino. These four players are considered the future of the Royals’ hitting squad.
The 2022 roster for the Royals going into spring training has Melendez and Pratto making the 40-man roster, with Witt and Pasquantino missing the cut for now.
Kansas City Royals History
The Kansas City Royals are an expansion team that first started play in 1969 for the AL West Division. In 1994, they were moved over to the AL Central Division. Their name of Royals comes from the American Royal, an annual event held in Kansas City since 1899. It was voted on by entries from the team naming contest held in 1968.
The person who entered the name of Royals for the team added this to his entry, “Kansas City’s new baseball team should be called the Royals because of Missouri’s billion-dollar livestock income, Kansas City’s position as the nation’s leading stocker and feeder market and the nationally known American Royal parade and pageant.”
When the team’s board put it to a vote, the board voted 6-1 to adopt the Royals name for the team. The new Kansas City Royals team won their first game on April 8th, 1969, officially replacing the Kansas City Athletics, who left the city for Oakland for the 1968 season.
2022 Key Stats
In 2022, the Royals will look to go up with some of their hitting stats that were at the bottom of the AL for 2021.
The Royals finished 2021 15th in home runs, 13th in runs scored, and fifth in hits out of 15 AL teams. To help the team with these numbers, they have called up prospects Nick Pratto and MJ Melendez.
During his time in the minors for 2021, Pratto posted a .265 batting average, 118 hits, 36 home runs, and 98 RBI’s. These 2021 stats would have put him second among the team in RBI’s and home runs if he was on the Royals 2021 lineup.
His addition to the team should give the offense an instant boost with stats like that.
Melendez has even more impressive stats for his time in the minors for 2021. He posted a .288 batting average, 129 hits, 41 home runs, and 103 RBI’s. With these two sluggers in the lineup, the Royals hope these prospects can carry over their minor league play into the majors.
Championships Won by the Kansas City Royals
Since their founding in 1969, the Royals have successfully won championships. During their time in the AL West, the Royals would win six AL West Division titles. The Royals have also won the AL Pennant four times in their team history and won two World Series titles. Since moving over to the AL Central, the Royals have only won one Al Central Division title.
The Royals’ two World Series titles would come in 1985 and 2015. They won the AL Pennant in 1980, 1985, 2014, and 2015. Their only AL Central Division title would come in 2015. The team’s six AL West Division titles would come in 1976, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1984, and 1985.
Looking at their championship history, it is clear that the Royals’ best days were in the late 70s and into the mid-80s while they were in the AL West.
The Royals haven’t found the same dominance in the AL Central that the team once had in years past.
Important Team Events
The Royals have some important team rivalry games throughout their season. One of the most significant is their interstate rival, the St. Louis Cardinals. The games they play against each other are known as the “I-70 Series”.
Their first meeting for the 2022 season will come on April 12-13 in St. Louis. The second set will be in Kansas City starting on May 3rd. The first time these two teams met in non-exhibition play was during the 1985 World Series. The Royals would beat the Cardinals to win their first World Series ever.
Another rivalry the Royals have is with the New York Yankees. This rivalry started when the teams faced each other in the postseason from 1976 to 1980. These two teams had players on both sides that couldn’t stand the other team.
In 2022, they’ll renew this rivalry, with the teams meeting for two series in the season. The first will start on April 29th in Kansas City, while the second set will begin on July 28th in New York City.
When you look back at the Royals’ history, some players come to mind during their run in the 70s and 80s. These players are George Brett, Willie Wilson, Paul Splittorff, Dan Quisenberry, and Dennis Leonard.
Brett is best known for all the records he holds while a member of the Royals. He is also known for his “Pine Tar Incident,” where he hit a two-run go-ahead home run in the ninth inning that the Yankees disputed due to the amount of pine tar Brett used on his bat.
In 2022, the Royals have fresh talent and some older players looking to shine. Call-ups MJ Melendez and Nick Pratto look to bring their hot bats during their minor league time to the majors this year. Salvador Pérez, the team’s leader in hitting stats for 2021, will be back with the team for their 2022 season.
These three players will be the driving force on offense for the team.
The history of the Royals has a couple of memorable coaches for the team. Managers Whitey Herzog and Dick Howser helped the Royals find success during their time with the Royals.
Herzog would be the first manager to take the Royals their first AL Division championship, taking them to a total of three under his management. Howser would be the first manager for the Royals to bring home a World Series title. However, he had to retire the following year due to cancer.
In 2022, Mike Matheny is back with the team as the manager in hopes that he can improve the team this year. Matheny will have his bench coach Pedro Grifol returning for this 2022 season. Hitting coach Terry Bradshaw will also be back and have some young talent to work with in 2022.
The talent was some of the best for the team in the minors, and Bradshaw will have to step up his game to ensure these players don’t slump in their development.
Frequently Asked Questions
The Pine Tar Incident was when George Brett allegedly used a large amount of pine tar on his bat to get the go-ahead home run for the Royals in the ninth against the Yankees. The Yankees would ask umpires to inspect Brett’s bat for excess pine tar. After the inspection, umpires ruled he did use too much pine tar and called him out, removing the home run and ending the game. However, the Royals would protest, and the AL president would order the game restarted from the point after Brett’s home run, allowing the home run to stand. The Royals would hold on for a 5-4 win.
Dennis Leonard has the most shutouts in Royals history with 23.
Jeff Montgomery has the most saves in Royals history with 304
George Brett holds the most records in Royals team history.
Kevin Appier has the most strikeouts in Royals history with 1,458.