Royals Nightly
Thursday, July 15, 2004
Royals Offense- The Mid-Season Grades
I've left off a few irregulars (hello Wilton) but included the fading memory of Carlos Beltran. Overall, the team grade has to be bad, definetly in the low C/high D range. This was a club constructed to win with a good offense and league average pitching, and instead turned out to be a bad offense and bad pitching staff. Go figure.
Overall Royals Offense: .254/.315/.393 Grade D+
When you break down the regulars individually, you're quickly hit with a damning realization: beyond Beltran and maybe Sweeney, this was a lineup that didn't have any complete offensive players. Not a single guy who could hit for power and get on-base regularly. Amazing.

On to the individual players, sorted by OPS.
-C. Beltran (.278/.367/.534) Grade B+ : I just can't bring myself to give Carlos an A. For one, theres probably alot of you sniggering for an Incomplete, or worse, simply because, well, he ain't a Royal anymore. Beltran started hot, slowly cooled till he was slumping in May, then turned it back on before he was traded. I don't think it was because of any plan on his part, but the fact is, by the time Beltran started killing the ball again the season was already over. In May Beltran went .222/.280/.407, which really hurt an offense that didn't need hurting.
-K. Stinnett (.305/.379/.458) Grade A : Kelly, we hardly knew ye. No, you wouldn't have hit that well over a full season, or even half a season, but still, you deserved better. Stinnett outperformed Bennie seven ways to Sunday; and just as it was looking like he was going to start getting a little PT, he got hurt. Ohh, what might have been!!
-M. Sweeney (.279/.335/.490) Grade B- : The gaping-OBP hole at the center of the Royals lineup owes much to the decline of Mike Sweeney. Sweeney's shown the potential to be a 30 homer guy, but his average AND patience keep dropping, severely hurting his value. Sweeney has a hard time staying in the lineup, and is a bad defensive first baseman. At the same time, Sweeney's hot final weekend showed that he can still mash on occasion. That B- has alot to do with his status as an average 1b and a disapointing first half. Sweeney can still be a key member of a championship caliber team, he's not washed up yet, but he does appear to be headed downhill.
-K. Harvey (.305/.353/.452) Grade B+: Harvey's been crashing since May. He hit .276/.327/.357 in June, which was followed by a .125/.200/.313 July. Basically, he hit .397 in April and has been cresting towards the mean ever since. He's flashed brief moments of power, managing 10 homers; not good, but not terrible on this team, especially in the new K. Yes, he's a singles hitter. But Ken Harvey's getting paid 317,000 this season, and no one expected him to be anywhere near this good. Sweeney's better, and Harvey should have been traded a month ago when he was at .360. But alas, baby steps.
-M. Stairs (.266/.322/.468) Grade B- : Stairs has been a bit of a disapointment. Because of injuries he's had to face more lefties than his normal platoon split would dictate, which has also driven down his numbers. The .322 OBP isn't cutting it however, and it's likely Stairs is both a) trying to hit balls out of the zone to help his coming FA status and b) seeing plenty of strikes given how bad the lineup is. All that being said, one of Allard's better moves, because of the principles involved. Stairs is a good candidate to have a better second half.
-J. Gonzalez (.276/.326/.449) Grade C- : Juan Gone might be the most hated person in the baseball world. Mainstream writers like Jayyyyyson Stark continually assert/imply and assume that Juan Gone doesn't try to stay healthy, possibly fakes injuries and is generally a terrible teammate. Pausing, does anyone else think this is bad journalism? I guess not. Seems like a pretty serious claim, quite possibly the worst thing you could say about a player, and its not like Juan Gone is the only guy who's ever been injured. Ohh well, he didn't play much, and wasn't too great. I'll hold off on the character judgments, I've never met the guy.
-B. Santiago (.274/.312/.434) Grade C : Another OBP cipher in the middle of Tony's lineup. I think Bennie had a decent second half run in him, now that he's hurt we may never know. There have been rumors that Santiago's ethnicity and pusuit of some obscure catcher records led Pena to play him more than he should have. I don't buy it. I think the pull of Santiago's San Fran renaissance had more to do with it. The thing is, those numbers ain't bad for a 50 year old catcher.
