Friday, July 1, 2011

Halfway There. Living on a Prayer.

Just like that we are halfway through the Major League baseball season. Of course most people split the season into two halfs around the all star break, but for the purpose of this post we are going to use the 81 game mark. The reason? All we have to do is multiply by two and we can see some projected totals for Royal players.

Let's start with the catchers. Brayan Pena is on pace for 230 at bats this season, a number that would shatter his previous career high of 165. Of course that number could really jump should the Royals trade Matt Traenor and allow Pena to catch full time in the second half of the season.

Oh and speaking of Matt Treanor. Have you noticed how much he is walking this year? He is currently on pace for 58 walks, while playing in 104 games. He also has an on base percentage of .354. Those 58 walks would be a career high, in fact he has already set a career high when he walked for the 23rd time this season. Matt has also never played more than eighty-two games in a single season.

Over at first base Kila Ka'aihue likely won't be given an opportunity to double his numbers, and since Eric Hosmer didn't play the entire first half it renders this drill pointless for him as well so we'll move on to the "other firstbaseman" Billy Butler.

Butler is currently on pace for some monster numbers for a middle of the order hitter with 12 home runs and 68 rbi. These would be his lowest totals since his rookie season when he posted 11-55 in just 124 games. I should also add that he is on pace for 92 walks which would be the highest single season mark for a Royal since 1989 when Kevin Seitzer walked 102 times and it would shatter the previous Dayton Moore era record of 69 that Butler set in 2010.

Of course over at second base Chris Getz hot streak has really strengthened his projected numbers for the year. Getz who is batting .343 in his last 19 games is now on pace to get 128 hits which would be a career high, while stealing 28 bases which would also be a career high.

When we shift to the other side of the bag we find another middle infielder whose recent hot streak has moved his numbers out of abysmal territory. Alcides Escobar is also on pace for a few career highs: hits (140), doubles (24), rbi (42), and steals (24).

Wilson Betemit playing in part time duty once again, is on pace for 30 doubles and the highest single season WAR of his career at 1.8. His home run power has taken a severe drop and he is only on pace for 4 home runs this season, 9 less than last season despite being on pace for 100 more at bats.

Melky Cabrera is having more pop in his bat this season than any other and if he continues at his current pace will post career highs in home runs (18), doubles (36), and slugging percentage (.428). Despite playing the worst defense of his career he is still on pace for a career high 2.2 WAR.

Jeff Francoeur of course is doing exactly what Dayton Moore brough him in to do. Currently he projects to hit 22 homers, the highest total since his sophomore season when he hit 29. He also figures to finish with 94 rbis and 36 doubles. Not to mention that he would finish with a career high 26 steals. his previous high was 8. He is also on pace for 38 walks, just 5 more than his 162 game average.

Mitch Maier has starred in bench duty. He is having the best season of his career based on the stats that start with a decimal point. However, he is also only on pace for 86 at bats which would be the lowest figure for his career when you remove his 13 at bat 2006 season.

Finally we get to Alex Gordon whose season is easily the best of his career. He is on pace for 186 hits and while he has totally change his approach at the plate, he is also on pace to tie his career high in walks at 66. He also projects to hit 48 doubles, 8 triples, 18 home runs, and score 90 runs. All of these would be career highs. He projects to post a 5.6 WAR.

On the pitching side of things it has been much more grim. Hochevar may be having the best season of his young career. He is on pace to wipe out his previous 0.5 WAR when he finished the year with a 0.6 mark. He is on pace to post career high marks in walks and home runs allowed, while only tying his career high mark in strikeouts. He has been an innings eater (on pace for 210 innings) which is something that shouldn't be taken forgranted with the young pen.

Jeff Francis's era of 4.79 is in line with his career figure of 4.77. He is on pace to eclipse the 200 inning mark for the first time since 2007. But his strikeouts per 9 innings are down to 4.0, from his previous career low of 5.8.

Kyle Davies continues to epically suck. While Bruce Chen continues to drink from the fountain of youth. His 3.46 era would be his best mark since 2004 when he pitched in 8 games for the Baltimore Orioles.

The bullpen is young and has been very strong. But since most are rookies there isn't much to compare their numbers too, exceopt for the closer Joakim Soria. Soria having the worst year of his career. He is on pace to give up the most home runs and walks in his career while recording the fewest strikeouts despite pitching in the most innings since his rookie season.

As a team the Royals are on pace for 66 wins which would place them right in between the 2009 and 2010 win totals. 696 runs scored the most since Dayton Moore's first full season when the team scored 706 times. Finaly they are on pace for 794 runs allowed the lowest since 2008 when the team gave up 781.

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