- J. Randa (.282/.348/.387) Grade C : The power's gone, the mediocre patience remains. As bizarre as the Randa trade rumors were, there were a actually a few teams that could have used a .350 OBP that might have had the potential to get hot briefly, hit some doubles and carry a good glove. The Joker is injured now, and his career outlook is looking pretty hazy. Joe, its been real, if this is it, we'll always have 1999. Always.
-A. Blanco (.259/.333/.333) Grade C- : Terrible numbers of course. I know some people that claim he was a slick fielder, I don't really remember that impression. He was thrust into action during that hellish period when like every middle infielder was hurt. Bad, bad memories.
- T. Graff (.261/.322/.329) Grade C : If he can get that OBP over .330 we might have a landmark first here at Royals Nightly, the full spelling of Tony's last name. Since the end of May he's really struggled, offsetting what was, from a far enough distance, a decent first half. Well, decent in the "he's playing 2nd on a terrible team that no one cares about anyway and he's drawing the occassional walk in a lineup that shoots for 4 singles as the best way to score". Yea, in that way, he was, kinda OK.
- A. Berroa (.239/.275/.368) Grade F : I didn't want to give out any Fs, but Berroa has just been F'ing terrible. His approach at the plate has completely fallen apart, and aside from a few scattered triples and homers, he just has not hit at all. He's making errors like crazy, he can't get on-base at all, and for much of the year Pena had him at the lineup top. A gigantic disapointment, even if the 7 of the other 10 or 15 things that have gone wrong for the Royals had gone right, Berroa's collapse might have been the single straw that broke this offense's back. He's bad. For a shortstop.
- A. Guiel (.173/.279/.360) Grade C+ : So Angel, how does it feel that a dude who basically can't see is getting on-base more than you? Other than the walks, Guiel's brief season was pretty bad, but he has a decent excuse. Here's hoping the minor league lifer gets one more last chance.
-D. Brown (.281/.319/.313) Grade B- : Dee's not a kid anymore, I remember reading long debates between Rob and Rany on his merit back in the Clinton Presidency. No walks, no power, and he can't really play a position. But, we all knew that 2 years ago, and he's managed to hit an empty .280 at a corner. On this team, thats B- worthy, although even I'm not sure how.
- B. Gettis (.179/.327/.256) Grade B- : The Royals' pace-setter in the P/PA race for much of the season, Gettis drew the occassional walk and not much else. If you combined Gettis, Ken Harvey and Angel Berroa you would have Mike Sweeney now. I'm not sure what that means.
- D. Relaford (.196/.279/.255) Grade D+ : Since his awesome first-half to 2003, Desi Relaford has been among the worst hitters in the American league. Yes, he's squeezed out a still bad but semi-tolerable OBP out of a sub .200 BA. He is the infield version of Gettis. The thing is, I don't care how you get on-base, and if you walk and don't hit, its bad, and if you hit and don't walk, its also bad. What goes for Ken Harvey goes for Desi Relaford. Yes, the approach is sound and its likely the BA will go up on its own... But go up to what, .250 with no power? If  thats the utopian scenario, I'll pass.
- J. Buck (.189/.250/.216) Grade D:  Hell of a bit of swag for the Beltran deal huh?? Yea, he's just cutting his teeth, and is playing because of injuries. Still, .189/.250/.216 is what it is. He'll get better, because he can't get worse. Sometimes thats what I tell myself about this blog, and look what its done for me!!
-D. DeJesus (.164/.253/.179) Grade C- : Let me know if you've heard this before. DeJesus can do ____ OK, but at this moment is completely unable to do ____ or _____. He really hasn't played too much, and is still young. He'll do better, and not just because its the only mathematically viable alternative. There is talent here... hopefully.
- R. Mateo (.167/.200/.208) Grade D+ : At least he was fast once. Allard took a flyer on him, and Mateo failed to have that "appearing out of nowhere good first impression" that we've seen so many times before. Think Daryle Ward's 5 homer week for the Buccos this year.
- M. Lopez (.105/.209/.184) Grade B: That one moment on Opening Day gets Mendy a B. That was really really cool when it happened. The Royals still seemed like a magical team then. Beyond that homer Mendy hit 3 singles and drew 4 walks. Enjoy Japan my man, and remember that slurping one's food is considered polite.



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